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Miami, U.S.A. — By rethinking the conventional wisdom about core voting issues, Hispanic Catholics can transform American politics.
That is the message that Supreme Knight Carl Anderson of the Knights of Columbus will deliver to more than 100 Hispanic business and civic leaders meeting in Miami for the annual conference of the Catholic Association of Latino Leaders (CALL).
The speech is scheduled Friday, August 24, at 7:00 PM at the Family Center of St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church 7377 SW 64th Street, Miami.
Anderson will make the case that voters must consider a candidates position on issues that affect core values if we want to build a country where the Catholic values of Hispanic immigrants are respected. Anderson will note that voting for those who say they support immigration reform is not enough, if those same politicians also advocate policies at odds with the core Catholic beliefs shared by the vast majority of Hispanic immigrants.
His speech notes that “we should work to ensure that future generations of immigrants find a country that supports their values and not one that asks them to surrender their religious values at the border as the price of their admission.”
It adds that “being forced to surrender values at the border is not multiculturalism, it is the opposite of multiculturalism.”
Anderson will also point out that “we all want and deserve a real solution” on immigration. However, despite many promises from individuals on both sides of the political aisle, no comprehensive immigration solution has been forthcoming and conditions in the United States are now such that as many or more Mexican immigrants are returning to Mexico as are coming in the United States according to the Pew Foundation.
The speech comes on the heels of the enormous Guadalupe Celebration in Los Angeles earlier this month sponsored by the Knights of Columbus and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles – the largest Catholic event in that city since the visit of Pope John Paul II in 1987.
A strong advocate for Catholics voting in a way consistent with their conscience, Anderson will tell the assembled Latino Leaders that Hispanic voters should consider many issues in voting, and ought to draw a line they will not cross in voting if a politician supports policies at odds with core Catholic beliefs.
Such policies include support for abortion or the limitation of First Amendment freedom of religion – which have come under increasing assault from federal policies including the unpopular HHS Mandate that forces religious employers to pay for abortion inducing drugs, sterilization and contraception. The mandate and other federal actions have also sought to redefine the very nature of religion, something that has drawn condemnation from many religious leaders of many faiths.
Earlier this month, Pope Benedict XVI conveyed his support for the Knights of Columbus work in support of religious liberty. The letter addressed to Carl Anderson from the Vatican Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone, stated “His Holiness is confident that the (Knights of Columbus) Supreme Convention will carry on this distinguished legacy by providing sound inspiration, guidance and direction to a new generation of faithful and dedicated Catholic laymen.As he stated to the Bishops of the United States earlier this year, the demands of the new evangelization and the defense of the Church’s freedom in our day call for ‘an engaged, articulate and well-formed Catholic laity endowed with a strong critical sense vis-à-vis the dominant culture and with the courage to counter a reductive secularism which would delegitimize the Church’s participation in public debate about issues which are determining the future of American society’ (Ad LiminaAddress, 19 January 2012).”
Anderson leads an organization of 1.8 million members founded by immigrants and the sons of immigrants in 1882 and dedicated to the principles of charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism. The Knights of Columbus has long been a “pan-American” organization, having established councils in Mexico in 1905 and in Cuba in 1909 and in Canada in 1897.
Anderson is coauthor of the New York Times bestselling book Our Lady of Guadalupe: Mother of the Civilization of Love, and serves as CEO of the Knights of Columbus.