“To receive in truth the Body and Blood of Christ given up for us, we must recognize Christ in the poorest, his brethren”.
Catechism of the Catholic Church, no 1397
“The Church makes a moral judgment about economic and social matters, when the fundamental rights of the person or the salvation of souls requires it. In the moral order she bears a mission distinct from that of political authorities: the Church is concerned with the temporal aspects of the common good because they are ordered to the sovereign Good, our ultimate end. She strives to inspire right attitudes with respect to earthly goods and in socio-economic relationships.”
— Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2420
To read Standing in Solidarity with All, a statement of the Massachusetts Bishops, click here (pdf), February, 2011.
The traditional law of supply and demand has not yet proved adequate to the task of providing decent housing for all our people. The demand, as we have seen, is present and growing, yet the response is clearly inadequate, especially for low- and moderate-income people. . . . Since decent housing is a human right, its provision involves a public responsibility. The magnitude of our housing crisis requires a massive commitment of resources and energy. US Bishops, The Right to a Decent Home
“It is high time to reawaken the vocation of service and mission in the Christian community, in a growing and heartfelt awareness of the redeeming power of faith and the sacraments.
Too many children continue to die in the streets, while many people remain indifferent”
“My venerable Predecessor, Pope Paul VI, accurately described the scandal of underdevelopment as an outrage against humanity. In this sense, in the Encyclical “Populorum Progressio,” he denounced “the lack of material necessities for those who are without the minimum essential for life, the moral deficiencies of those who are mutilated by selfishness” and “oppressive social structures, whether due to the abuses of ownership or to the abuses of power, to the exploitation of workers or to unjust transactions”
Pope Benedict XVI Message for Lent, 2006, Jan. 31, 2006.
Catholic Social Teaching on Poverty, an Option for the Poor and the Common Good. (pdf),
MCC Testimony on lifting the cap on kids May 2017 (pdf)
Catholic Charities, MA
Bishops Statement/MCC Testimony/Letters
- MCC Letter to Legislators urging additional funding for migrants (pdf).
- MMC Testimony on House Bill 2985 “An act relative to safe driving” which removes the barrier for immigrants to apply for a drivers license – March 2016 (pdf)
- Read the 2013 Comprehensive Immigration Reform Statement here. (pdf)
Just as God never abandons us, so too we must be in covenant with one another. We are all sinners, and our response to sin and failure should not be abandonment and despair, but rather justice, contrition, reparation, and return or re-integration of all into the community.
USCCB 2000 pastoral statement, Responsibility, Rehabilitation, and Restoration: A Catholic Perspective on Crime and Criminal Justice
The Death Penalty
“In Catholic teaching the state has the recourse to impose the death penalty upon criminals convicted of heinous crimes if this ultimate sanction is the only available means to protect society from a grave threat to human life. However, this right should not be exercised when other ways are available to punish criminals and to protect society that are more respectful of human life.”
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
A Culture of Life and the Penalty of Death, November 2005.
See Massachusetts Bishops’ Statement on the Death Penalty, (pdf) April 2015.
Catholic Mobilizing Network to End the Use of the Death Penalty
“It also is important to understand that full religious freedom is a rich reality with broad personal and societal implications. Religious liberty begins with the right to worship according to one’s conscience, but it does not end there. Religious freedom covers a broad range of vital activities, from freedom of worship to freedom of conscience, from the right to establish schools and charities to the right to participate in and seek to influence public affairs.
Religious freedom is inextricably linked to other fundamental human rights, such as freedom of association, freedom of speech, and the legal recognition of voluntary associations. Religious freedom is a right exercised by both individual persons and religious communities and institutions.”—Archbishop Thomas Wenski, in testimony to Congress in 2006.
USCCB Statement on Religious Liberty, see here.
Elections & Voting
In the Catholic Tradition, responsible citizenship is a virtue, and participation in political life is a moral obligation. This obligation is rooted in our baptismal commitment to follow Jesus Christ and to bear Christian witness in all we do. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us, “It is necessary that all participate, each according to his position and role, in promoting the common good. This obligation is inherent in the dignity of the human person. . . . As far as possible citizens should take an active part in public life” (nos. 1913-1915).
Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility from the Catholic Bishops of the United States