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Posted April 16, 2008
By Dennis Sadowski - Catholic News Service
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The sounds of guitars, tambourines and drums filled Pennsylvania Avenue just west of the White House early April 16 as thousands of people gathered to welcome Pope Benedict XVI to America.
Led by an estimated 5,000 members of the Neocatechumenal Way from across the country, Catholic pilgrims gathered at sunrise at Lafayette Park before law enforcement officers cleared the square across from the White House for security reasons.
Posted April 15, 2008
On Friday April 18th, as Pope Benedict XVI addresses the U.N. on the importance of seeking peace and the global common good, Republican operatives will be hosting President Bush and Sen. McCain in Washington at the National "Catholic" Prayer Breakfast. The NCPB pretends to be authentically Catholic, but its true purpose is to foster the false impression that the Church supports the policies of President Bush and the Republican Party.
Our Church and our pope have consistently opposed the Iraq War and the administration's use of certain forms of torture. But the leaders of the prayer breakfast would prefer to downplay Pope Benedict's message of peace in favor of their own blatantly partisan agenda.
How blatant is the Prayer Breakfast's partisanship? Of the NCBP's five board members, three serve on the national Catholics for McCain committee and McCain's Virgina Family Issues Committee, one co-chairs the Republican Party's Catholic outreach operation, and one other has ties to the Republican-affiliated Family Research Council.
The White House has used President Bush's prayer breakfast appearances in 2005, 2006, and 2007 to shape media coverage portraying the president as friendly to the Catholic moral worldview. It's up to us to make sure that this misuse of our faith doesn't happen again.
For more information on the National "Catholic" Prayer Breakfast, see our fact sheet at: www.catholics-united.org/ncpb.
Posted April 15, 2008
By Michelle Boorstein - The Washington Post
ROME, April 14 -- In an era saturated entertainment and politics, a key question looms as Pope Benedict XVI leaves here Tuesday for Washington: Is his style too dense to get Americans' attention?
Certainly, tens of thousands of U.S. Catholics have been jockeying for tickets to his Masses in Washington and New York; about 5,000 members of the media will cover him; and Catholics across the spectrum are touting points on which he agrees them. For traditionalists, that means Catholicism's superiority and the revival of centuries-old prayer, music and clerical garments in church. For those to the left, it means his comments against the Iraq war, global warming and nuclear arms.
Posted April 14, 2008
National Catholic Prayer Breakfast - www.catholicprayerbreakfast.com
The National "Catholic" Prayer Breakfast is sponsored by an independent 501(c)(3) of the same name comprised of five Republican political operatives. These partisan activists use the event to foster the false notion that the Catholic Church supports the policies of the Bush Administration and the Republican Party. This year's event, at which President Bush is scheduled to speak, is expected to serve as a "jumping off" point for John McCain's Catholic outreach activities. Previous speeches by President Bush have often been featured in the past on the RNC Catholic outreach website.
The event is expanding year by year. In 2007, it added a full day of conservative policy discussions. Obvious omissions to the agenda include: the war in Iraq, Comprehensive Immigration Reform, poverty, and health care – all critical issues to the Catholic Church.
Posted April 10, 2008
By The Washington Times
NEW YORK - Organizers of Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the United States next week have taken great pains to keep him out of presidential politics.
But the Roman Catholic teaching he's expected to emphasize — on abortion, human rights and other issues — has policy consequences that partisans will inevitably spin for their own ends.
Posted April 09, 2008
Catholics United executive director Chris Korzen issued the following statement today welcoming Pope Benedict XVI's message “to Catholics and People of the United States of America on the Occasion of the Upcoming Apostolic Journey," released April 8, 2008:
"At a time when our country is in great need of healing and unity, Catholics United welcomes Pope Benedict's message of hope. We believe this message will find strong resonance Americans of all political stripes and faith traditions in this election year, Americans who desperately hunger for a 'post-partisan' public debate that moves our nation beyond division and fear and reclaims a sense of profound concern for the common good."
"In putting forth the Gospel's timeless call to love one another, Pope Benedict's message offers a powerfully relevant solution to the core problems of our day: partisanship, materialism, and the culture of going it alone. We sincerely hope our leaders will take this message to heart, and help Americans work together to build a nation and a world in which all human beings can reach their full and true potential."
View the full text of Pope Benedict's message: http://www.uspapalvisit.org/stories/vmessage.htm
Posted April 03, 2008
This July, Catholic social justice activists and leaders will gather in Philadelphia for an historic meeting, the "Convention for the Common Good." From July 11-13, some 600 representatives of organizations like ours will begin charting a course for the future of our movement, and planning efforts to raise up the important moral issues of our day in the coming elections - issues like war, poverty, and the climate crisis. The convention will culminate the ratification of a "Platform for the Common Good," which we will take to both the Republican and Democratic parties.
We're asking our members to represent Catholics United as delegates to the convention.
Catholics United delegates will join activists from across the country in helping to set our national agenda for the common good. They'll also have the opportunity to represent the concerns of Catholics in your community at this historic event, and to be members of Catholics United's "Platform for the Common Good" leadership committee.
For more information on the Convention for the Common Good, visit www.commongoodconvention.org.
Posted March 26, 2008
Pro-Life Republican Douglas Kmiec Cites Iraq War, Need for Unity
In a move that sent shockwaves through the pro-life community, Professor Doug Kmiec, a well-known Catholic legal scholar and anti-abortion advocate, broke the Bush administration and U.S. Sen. John McCain this week by endorsing Sen. Barack Obama for President. In an editorial on Slate.com, Kmiec pointed to the War in Iraq and Obama’s ability to “move the nation beyond its religious and racial divides” as reasons for the endorsement.
“Kmiec’s endorsement reflects a fundamental shift that is occurringin the conservative movement and among Catholics in particular,” said Chris Korzen, executive director of Catholics United and co-author of the forthcoming book A Nation for All: How the Catholic Vision of the Common Good Can Save America from the Politics of Division. “Americans of all political persuasions are tired of the scorched-earth policies of the Bush Administration, and are desperate for leaders who can unite our country behind a sense of greater purpose.”
Posted March 11, 2008
As President Bush defended his foreign policies to religious broadcasters today, Catholics United renewed its call for a new direction in Iraq. To date, nearly 20,000 Catholics have signed a “Catholics for an End to the War in Iraq” petition (www.catholicsforanend.org) calling for “an immediate and responsible end to the Iraq War.”
The president’s address – given at the Convention of Religious Broadcasters in Nashville – is billed as the first in a series of speeches designed to shore up flagging public support for the war. But despite continued attempts to portray the conflict as a moral imperative, faith communities, including the Catholic Church and the president’s own United Methodist Church, have maintained a consistent opposition to Bush’s questionable war.
Prior to the invasion of Iraq, both Pope John Paul II and the U.S. Catholic Bishops voiced what the bishops referred to as “Grave moral concerns about military intervention in Iraq and the unpredictable and uncontrollable negative consequences of invasion and occupation.” The United Methodists expressed concerns that the war was undertaken “without any justification according to the teachings of Christ.”
Catholics United Welcomes McCain’s Comments on Anti-Catholicism, Continues to Call for Rejection of Hagee Endorsement
Posted March 07, 2008
On Friday, March 7, 2008, Senator John McCain responded to Catholics United and a growing chorus of concerned Americans by renouncing controversial televangelist John Hagee’s anti-Catholic comments. Catholics United is now asking Senator McCain to finish the job and reject this endorsement.
John Hagee is a prominent Texas pastor who has referred to the Catholic Church as "the Great Whore," calling it a "false cult system" and "the apostate church." Hagee has also compared women to terrorists and dogs, and made light of slavery. In 2006, he argued that Hurricane Katrina was an act of retribution from God for a "homosexual parade" in New Orleans. Pastor Hagee also advocates immediate war Iran and an end to the peace process in the Middle East.
“We applaud Senator McCain for clearly repudiating Hagee’s anti-Catholic sentiments. But the fact is that the senator still remains ‘proud’ to receive this endorsement,” said Chris Korzen, executive director of Catholics United. “By publicly accepting and celebrating this endorsement, McCain is sending a signal that he tolerates these extremist positions. Hagee has offended many groups besides Catholics. The best way for him to move forward is by simply rejecting his endorsement.”
In his comments to the press on Friday, McCain said that he had been hearing from many Catholics who find Hagee’s comments offensive. This week more than 1,000 Catholics United members emailed Senator McCain asking him to stand for his convictions and reject this endorsement.
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