by Chuck Weber
It is an intriguing fact that we name what we do – the Catholic Mass – by its final action: dismissal.
“Go in peace, glorifying the Lord with your life.”
At this time, we are called to embrace the mission of proclaiming the gospel in word and deed beyond the doors of the church. We could think about our Catholic involvement in public policy, the political arena, and the community as a whole with this “after Mass” mission in mind.
Public policy advocacy is an extension of the heart of the Catholic Church, expressed through the teachings of our bishops. Initiated by and guided by our Kansas Shepherds, the Kansas Catholic Conference (KCC) seeks public policies that reflect authentic Catholic thinking and priorities. We are greatly blessed to live in a nation where we are not only allowed, but encouraged, to exercise these cherished freedoms.
The loss of the “Value Them Both” amendment is only a temporary setback. We will not abandon mothers and babies. The “Walking With Moms in Need” parish initiative taking place in parishes of the Kansas City Archdiocese in Kansas (and elsewhere) is powerful and effective.
As Kansas becomes an abortion destination (yes, it is happening), the need for abortion alternatives will also increase. On the legislative front, the KCC is exploring ideas to help “mums in need” in Kansas, including better access to pregnancy resource centers and maternity clinics. Our neighbors in Missouri are far ahead of us in this regard.
Issues of great interest to the KCC beyond traditional “life” issues include economic realities such as the impact of inflation. When family finances are in trouble, so is the family. Inflation is brutally real, hitting low-income Kansans harder than others.
We are grateful and applaud the recent food sales tax reduction. Every little bit counts as household budgets continue to be tight.
The Kansas Catholic Conference will continue to implore lawmakers to seriously address the issue of unfair predatory lending practices that hurt poor families and working poor every day. If one cannot acquire good credit, the hard alternative to make ends meet is a short-term cash loan loaded with exorbitant fees, interest rates and repayment options. We are not looking for the elimination of the payday loan industry, only a fairer and more equitable structure.
The questions mentioned above are just a sample of the many topics covered by the KCC. Collectively, Catholics have long been intimately involved in the protection, care, education and healing of many. We have something important to add for the greater good at the Kansas Statehouse and beyond.
Thanks in advance for your prayers. Your additional help with the Kansas Catholic Conference begins by signing up for legislative updates online at: kansascatholic.org/take-action.