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JPR News

November 23, 2020

Justice, Peace and Reconciliation Office
Priests of the Sacred Heart, US Province
"Jesus, Immigrant and Worker" (the Catholic Worker)
In this Issue:

  Post-Election Reflections
  Reconciliation: What does that mean now?
  Bob Bossie,
SCJ, "Everyone Loves the Sound of a Train from Far Away"
  Post-Election Propects for Immigration Reform
  Two Short Videos and an SGI Webinar on the Climate Crisis
  Canada Tries Addressing Homeless by Giving the Homeless Cash


Coming Soon: Special Fratelli Tutti Issue
Time to Re-think Abortion as a "Pre-eminent" Issue?

A Personal Post-Election Reflection

Mark Peters, JPR Director 

The November election saw massive turnout for both major party candidates, and far fewer than usual for 3rd party candidates. In many ways, it felt less like a normal election between a Democrat and a Republican and more like a referendum on Donald J. Trump. I'll leave it to others to write about how President Trump is handling his defeat at the polls and his seemingly inevitable loss in the Electoral College, What I find most interesting and important as a Catholic is that overall we were split almost right down the middle in the final result.

However, the above story reports that Catholic voters, who make up 22% of the electorate, were sharply divided by race and ethnicity. White Catholics  backed Trump 57% - 42% over Biden (in 2016, Trump won 64% of white Catholics and Clinton won 31%).  But Hispanic Catholics backed Biden over Trump by 67% to 32%. "The election results show that the Catholic Church is as divided as our nation, but the real divide is race and ethnicity, not theology," said David Gibson, director of Fordham University's Center on Religion and Culture.

How could Catholics be so divided on whether Pres. Trump deserved a second term? 

Read the rest of the reflection here...

 
"Servants of Reconciliation"

How Does the "R" in JPR Relate to Our Current Situation?
America: Joe Biden said now is the time to heal. But what if Americans don’t want reconciliation?
After another divisive election, conciliation will be slow, difficult work, writes Bill McCormick, S.J. And some Catholic thinkers are wondering if the price for unity is too high.

America: Six Catholic principles to help the United States move forward after the election
After the election, it has become clear that the United States has fractured along partisan lines. Here are six Catholic principles that the U.S. could benefit from right now. [N.B. The JPR Commission, however, objects to Reese's seeming push for a new cold war with China and Russia instead of dialogue and international cooperation to address the climate crisis, global development and human rights.]

Joan Chittister, OSB: When people stop listening: Keep it up!
Sister Joan's take on how President Biden must work for "political reconciliation."
 
What's your take? Send us your thoughts.
We'll report on them (anonymously if you prefer) in our next issue.
OR SO IT SEEMS TO ME – An occasional reflection by Bob Bossie, SCJ

“EVERYONE LOVES THE SOUND OF A TRAIN IN THE DISTANCE”
 
I was thinking about the impact Jean Donovan had on my life. She was one of the four church women raped and murdered on Dec. 2, 1980 in El Salvador by one of the US supported, military death-squads. Their crime? They were ministering to the internal refugees of that country.

Jean wrote a friend shortly before she was assassinated: “The Peace Corps left today and my heart sank low. The danger is extreme and they were right to leave. ... Now I must assess my own position, because I am not up for suicide. Several times I have decided to leave El Salvador. I almost could, except for the children, the poor, bruised victims of this insanity. Who would care for them? Whose heart could be so staunch as to favor the reasonable thing in a sea of their tears and loneliness? Not mine, dear friend, not mine."

I was thinking how it’s relatively easy for me to identify with her commitment to the poor – in the distance, a detached kind of love.
Paul Simon sang it this way: “Everyone loves the sound of a train in the distance."

Read the
full reflection...
Immigration Reform
The Hill: Immigration talk revived among GOP senators
President-elect Biden's win is reviving talk in Congress about immigration reform. Some Republican senators see immigration as an area of possible compromise while others remain strongly opposed. Amnesty for 11 million undocumented immigrants remains a key issue.

Texas Tribune: Can Biden reverse Trump's immigration crackdown?
Biden can unwind many Trump policies the same way they were created, via executive order, but bigger immigration reforms will depend on how much Congress is willing to take on, experts say.

NCR: Against a Catholic Backdrop, Biden pledges to raise refugee admissions to 125,000
President-elect Biden pledged — at a virtual ceremony celebrating the 40th anniversary of Jesuit Relief Services — that he will raise refugee admissions to 125,000, thus reversing the steep cuts made by President Trump. Biden said he will restore America's role in defending the rights of refugees.

Courthouse News: Court asked to consider asylum seekers' right to counsel
A federal court is considering whether asylum seekers can have lawyers present prior to and during interviews that determine if they should be allowed to stay in the United States or returned to Mexico. The federal government is asking the court to undo a lower court decision allowing the lawyers to be present.
 
Climate Crisis

Pope Francis spoke of the moral imperative to address climate change, to take urgent action to protect our common home and each other in a recent TED TalkHe laid out three paths of action: promoting education about the environment, assuring drinking water and an adequate food supply through sustainable agriculture and promoting the transformation from fossil fuels to clean energy sources.
How do you talk to someone who doesn't believe in climate change? Not by rehashing the same data and facts we've been discussing for years, says climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe. In this inspiring, pragmatic talk, Hayhoe shows how the key to having a real discussion is to connect over shared values like family, community and religion -- and to prompt people to realize that they already care about a changing climate. "We can't give in to despair," she says. "We have to go out and look for the hope we need to inspire us to act -- and that hope begins with a conversation, today."
On Monday, November 9th, the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank recognized climate as a risk. Investors of all types can no longer afford to be on auto-pilot concerning investments in fossil fuels. This webinar explores two options: active engagement or divestment. Rob Berridge and Morgan LaManna of Ceres talk about the recommendations of the CA 100+ and the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) for enhancing engagement with companies, and Fr. Peter Bisson, S.J., former provincial of the Canadian Jesuit province, expains how his province became the first to divest from fossil fuels shortly after Laudato Si’. View the video here.
Economic & Worker Justice
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