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Diocesan Response to Letter in N&O

06/10/13

The June 9, 2013, edition of The News & Observer contained a Letter to the Editor, asking why Catholic priests are not part of the Moral Monday events taking place at the State legislature in Raleigh. Moral Mondays, as the events are called, involve individuals who oppose legislation being enacted or under consideration by the General Assembly that will have a dire impact on many state residents who are poor or disenfranchised.

In response to the letter, the Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge said, "All of us are to be advocates and witnesses for the poor and needy and on behalf of justice. People choose to advocate and witness in various ways. What unites us," Bishop Burbidge said, "is that we must be faithful to the Gospel and respectful of the democratic process. We must also be mindful that, at the center of any public witness, must be prayer, entrusting our great nation and the freedom we enjoy to the power of God."

It should be noted that the June 7 issue of The News & Observer contained a story in the Under the Dome section about a joint statement signed by the Bishop Burbidge and ten Christian leaders (PDF) that was released Friday, June 7, 2013.

The statement, which was posted to the Diocese of Raleigh website on June 7, noted that the eleven religious leaders share the concern on many of the issues being brought forth by those who are attending the Moral Monday events. The leaders cited several specific issues, including reduction in the Medicaid role, reduction in unemployment insurance and replacing the state income tax with a consumption tax. The leaders pointed out that these and similar proposals and actions are moral issues that need to be addressed and confronted.

In issuing their statement, the Christian leaders stated clearly that their joint position is not an act of political partisanship but rather “a matter of faith with respect to our understanding of the biblical teachings and imperatives.”