With the State Senate debating two momentous environmental bills and the Pope declaring September 1 as a Day of Prayer for creation, legislators, California Bishops and representatives from national Catholic organizations engaged in an hours-long dialogue this week to examine the principles outlined in the Pope’s encyclical Laudato Si’ (On the Care for Our Common Home.)
Twenty-five years ago, the U.S. Bishops issued a landmark 99-page pastoral letter entitled Economic Justice for All: Catholic Social Teaching and the US Economy. Today, with a record number of people suffering in a flailing economy, the letter’s call to promote human dignity in economic, policy and individual actions is as relevant as ever.
We believe that each person has a right to access the basic necessities of life. We advocate for food and income security for all—especially children and the elderly. We believe in policies for decent housing and shelter, especially for farm workers. We support access to basic health care for all. We advocate for employment and promote the idea of fair wages and fair taxes. We oppose unjust discrimination, racism, torture and human trafficking.
“The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change. The Creator does not abandon us; he never forsakes his loving plan or repents of having created us. Humanity still has the ability to work together in building our common home.”
Pope Francis. Laudato Si, On Care for Our Common Home 2015
On June 25, the U. S. Supreme Court by a vote of 6-3 ruled that insurance subsidies created by the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) can be offered in both states that established their own health care exchanges and states where the federal government established them. These exchanges are government-administered websites where consumers can compare and choose insurance plans.
In Laudato Si, a letter addressed to all the people of the world, Pope Francis presents a clear and compelling case for placing people at the center of a renewed commitment to caring for the planet.
“We are faced not with two separate crises, one environmental and the other social, but rather with one complex crisis which is both social and environmental. Strategies for a solution demand an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and at the same time protecting nature.” 
Legislative leaders and Gov. Jerry Brown reached a budget agreement this week. The governor is determined avoid an enormous debt as his legacy so he based his budget on very conservative revenue projections. The budget as it now stands includes many items that the California Catholic Conference (CCC) was advocating for, but also some glaring omissions.
Saint Francis's Canticle of All Creatures
Most High, all-powerful, all-good Lord,
All praise is Yours, all glory, all honor and all blessings.
To you alone, Most High, do they belong,
and no mortal lips are worthy to pronounce Your Name.
Praised be You my Lord with all Your creatures,
especially Sir Brother Sun,
Who is the day through whom You give us light.
And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendor,
Of You Most High, he bears the likeness.
Among today's positive signs we must also mention a greater realization of the limits of available resources, and of the need to respect the integrity and the cycles of nature and to take them into account when planning for development rather than sacrificing them to certain demagogic ideas about the latter. Today this is called ecological concern... Nor can the moral character of development exclude respect for the beings which constitute the natural world, which the ancient Greeks alluding precisely to the order which distinguishes it–called the “cosmos”.
“The order of creation demands that a priority be given to those human activities that do not cause irreversible damage to nature, but which instead are woven into the social, cultural, and religious fabric of the different communities. In this way, a sober balance is achieved between consumption and the sustainability of resources.” - Message to the Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization for the Celebration of World Food Day, October 16, 2006.