Catholic News Service Press Items
They “turned over” the role as long-term fasters to seven others: the Rev. Jim Wallis of Sojourners; Philip Agnew and Ciara Taylor of Dream Defenders; the Rev. Eun-sang Lee, a board member of NAKASEC and pastor of First United Methodist Church in Salt Lake City; Stephan Bauman, president and CEO of World Relief; the Rev. Gabriel Salguero, president of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition; and Rep. Joe Kennedy, D-Mass., the grandson of Robert F. Kennedy who was elected a year ago to his first term in Congress.
The Rev. Jim Wallis, president of Sojourners, said the act of fasting is “neither a tactic nor a symbol.” “This is not a political issue, it’s a moral issue,” he said. “(It is) a fast against political dysfunction that keeps our country from moving forward.”
WASHINGTON Religious leaders welcomed the congressional deal of Wednesday that reopened the federal government after a 16-day shutdown, but some cast wary glances at the unfinished business of Congress as well as the circumstances that brought about the shutdown in the first place. "The shutdown has had a widespread impact on many people, especially the poor, who suffered for lack of basic services during the period," said a statement Thursday by Bishop Stephen Blaire of Stockton, Calif., chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development.
Circle of Protection members were reading -- even during a steady rain that descended on Washington in the days after the "Faithful Filibuster" began -- from the American Bible Society's "Poverty & Justice Bible" with 2,000 orange-marked passages that make reference to the poor.
Others included: the Rev. Jim Wallis, director of Sojourners; Franciscan Sr. Margaret Carney, president of St. Bonaventure University and chair of the board of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities; faculty members of two dozen universities both Catholic and of other denominations; Timothy Collins, retired director of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development; and Francis X. Doyle, retired associate general secretary of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The Rev. Jim Wallis, president and CEO of Sojourners, said the principles of the Senate bill "are drawn from the heart of the Gospel welcoming 'the stranger' as Jesus commands, protecting families as Christians must do, respecting the rule of law as Christians are biblically asked to do, and fixing and healing a broken immigration system that has shattered the lives of 11 million people, whom the Bible tells us to defend and serve."
Writing on the Sojourners blog March 12, Shank said the Catholic Church "is an unbroken link to the first-century Roman church for all Christians, no matter our denomination. ... No matter if we are Eastern or Western Christians, no matter how Protestant or Anabaptist some of us are, the church of Rome is still in some way our mother church."
Some of the other speakers at the press conference included Vincent DeMarco of Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence; Sayyid Syeed of the Islamic Society of North America; Jim Wallis, president and CEO of Sojourners; and Rt. Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, D.C.
At a time when workers continue to struggle for decent wages and rights, panelists at a conference marking the 120th anniversary of the encyclical "Rerum Novarum" made clear that the letter on labor and the rights of workers holds important contemporary lessons.
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Religious leaders, including two prominent Catholic bishops, challenged lawmakers to avoid cutting federal spending on anti-poverty programs that help the poorest and most vulnerable people during the country's mounting budget crisis.