June 1, 2012
Two important moments in the world of Social Justice:
The first is that we helped collect enough signatures to get an initiative on the November California ballot that would get rid of the death penalty from our state. There are legitimate ways of reaching for justice, but certainly killing is not one of them.
Our Church is very clear that the death penalty can only be used if there is absolutely no other way of protecting the rights of others, but it clearly believes that such is no longer the case.
The second important moment is the Interfaith Summit Meeting put on by the Bishop John Steinbock Homeless Advocacy Committee on May 10, at Fresno’s St. Paul Newman Center. It was an attempt to reach out to all of the religious communities in our area, and I believe that we accomplished that, for over 120 attended the Summit meeting — Protestant ministers of all denominations, an Imam, a Rabbi in addition to the priests and representatives of various Catholic parishes.
The sense of the group is that we must have a second meeting in about six weeks. And this is a very positive outcome. But there is very much to do to finally help the homeless find solutions to their problems.
Rev. James Rude, S.J.
Social Justice Director