Pope Francis Asks Trump to Show Concern for Poor, Outcasts, Freedom, and Human Dignity

Pope Francis has sent the following message to Donald Trump:

Upon your inauguration as the forty-fifth President of the United States of America, I offer you my cordial good wishes and the assurance of my prayers that Almighty God will grant you wisdom and strength in the exercise of your high office.  At a time when our human family is beset by grave humanitarian crises demanding far-sighted and united political responses, I pray that your decisions will be guided by the rich spiritual and ethical values that have shaped the history of the American people and your nation’s commitment to the advancement of human dignity and freedom worldwide.  Under your leadership, may America’s stature continue to be measured above all by its concern for the poor, the outcast and those in need who, like Lazarus, stand before our door.  With these sentiments, I ask the Lord to grant you and your family, and all the beloved American people, his blessings of peace, concord and every material and spiritual prosperity.

Is There Room for Pro-Life Feminists at the Women’s March on Washington?

Emma Green reports:

Pro-life women are headed to D.C. Yes, they’ll turn out for the annual March for Life, which is coming up on January 27. But one week earlier, as many as a few hundred pro-lifers are planning to attend the Women’s March on Washington, which has been billed as feminist counterprogramming to the inauguration….

Many pro-life women felt just as outraged as pro-choice women about Donald Trump’s conduct and comments, including the revelation that he once bragged about groping women without their permission. For their part, the organizers say pro-lifers will be welcome to march on January 21st. A pro-life group based in Texas, New Wave Feminists, was granted partnership status on Friday. “Intersectional feminism is the future of feminism and of this movement,” said Bob Bland, one of the event’s co-chairs. “We must not just talk about feminism as one issue, like access to reproductive care.”


On Monday afternoon, after the publication of this article, the Women’s March organizers removed the New Wave Feminists from their website and list of partners. “The Women’s March’s platform is pro-choice and that has been our stance from day one,” the organizers said in a statement. “The anti-choice organization in question is not a partner of the Women’s March on Washington. We apologize for this error.”

Some pro-life feminists and progressives are going anyway. Aimee Murphy of Life Matters Journal, who we have interviewed here at Millennial, writes:

Note to the women’s movement: It is possible to be both pro-life and a feminist. In fact, it is possible to be pro-life and a feminist and opposed to President-elect Donald Trump. It’s too bad the organizers of the Women’s March on Washington refuse to accept this fact. This week march organizers indicated that women like me are not welcome in their ranks….

Like most feminists, we pro-life feminists at Life Matters Journal were troubled by Trump’s election. His hateful rhetoric, xenophobic policies and misogynistic behavior indicate a terrifying disregard for the inherent dignity of human beings — women especially. Our foundational philosophy is the intrinsic value of humanity, regardless of gender, circumstance, age, ability, sexuality, race, religion. We wanted to make clear that Trump doesn’t speak for us: He is not and should not be the face of the pro-life movement….

But we will go. We will march. Planned Parenthood does not own women’s rights. The first-wave feminists understood that abortion is killing and that it is a tool of the patriarchy. We stand by the example of Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Alice Paul and many others who upheld the dignity of pre-born children and fought discrimination against women.

We will fight against the modern popular feminist paradigm that says that to support women’s rights, we must support the violent act that is abortion. We will fight against the culture that understands pregnancy as a disease condition and sees children not for their inherent dignity, but for how wanted and able they are. We will stand up against misogyny, rape culture, sexual assault, sexism, racism, ageism, ableism and all discrimination. And yes, because of that, we will stand up against abortion.

Another Washington Post op-ed also highlights the disconnect between the march’s organizers and first-wave feminists:

Those of us at the Susan B Anthony Birthplace Museum in Adams, Mass., are saddened that the museum honoring this American iconic heroine and tireless worker for women’s rights will not be among the organizations marching in Washington, D.C., on Saturday. Some would, perhaps, think that Anthony family descendants and board members of the great suffragist birthplace would be leading the Women’s March, especially as the centennial marking the Susan B. Anthony Amendment for women’s suffrage has begun in some states. But they would be wrong: Anthony would never have joined a march in favor of abortion access.

The unifying theme of Susan Brownell Anthony’s life was to speak up for those without a voice. Anthony fought for temperance, the abolition of slavery and especially the enfranchisement of women. She also spoke up for the voiceless child in utero, opposing Restellism, the term that Anthony’s newspaper and others at that time used for abortion. It’s easy to chalk up Anthony’s (and other early feminists’) opposition to abortion as a relic of their day and age. But these women were progressive and independent; they did not oppose abortion because they were conditioned to, but because they believed every human life has inherent and equal value, no matter their age, skin color or sex….

Many women and women’s groups who will march next week have good reason to do so, and they should be respected. However, we ask that abortion rights not be misappropriated to Anthony and the critical work of the suffrage movement. Anthony and many of her fellow suffragists were anti-abortion feminists, the contemporary existence of which even Hillary Clinton has acknowledged. If the Women’s March truly wants to honor the suffragist legacy, they will acknowledge their existence, too.

You can read more about pro-life feminism here and watch America Media’s video on millennial pro-life women, which includes pro-life feminists, here.

Watch: Great Interview with New CEO of Catholic Relief Services

On January 1, Sean Callahan became the new president and CEO of Catholic Relief Services. Kim Lawton of Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly traveled to Haiti with Callahan last November in the wake of Hurricane Matthew and spoke with Callahan about his humanitarian mission, his concerns about the anti-refugee climate in America, and what he learned working with Mother Teresa in India:

USCCB to GOP Leaders: Don’t Repeal Obamacare Without Replacement, Pursue Universal Coverage

Bishop Frank Dewane, chairman of the USCCB committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development sent a letter to GOP Congressional leadership:

A repeal of key provisions of the Affordable Care Act ought not be undertaken without the concurrent passage of a replacement plan that ensures access to adequate healthcare for the millions of people who now rely upon it for their well being. Particularly for those who would otherwise be required to use limited resources to meet basic needs such as food and shelter rather than seek medical care, the introduction of great uncertainty at this time would prove particularly devastating.
We remain committed to the ideals of universal and affordable health care, and to the pursuit of those ideals in a manner that includes protections for human life, conscience and immigrants. We urge you to approach the important debates in the days ahead seeking also to honor these principles for the good of all.

What the Politics of Abortion Will Look Like in 2017

Millennial writer Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig has a new column at America:

It appears likely that pro-life activists will spend the next few years waging a legal war against abortion, while pro-choice activists mount a renewed culture war in an attempt to undercut the energy behind those efforts. With few pro-life voices or think tanks producing arguments in favor of their position in mainstream culture, it is difficult to imagine how pro-lifers will push back against the abortion destigmatization effort. Likewise, it is not clear what success, if any, pro-choice advocates will have in the legal arena.

You can read the full article here.

Pope Francis: Protect and Defend Migrant Children

via Vatican Radio:

“It is necessary to take every possible measure to ensure protection and defense to migrant children,” Pope Francis said, “as well as their integration,” into host societies. “These, our brothers and sisters, especially if unaccompanied, are exposed to many dangers,” the Pope said – dangers that include being taken and sold into slavery – often sexual slavery.

January 15th is the 103rd iteration of the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, which this year is focused particularly on the plight of the youngest migrants under the theme: Child Migrants, the Vulnerable and the Voiceless.


Cardinal Cupich: It’s Immigrants Who Have Made America Great

Cardinal Blase Cupich has a new article at the Chicago Tribune:

Like all Americans, DACA enrollees want to contribute to our society. They strive as much as any American to be teachers, doctors, lawyers, firefighters, police officers, architects, computer scientists, engineers, members of the armed forces — and, yes, elected officials. But most of all they want to be Americans, officially. They want to help to build up the common good of the country they know, the nation they call home. Why wouldn’t we want them to join our ranks as citizens? Why wouldn’t we want them to add their unique contributions to our great nation, a nation of immigrants, one that has always drawn strength from its diversity? These are the very people who have made America great.

With the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, I ask Catholics and all Americans to support the bipartisan Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy Act, introduced by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., original sponsor of the DREAM Act, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., legislation that would preserve the basic elements of the DACA program. This is but a temporary measure to address a significant gap in our broken immigration system. That is why I also urge Congress to pass the DREAM Act in order to protect DACA enrollees permanently, so that they can become U.S. citizens.

To remove DACA protections would put hundreds of thousands of young people at risk of deportation, cutting short their dreams of a better future. But that won’t be the only consequence of forcing these aspiring Americans out. Deport them, and we deport their potential to make our nation stronger. Deport them, and we deport our future builders of bridges, teachers of children, savers of lives. Deport them, and we deport our fundamental values as Americans.