Wednesday, November 7, 2007

FYI: Political Responsibility; New Initiative from Center of Concern

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A new Initiative from the Center of Concern

As Christians approaching a crucially important set of national elections, we have a serious responsibility in faith to be authentic Citizen Disciples: involved in the political process, working to turn the country toward greater justice for all, guided in addressing the issues and candidates first of all by the values of Jesus and his vision of the human community in the Reign of God. We believe we can help.

During the important, formative few months ahead, the Catholic community has a great deal to offer to the national political debate:

· a centuries-long living tradition of social vision, principles and values,

  • deep engagement with each and all of the issues facing the American people,
  • strong national and international networks of organizations committed to working for justice for each and every person, and
  • a well-articulated faith vision that supports and invites social engagement with these issues.

To help Christians and Catholics take leadership in the national process of selecting new leadership and setting our national direction into the future, the Center of Concern will offer our analyses of the major issues to you, citizens and disciples, people of faith. We will also share educational tools to help you deepen your own analysis, make your own evaluation of the programs and candidates, and engage your local communities in those same efforts.

The first set of materials with which we are launching this project clarifies the notion of the common good as the context for all the major issues of the campaigns. The policy paper and educational materials argue that each of the issues – from immigration to jobs, from health care to global warming, from poverty to terrorism – is a new and more complicated problem than it was a few years ago precisely because of globalization.

“Merely national solutions to security, health, poverty, employment, migration, the ecology and life itself cannot provide more than short-term fixes,” writes James E. Hug, SJ, Project Coordinator and President of the Center of Concern.

All materials in the Center of Concern initiative will be posted at and, and are available free of charge for individual or group use. Future postings in this Center initiative will be made on the 1st and 15th of each month. Topics will include immigration, international relations, jobs and outsourcing, poverty, Iraq and security, health care, and climate change. Other topics may be developed as the campaigns evolve.

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