International Affairs

“In this era of globalization, we are more aware of the interconnected nature of our world. Problems that were once far from our shores have become our own. We are compelled to look beyond our borders to places of poverty and despair that cry out for a response.”
Statement on the Holy Father’s 2005 World Day of Peace Message, Bishop John H. Ricard


In light of the Gospel’s invitation to be peacemakers, our commitment to solidarity with our neighbors – both at home and abroad – also demands that we promote peace and pursue justice in a world marred by terrible violence and conflict. Decisions on the use of force should be guided by traditional moral criteria and undertaken only as a last resort. A more just world will likely be a more peaceful world, a world less vulnerable to terrorism and other violence. The United States has the responsibility to take the lead in addressing the scandal of poverty and underdevelopment.
Forming Consciences of Faithful Citizenship 2007, 53, 88

  • Participate in Operation Rice Bowl during Lent
  • Sponsor a child in need
  • Go on a mission trip



“The presence of brothers and sisters from different cultures should be celebrated as a gift to the Church.”
Welcoming the Stranger Among Us: Unity in Diversity, A Statement of the US Catholic Bishops


The Gospel mandate to “welcome the stranger” requires Catholics to care for and stand with immigrants, both documented and undocumented, including immigrant children. Comprehensive reform is urgently necessary to fix a broken immigration system and should include a temporary work program with worker protections and a path to permanent residency; family reunification policies; a broad and fair legalization program; access to legal protections, including due process and essential public programs; refuge for those feeling persecutions and exploitation; and policies to address the root causes of migration. The right and responsibility of nations to control their borders and to maintain the rule of law should be recognized. Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, 2007, 83



Human Trafficking

“Trafficking in persons—in which men, women, and children from all over the globe are transported to other countries for the purposes of forced prostitution or labor—inherently rejects the dignity of the human person and exploits conditions of global poverty.”
Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope


Human trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery. Victims of human trafficking are subjected to force, fraud, or coercion, for the purpose of sexual exploitation or forced labor. Examples of recent cases of human trafficking in the U.S. include adolescent Mexican girls trafficked to the U.S. for prostitution, Indian men trafficked for forced labor, and African women and children trafficked for domestic servitude, among others… The reality of thousands of our brothers and sisters laboring in modern day slavery compels us to act now to stop human trafficking and to serve the victims of this crime. USCCB, Human Trafficking


Write to your state legislators about human trafficking laws


Video about Human Trafficking: “Invisible Chains” – A Production of the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops

Human Rights

Peace is based on respect for the rights of all. Conscious of this, the Church champions the fundamental rights of each person. In particular, she promotes and defends respect for life and the religious freedom of everyone.
Pope Benedict XVI, World Day of Peace Message, 2007


In today’s world, a world of unprecedented advances in many fields and yet one marked
by crushing poverty, intractable conflicts, bloody violence and widespread denial of human rights, building an international order on the foundation of fundamental human rights is not simply a moral ideal; it is a practical necessity… Today’s advances in human knowledge and capacity offer humanity an unparalleled opportunity to affirm in law and practice the human dignity of every person, regardless of their religious tradition, social status, ethnic background, racial group, or national origin. But to move toward greater respect for human rights, humanity’s technological and economic achievements must be matched by moral advancement, greater commitment to human rights and the active pursuit of the universal common good of peace with justice. In the words of our late Holy Father, a genuine respect for human rights throughout the world would represent “a true milestone on the path of humanity’s moral progress.” Testimony for the Hearing on the 2005 Human Rights Report of the U.S. Department of State: Bishop Thomas G. Wenski

  • Attend an interreligious dialogue or event
  • Write to your state legislators about human rights concerns

USCCB: Human Rights and Dignity


Repeated Social Teaching

The principle of solidarity, also articulated in terms of “friendship” or “social charity,” is a direct demand of human and Christian brotherhood…Solidarity is manifested in the first place by the distribution of goods and remuneration for work. It also presupposes the effort for a more just social order where tensions are better able to be reduced and conflicts more readily settled by negotiation. Socio-economic problems can be resolved only with the help of all the forms of solidarity: solidarity of the poor among themselves, between rich and poor, of workers among themselves, between employers and employees in a business, solidarity among nations and peoples. International solidarity is a requirement of the moral order; world peace depends in part upon this. The virtue of solidarity goes beyond material goods. In spreading the spiritual goods of the faith, the Church has promoted, and often opened new paths for, the development of temporal goods as well. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1939-1942