Our Catholic Teaching calls us to stand up for the poor and the vulnerable. The fourth of the Seven Principles of Catholic Social Teaching speaks of this. Jesus calls us to help the hungry, thirsty, and those without shelter or clothing (Matthew 25:31-46).
Our care for the poor and the vulnerable can take two forms, charity and justice. Charity is helping them in a direct way such as donating food or clothing. Justice is to stand up for the poor and the vulnerable in public policy. The basic question here is do the laws (or proposed bills) help or hurt the poor and the vulnerable? But how are we to keep aware of proposed policies and legislation?
Our U.S. bishops provide us with help here. For issues facing the national government check out http://www.usccb.org/sdwp/ paying particular attention to the links on the left for “Take Action” and “Issue Campaigns.”
The bishops of each state have some of the same resources. In New York State, it is the New York State Catholic Conference (www.nyscatholic.org) that helps us stay informed on issues in New York such as the Reproductive Health Act. The NYS Catholic Conference can be found on Facebook.
Stand up for people in need! Jesus did!