Speak out for those who cannot speak, defend the rights of the poor and needy.
As people of faith and conscience, we are to remind our leaders of their responsibilities to us, their constituents, and to offer them constructive alternatives that comport with our Catholic Social Teachings. Our teachings offer clear moral guidelines for setting local and national priorities. They proclaim that people in poverty or suffering have a compelling moral claim upon each of us as their brothers and sisters. We must strive to bring about public policies that benefit the poor and vulnerable and preserve the dignity of all. This is not difficult to do and does not require a large amount of time to achieve on our part. We only need to recognize that we as Catholics have a social mission to act, speak, and advocate on behalf of those marginalized and without an adequate voice in our society. Indeed, as believers, we are called to treat all people – especially those who are suffering – with respect, compassion, and justice. (A Place at the Table. U.S.C.C.B. 2002)
DOES ADVOCACY WORK?
Recent research by the Congressional Management Foundation confirms that advocacy does make a difference. Legislative staffs reported that if a legislator had not reached a firm decision on an issue, individualized letters would have “a lot” of influence. (www.cmfweb.org)
PRAY & LEARN:
Of course, in all of our work educating ourselves about issues and legislation, advocating for those who suffer, who have an inadequate voice being heard in our communities and our nation — we need to continually grow in our knowledge of Catholic Social Teaching and in our knowledge of those issues and realities that our Church and CST direct us towards. We continually need to pray and reflect on all these things, individually and as a Church, that we may seek and follow our Church’s guidance and Christ’s wisdom for our actions.