Boston, Mass. – Catholic Democrats is grieving with the rest of the nation in reaction to the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, where a gunman shot and killed 26 elementary school students and members of the faculty and staff of the Sandy Hook Elementary School. The organization is also calling on Catholic elected officials of both parties to lead the nation in a conversation regarding gun violence.
“As Catholics, we are extremely fortunate to be able to draw upon the Catholic Social Justice Tradition, which guides us in using both our faith and reason to act on the moral issues of our time,” said Nicholas P. Cafardi, JD, JCD, former Dean of Duquesne University School of Law and a member of the board of Catholic Democrats. “By virtue of this tradition, Catholics of all political stripes, including our elected officials, can and should be at the forefront of this long overdue national conversation, playing a leadership role.”
The organization is also calling on all Catholic elected officials, both Democrats and Republicans, to impose a moratorium on accepting donations from the National Rifle Association (NRA), the gun rights advocacy organization whose leadership has opposed even common sense gun safety measures. According to a survey released in July, a majority of the NRA’s own members support common sense regulations like criminal background checks and prohibiting gun ownership to individuals on the terrorist watch list. Yet the organization’s leadership refuses to support such reasonable regulations.
“President Obama called on all of us to do better in ‘our first task – caring for our children,’ in his inspired remarks to the Newtown community,” said Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, former lieutenant governor of Maryland and a member of the board of Catholic Democrats. “Responding to his call and the mood of the nation, Catholic elected officials can play a leadership role by not accepting donations from the NRA until their leadership is ready to engage in a constructive conversation on gun safety. The organization occupies an outsized role in this debate and yet, they refuse to play a constructive part in it. Until they do so, Catholic elected officials should refuse their financial contributions.”
About Catholic Democrats
Catholic Democrats represents a Catholic voice within the Democratic Party, and advances a public understanding of the rich tradition of Catholic Social Teaching and its potential to help solve the broad range of problems confronting all Americans. For more information about Catholic Democrats please go to www.catholicdemocrats.org.