Hispanic Bishops Meet With US Legislators

Discuss Catholic Social Teaching

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WASHINGTON, D.C., SEPT. 17, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Today in Washington, D.C., a group of Hispanic bishops met with Democrat and Republican lawmakers to talk about Catholic social teaching and other current issues.

A press release from the U.S. bishops’ conference reported that the delegation, led by Archbishop José Gomez of San Antonio, Texas, met with legislators to talk about health care and immigration, just immigration reform, housing and poverty, and education.

The prelate stated, «The bishops are keenly aware of the substantial contributions Hispanic communities make to the prosperity and well-being of the United States, yet those same communities suffer under the weight of a broken immigration policy, as well as lack of access to quality education, adequate medical care and economic opportunities.»

Archbishop Gomez noted that the meeting was called to «re-affirm the principles of Catholic social teaching about the dignity of all human beings from conception to natural death and the centrality of the common good.»

He continued, «We offered these principles grounded in social ethics and our religious heritage as constructive guidelines for achieving a just and equitable resolution of the public policy debates around these key issues.»

«We join with other Hispanic leaders and all people of good will in raising our voices to affirm as clearly as we can the basic principles of social justice for all,» the prelate said.

The delegation also included: Bishop Ricardo Ramirez of Las Cruces, New Mexico, Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento, California, Bishop James Tamayo of Laredo, Texas, Bishop Carlos Sevilla of Yakima, Washington, and Auxiliary Bishop Edgar Da Cunha of Newark, New Jersey.

The communiqué noted that the bishops spoke to the legislators in «favor of health care reform that is truly universal and respects the life and dignity of all, including the poor and legal immigrants.»

They also underlined the need for just immigration reform, and outlined several key elements that it should include.

The prelates expressed support for «a national housing policy that includes preservation and production of quality housing for low income families, the elderly and other vulnerable people.»

They also called for programs to help students and teachers, to have more resources and to receive more assistance in the field of education.

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