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Catholic Social Justice Lobby Thanks Pope Benedict XVI for His Strong Statement About Economic Justice

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 9, 2009

CONTACT: Stephanie Niedringhaus, 202-347-9797 x224, sniedringhaus@networklobby.org

Washington DC: NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, welcomes the pope’s new encyclical, Caritas in Veritate, which emphasizes the importance of many of NETWORK’s priority issues, including our work for effective ways to address poverty and hunger, justice for immigrants, ecological justice, fair trade, and development. We deeply appreciate the pope’s statement about these critical issues, along with his view that “justice is inseparable from charity and intrinsic to it” and “[t]o desire the common good and strive towards it is a requirement of justice and charity.”

According to NETWORK’s Executive Director, Sister Simone Campbell, “Pope Benedict’s call is a challenge to those of us in the first world to put love at the center of our work for the common good. His sophisticated economic analysis challenges us to understand that in our globalized world we truly experience our oneness as the human family. This family relationship brings rights and duties. We in the United States need to be more mindful of our duties to end the great economic disparities and respond in love to the needs of those around us. This is an ecological concern, a humanitarian concern, and a moral concern.”

Among the encyclical’s major points are these:

“The dignity of the individual and the demands of justice require, particularly today, that economic choices do not cause disparities in wealth to increase in an excessive and morally unacceptable manner, and that we continue to prioritize the goal of access to steady employment for everyone.”

Regarding globalization: “It is necessary to correct the malfunctions, some of them serious, that cause new divisions between peoples and within peoples, and also to ensure that the redistributions of wealth does not come about through the redistribution or increase of poverty”.

 “The environment is God’s gift to everyone, and in our use of it we have a responsibility towards the poor, towards future generations and towards humanity as a whole… [T]he protection of the environment, of resources and of the climate obliges all international leaders to act jointly and to show a readiness to work in good faith, respecting the law and promoting solidarity with the weakest regions of the planet.”

“[M}ore economically developed nations should do all they can to allocate larger portions of their gross domestic product to development aid…”

Noting that “every economic decision has a moral consequence,” Pope Benedict has given us a valuable new tool to help us evaluate the justice of current economic structures. In accordance with our faith commitment to justice, NETWORK will continue to press our elected officials to focus on economic justice, peacemaking, immigration reform, healthcare access and ecological justice.

NETWORK—a Catholic leader in the global movement for justice and peace—educates, organizes and lobbies for economic and social transformation. Founded in 1971 by 47 Catholic sisters, NETWORK is supported by thousands of groups and individuals committed to working for social and economic justice. For more information, see www.networklobby.org.

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