One of the United States' leading anti-poverty crusaders, who is a regular presence at national political conventions and at the U.S. Capitol, took to a new pulpit this week at the Vatican to make his case for building a "moral movement for a moral economy."
But for the Rev. William Barber II, a Protestant minister and co-chair of the Poor People's Campaign, the storied location of the Vatican's Casina Pio IV, home of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and whose history is traced back to Galileo Galilei, location was not what mattered most.
"I think one of the things the pope understands is it's not so much what is the power of the Vatican, but what is the power of a moral call to mobilize the world and particularly the poor of the world and moral and religious leaders," he told NCR on Oct. 5.
The images of border agents on horseback whipping defenseless Haitian asylum seekers are only the latest horrific example of this country's inhumane mistreatment of fellow human beings seeking a better life for themselves and their families.
The 37 deportation flights returning nearly 4,000 men, women and children to Haiti — where a recent earthquake and additional political instability after the assassination of their president have only compounded the suffering of the poorest country in the hemisphere — ironically came during the church's marking of National Migration Week, we point out in our latest editorial.
"When the sad history of this current wave of anti-immigrant hysteria is written, Americans will not look much better than during previous iterations of similar nativism, from the Know-Nothings to the Chinese Exclusion Act to 'Irish Need Not Apply,' " we write. "We'll admit: We had hoped for better under our nation's second Catholic president."
U.S. Catholic sisters and congregational representatives, decrying border agent abuses and deportation of Haitian asylum seekers, call for immigration reform that will embrace humane policies and practices.
As the number of Haitian arrivals seeking a better life in the U.S. has swelled, Catholic sisters, religious organizations, nonprofits and churches are providing basic services and restoring human dignity.
In a commentary, Valerie Schultz writes about why she, as a Catholic mother, stood on a corner in support of abortion rights. "The short answer is that the so-called 'pro-life' advocates in the United States have turned me pro-choice," she says.
ICYMI: Pope Francis has expressed his personal "shame" following the release of a devastating report into abuse in the Catholic Church in France.
ICYMI: The Vatican tribunal ruled Wednesday that prosecutors had deprived 10 defendants of their rights and ordered prosecutors to turn over key pieces of evidence and redo their investigation for some suspects.