Catholics Confront Global Poverty: Bringing Issues to Congress

Today is the second full day of the Catholic Social Ministry Gathering in Washington, D.C., an annual event co-sponsored by 18 national Catholic organizations throughout the country and attended by social ministry leaders in those organizations, local arch/dioceses, religious congregations, Catholic education, healthcare and others.

The focus of today’s morning agenda was to prepare and organize participants to carry the message on key issues to Congress, and then ultimately the attendees will bring back these messages to their constituencies and political leaders in their home arch/dioceses.

Yesterday’s launch of the Catholics Confront Global Poverty initiative focused on seven key issues. To find out what the issues are, why people of faith should care, and what responses are needed, click on the appropriate issues below.

1. Promoting comprehensive foreign assistance reform

2. Completing the debt relief agenda

3. Addressing global climate change

4. Promoting reform of U.S. trade and agriculture policies

5. Support transparency, participation and consent of local communities in natural resource development

6. Employ significant resources in peace building

7. Address the root causes of migration

The Social Ministry Gathering attendees will be visiting their Members of Congress and their staff all afternoon to voice their concerns on the above issues and other key messages, and to hopefully have an impact on upcoming legislation.

At a Hill reception this evening, attendees will have an opportunity to meet Senator Robert Casey (D-PA), Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Representative Kathy Dahlkemper (D-PA). From their differing perspectives of party and experience, these three Catholics who serve in the Congress will offer reflections on the key issues that have been presented to them, in addition to the attendees’ agenda of human life and dignity. They will outline some of the challenges and choices our nation faces, share how Catholic principles can help shape the debate, and discuss how the Social Ministry Gathering attendees can help lift up the moral and human dimensions of key issues of justice, peace, life and dignity.

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