Peace & Justice

This is the blog of the Commission on Peace and Justice for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, New York.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Catholic Conference Announces Legislative Agenda

The New York State Catholic Conference Legislative Agenda for 2012 is available on-line. From the Introduction:
In his encyclical “Caritas in Veritate” (“Charity in Truth”), Pope Benedict XVI reminds us, “To desire the common good and strive towards 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.”

One of the ways we as Bishops attempt to fulfill this requirement is through the work of the New York State Catholic Conference, which exists for the very purpose of pursuing justice by working within the legislative arena. The Conference helps to shape public policies that protect and enhance the dignity of all people, from the very beginning of life until the natural end. Such work must not be left to the Catholic Conference alone; all Catholics have a duty to be engaged in the public square and to put the common good ahead of party politics. Catholic teaching cannot be labeled or dismissed as simply conservative or liberal, Republican or Democrat. In all things, we must ask, “Does this policy enhance the dignity of the poor, the vulnerable, the sick, the elderly, children, the imprisoned, those least among us?” For as our Lord taught us, what we do to these, we do to Him.

While policy issues can often be complex, our guiding principles are not. Thankfully, the Church has outlined seven easy-to-understand principles of Catholic Social Teaching that guide us in the formation of our positions on public policy matters. They are:

Respect for the Life and Dignity of the Human Person
A Call to Family, Community and Participation
Recognition of Human Rights and Responsibilities
Special Concern for the Poor and Vulnerable
The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers
Solidarity With Our Brothers and Sisters
Care for God’s Creation
Read more here.