New Congress means we have to work harder for social justice

It has taken me some days to recover from the recent midterm elections. I had hoped that the Democrats could hold the House of Representatives as well as the Senate. This was not the case in the House.

Everyone can do Monday morning quarterbacking about why the Democrats did so poorly. My regret is that social justice issues, so important to many Catholics -- as they should be to all Catholics -- will now be put aside or even rolled back.

For example, the attempt to overthrow the Obama health insurance reform, to me, is an anti-social justice issue. How can anyone, especially Catholics, not support the effort to get some 40 million Americans -- many of them also Catholics -- needed health insurance?

With respect to job creation, it is clear that the private sector is not doing enough to produce jobs. If anything, many employers are selfishly laying off employees. As a result, we need more of a federal stimulus to create jobs.

The right to work is a social justice issue, but I’m afraid that nothing will be done along these lines with Republicans, many of them Catholics, who seemed to be unconcerned about the unemployed.

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I’m further troubled that efforts to provide a path to legalization to the thousands of undocumented immigrants in the country will also be delayed.

As Catholics, we should be concerned about the plight and suffering of many of these immigrants whose only fault is that they need to cross the border to care for their families. Many if not most of these Mexican immigrants are Catholics and we, as Catholics, should reach out to them. Immigration reform is a social justice issue.

I can go on, but my point is that much of the Democratic agenda supports social justice issues while the Republican agenda does not. As Catholics, our faith is linked to social justice -- as the teachings of Jesus clearly indicate -- and hence we should all be concerned about the results of the elections.

We need to work to ensure that social justice not be neglected in the next congress.


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