What's New - Social Justice Issues
"...To desire the common good and strive toward it is a requirement of justice and charity...The more we strive to secure a common good corresponding to the real needs of our neighbors, the more effectively we love them." Caritas in Veritate [#7]
The National Jesuit News spoke with Father Agbonkhianmeghe Orobator, provincial of East African Province of the Society of Jesus, during his time in the U.S. for the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice. Hear Fr. Orobator speak about how the Society of Jesus is changing people's lives in the six countries of the East Africa Province. Learn how the Jesuits are responding to the humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa and how you can help.
Join the Faith Advocates for Jobs Campaign
This national interfaith initiative is preparing congregations to address the needs of unemployed individuals in their community, urging Congress to maintain unemployment benefits and promoting legislation that will create good jobs.
A Fair and Just Federal Budget-
Bread for the World, a Christian organization advocating for bi-partisan policies to end hunger at home and abroad, has been working hard to educate persons on the types of budget cuts and revenue increases that will be needed if the federal budget is to be not only fiscally sound but morally sound as well. Click here to read their brief but incisive document: Cutting the Federal Budget: Myths and Realities.
Half in Ten started the clock on its goal of cutting poverty in half in 10 years with the release of its inaugural annual report, “Restoring Shared Prosperity: Strategies to Cut Poverty and Expand Economic Growth.” The report establishes a baseline to cut poverty in half in 10 years, tracking progress along levers to achieve the target, including: good jobs, strong families and communities, and economic security.
Take The Poverty Test to determine how much you know about poverty in the United States and its impact. Click here to take the test.
Comprehensive Immigration Reform- Stay Informed and Involved through www.justiceforimmigrants.org
Immigration Is The Crucial Issue Today:
Educate Yourself with These Resources from the Maryland Catholic Conference:
Where All Find a Home: A Catholic Response to Immigration
The History of Immigration
The Legal Immigration Process
The Economics of Immigration
The Root Causes of Migration
Jesuit Provincials Call for Comprehensive Immigration Refor
Each of the provincials of our nine Jesuit provinces in the United States have signed letters to President Obama and to members of Congress calling on them to enact comprehensive immigration reform. The provincials will be calling upon all Jesuit works in the United States to endorse their letter and to mobilize their members in advocacy for just and humane immigration reform.
Letter of the Jesuit Provincials to President Obama.
Follow Up on the Call for Comprehensive Immigration Reform-
Jesuit communities and works throughout the United States were asked to join with the Jesuit provincials in calling upon Congress and the President to adopt comprehensive immigration reform. Where are we with this effort? What more can each of us do to help secure justice for all immigrants? Click here for a synopsis of where we are and what you can do.
WAR AND VIOLENCE
On Wednesday, January 11, 2012 from 12PM to 2PM, concerned Americans will gather in Washington D.C. and form a human chain stretching from the White House to Capitol Hill to witness against torture and indefinite detention and call for the closure of the Guantanamo and Bagram prisons. Organizers are facilitating bus transportation
from several major metropolitan areas. Visit National Religious Campaign Against Torture
or Witness Against Torture
for more information about the event. If you can't attend that day, take legislative action
Torture is Never Morally Acceptable & We Must Act to Ensure That Our Nation Never Again Engages in Torture
The United States has engaged in torture. The fact that our government has engaged in torture comes from multiples sources including Susan J. Crawford, a high-ranking member of the Defense Department in the Bush administration. Crawford held the title of 'convening authority of military commissions,' that is, she held ultimate authority for determining who would be brought to trial at the United States military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Crawford refused to refer the case of Mohammed al-Qahtani for prosecution after concluding that the U.S. military tortured him through interrogation techniques that included sustained isolation, sleep deprivation, nudity and prolonged exposure to cold, leaving him in a "life-threatening condition." "We tortured Mohammed al-Qahtani," Crawford said. "His treatment met the legal definition of torture. And that's why I did not refer the case" for prosecution.
National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT)
The Jesuit Conference is an Endorsing Member of NRCAT and the New York Province of the Society of Jesus is a Participating Member.
NRCAT is a growing coalition of diverse faith traditions that are one in seeking an end to United States involvement in torture and to all forms of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of prisoners. We believe that torture violates the dignity of the human person which is God-given and hence not to be denied or compromised by any human action or inaction. We also believe that torture degrades everyone involved and violates the highest principles that were once the cornerstone of our country.
What Can You Do?
**Educate yourself. Go to www.nrcat.org and take advantage of the resources available there.
**Endorse NRCAT's statement of inquiry: "Torture is a Moral Issue" at www.nrcat.org
**Organize a Viewing within Your Congregation of the 20 minute DVD, "Ending U.S.-Sponsored Torture Forever: A Study for People of Faith." This excellent video seeks to build the moral consensus that torture is always wrong. You can order a copy at www.nrcat.org
**Continue legislative advocacy - advocacy which has known some significant successes. Issues for advocacy are available at the NRCAT website.
United States Should Sign and Ratify the Optional Protocol Against Torture (OPCAT)
The United States signed and ratified the U.N. Convention Against Torture. The U.S. has never signed the Optional Protocol Against Torture (OPCAT). This treaty builds upon the UN Convention Against Torture by requiring each country to develop mechanisms that will help ensure that torture does not occur in any place in which that country holds persons in detention. OPCAT also provides for the United Nations Subcommittee for the Prevention of Torture to monitor the treatment of confined persons in signatory nations. 74 nations have signed OPCAT and 50 have ratified it. It is time for the U.S. to do the same so as to forever repudiate the use of torture. Individuals, congregations and organizations are invited to endorse a statement in support of signing and ratifying OPCAT. Simply go to: www.nrcat.org/opcat. There is also a petition form that can be downloaded and used at church services and meetings. Rallying support for OPCAT would be an easy and important way to commemorate International Human Rights Day on December 10th.
United States Catholic Bishops Conference (USCCB) Issues a Catholic Study Guide on the Issue of Torture
In speaking out against torture, our bishops have declared: "There can be no compromise on the moral imperative to protect the basic human rights of any individual incarcerated for any reason."
To help Catholics understand the moral reasons for opposing torture, the USCCB has issued a Catholic study guide that is an excellent resource for parishes, retreat houses, and our schools. Download a copy today, familiarize yourself with it, and share it with others. The USCCB has worked closely with the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT).
National Jesuit Committee on Investment Responsibility (NJCIR) - Engaging Corporations for the Common Good
The Society of Jesus in the United States has been actively engaged in socially responsible investing, i.e., engaging with corporations to effect changes in corporate policies beneficial to all corporate stakeholders. Read the 2011 NJCIR Annual Report to learn more of how the Society of Jesus in the United States is working with corporations to effect policies that strengthen the corporation while serving the larger needs of society.
Health Care Reform
The National Council of La Raza has produced a concise and easy to read document answering basic questions regarding the health care legislation that was recently passed. Click here.
Although the United States spends $6,714 per capita on health care (more than twice the average of other industrialized nations), the United States ranked 29th lowest in infant mortality rates in 2004, the latest year for which comparisons were issued by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. In 1960, we ranked twelfth lowest in the world. In 2004, we were behind Cuba in our infant mortality rate.
In 2006, 6.9 infants died in the United States for every 1,000 live births. Most European countries - along with Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, New Zealand and Singapore - have lower rates.
Confronting Global Climate Change - The Catholic Response
On Earth Day, April 22, 2009, the Catholic Climate Covenant was launched by the United States Catholic Bishops. The Catholic Climate Covenant brings together our Catholic commitments to care for God’s creation and for vulnerable people here and abroad. They face the worst impacts but contribute the least to global climate change. All of us are encouraged to take the St. Francis Pledge to pray and reflect on our call to respect God’s creation, to learn and to educate others on the causes and moral dimensions of global climate change, to assess how each of us is contributing to global climate change, to act to change our choices and behaviors that contribute to global climate change, and to advocate for Catholic principles and priorities in climate change discussions and decisions, particularly as they impact the poor and vulnerable. Read More Visit the website: www.catholicclimatechange.org
Cause of Dorothy Day - Servant of God - One with the Poor
The Guild of Dorothy Day has been established in order to assist the process of her canonization. Its purpose is to spread the word of Dorothy Day's life, work and sanctity; to identify the growing devotion for Dorothy Day by Catholics and non-Catholics; and to document her ability to intercede for people in need of God's healing mercy and assistance. Learn more...