NETWORK looks with particular concern on areas of our nation that have been devastated by recent ecological disasters – both natural and human-created.
In recent years, the Gulf Coast has been deeply affected by hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the more recent Deepwater Horizon oil spill, perhaps the worst in our nation’s history. The livelihoods of thousands of individuals and families living on the Gulf Coast have been hurt and remain at serious risk. As Catholics, we are called to care for those who have been affected by these disasters and create opportunities that restore their communities and foster economic growth.
With particular concern for the dignity of those who are most vulnerable, NETWORK calls for a comprehensive response addressing both the hurricane and oil disasters. Immediate needs of the vulnerable must be met. NETWORK also advocates for expansive protection and restoration of the Gulf Coast, ensuring the well-being of those in the region and safeguarding the environment.
“Human lives have been destroyed and human dignity has been assaulted. At times respect for life and dignity was lost in the midst of this disaster [Hurricane Katrina]. Our faith and what we have seen call us to insist that every aspect of recovery, every plan for rebuilding should be measured by how it protects human life and how it threatens or enhance the dignity of all those touched by this catastrophe, especially the weakest and most vulnerable.” –U.S. Bishops, Hurricane Katrina: Reaching Out, Renewal and Recovery in Faith and Solidarity