PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Letters to the Editor

April 11, 2011

SE Texas Catholics take concerns to Austin

About two-dozen people from Southeast Texas participated in Catholic Faith in Action Day in Austin – a means of sharing the Catholic views on political issues with elected officials in Austin.

A bus arrived at Catholic Charities in Beaumont at about 4 a.m. April 6 to take the group to Austin. In the capital, it was clear there was a Catholic presence because attendees were wearing blue T-shirts identifying themselves as members of the Catholic faith. The Southeast Texas bus arrived in Austin at about 8:30 a.m. An estimated 600 Catholics from around the state participated in the event, which began with a press conference on the steps of the capital.

“We were satisfied that each of the regional legislators heard our concerns and have a better appreciation of the Catholic position on matters that affect all members of the community,” said Dan Maher, vice president of development and communications for Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Beaumont.

The issues discussed by the group including the death penalty, the enforcement of immigration laws by local law enforcement officials and providing an ultrasound to women who are seeking an abortion.

The Catholic Church is against the death penalty because Texas now has life in prison without the possibility of parole. Concerning immigration, the church is against the enforcement of immigrations laws by local and municipal law enforcement officials. In addition, since the Catholic Church is against abortion the church is supporting a bill that would require anyone who is seeking an abortion to get an ultrasound before a doctor can perform an abortion.

Other important issues discussed as the stance of the church and the Texas Catholic Conference included education and heath and human services. In addition, the budget was an issue of great concern because of possible cuts to education, health and human services and criminal justice.

The group from Southeast Texas split up the list of elected officials and met with them of a staff member on April 6. After meeting with officials, the group re-loaded the bus and headed home for Beaumont at about 3 p.m. The group arrived back to Beaumont by 8 p.m. Thursday.

Chris Castillo

Beaumont

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