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Posted October 4, 2005

A New Movement Afoot

The Catholic Alliance for the Common Good

Taken from the cover page that explains its purpose

“We renew our call for a new kind of politics – focused on moral principles not on the latest polls, on the needs of the poor and vulnerable not the contributions of the rich and powerful, and on the pursuit of the common good not the demands of special interests.” U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Faithful Citizenship – 2004

Executive Summary:

At a moment when American moderates and progressives are seeking to articulate a compelling moral vision, the Catholic social tradition, with its abiding commitment to human dignity and to the common good, is uniquely situated to enrich American public discourse. The Church calls its faithful to active political engagement in the service of the least among us. That call – to put community before self, principle before profit, and the public interest before political expediency – resonates deeply with most Catholics and, indeed, with most Americans.

The Catholic Alliance for the Common Good embraces the entirety of Catholic social teaching and will seek to transform the American public landscape in the service of human dignity, justice and the common good. Long overshallowed by and under siege from the Catholic right, a movement of Catholics dedicated to the common good has begun to coalesce. With a unified and strong voice, this movement can be a major force in American public life. This deeply faithful vision will serve to reclaim the Catholic center in service of the common good and inspire all Americans to reject the politics of division and greed.

The Catholic Alliance will act as a servant to this Catholic movement. It aims to:

- Support and coordinate Catholic groups dedicated to the common good and build bridges to similarly inspiried evangelical, mainline, and interfaith efforts;

- Build a network of Catholic Alliance members and entities at the state and grassroots levels;

- Offer strategic and message guidance on the full range of the Catholic social tradition to Catholic organizations and Catholics in public life; and

- Promote progressive and moderate Catholic voices in the mainstream and religious press.

The Alliance will be determined in its defense of Catholic social teaching in the Church and the public square, and dedicated in its service to the Catholic and progressive communities.

This is a unique moment in our country with respect to Catholic values and Catholic participation in American public life. There is a distinct need to introduce the full breadth of Catholic social teaching into the public square, and a clear window of opportunity for doing so. Indeed, the degree to which Catholics seize this opportunity and embrace the call to promote the common good will inform the direction and tenor of American public life for decades to come.

Steering Committee Members
Rev. Charlie Currie, S.J.
Sr. Catherine Pinkerton
Ambassador Elizabeth Frawley Bagley
Professor David O’Brien
Melanne Verveer