Friday, January 10, 2014

Top 14 quotes from Pope Francis, "2013 Person of theYear"

…Prioritizing the Catholic social doctrine of serving the poor and feeding the hungry, Pope Francis said, in a June 14 address to the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, that the Catholic and Episcopal churches share this mission:

1) "Among our tasks as witnesses to the love of Christ is that of giving a voice to the cry of the poor, so that they are not abandoned to the laws of an economy that seems at times to treat people as mere consumers."

The pope expressed concern for immigrants July 7 in a homily on Italy's Lampedusa island, three months later, a rickety boat full of immigrants from Ghana, Somalia and Eritrea, sank off the coast of Lampedusa, killing more than 100 men, women and children:

2) "These our brothers and sisters seek to leave difficult situations in order to find a little serenity and peace, they seek a better place for themselves and for their families - but they found death. How many times to those who seek this not find understanding, do not find welcome, do not find solidarity!"
Returning to the Vatican from Brazil, Francis spoke with journalists on the papal airplane, July 29, and made world headlines when he said:  

3) "If a person is gay and seeks the Lord and has good will, well who am I to judge them?"
Again, in September, the pope made global news when he said the church has been too "obsessed" with issues of abortion, contraception and gay marriage. The following quotes come from the English translation of his wide-ranging and lengthy interview, published Sept. 30 in the Jesuit journal, America:

4) "We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods ... The church's pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently ... We have to find a new balance ..."

5) "Those who today always look for disciplinarian solutions, those who long for an exaggerated doctrinal 'security,' those who stubbornly try to recover a past that no longer exists - they have a static and inward-directed view of things."

6) "Women are asking deep questions that must be addressed. The church cannot be herself without the woman and her role. The woman is essential for the church. Mary, a woman, is more important than the bishops."
(Yet Francis also said the door is closed on women becoming ordained.)
Pope Francis made the following comments during a dialog with Eugenio Scalfari, founder of the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, translated to English, Oct. 1. The dialog covered many topics, from politics to Marxism to the pope's favorite saints. La Repubblica is considered a progressive-left newspaper, and Scalfari is a well-known atheist.

7) "I also had a teacher for whom I had a lot of respect and developed a friendship and who was a fervent communist. She often read Communist Party texts to me and gave them to me to read. So I also got to know that very materialistic conception. I remember that she also gave me the statement from the American Communists in defense of the Rosenbergs, who had been sentenced to death. The woman I'm talking about was later arrested, tortured and killed by the dictatorship then ruling in Argentina. Her materialism had no hold over me. But learning about it through a courageous and honest person was helpful. I realized a few things, an aspect of the social, which I then found in the social doctrine of the Church."

8) "The real trouble is that those most affected by [an excessive love for oneself] - which is actually a kind of mental disorder - are people who have a lot of power. Often bosses are narcissists."

9) "I think so-called unrestrained [economic] liberalism only makes the strong stronger and the weak weaker and excludes the most excluded. We need great freedom, no discrimination, no demagoguery and a lot of love. We need rules of conduct and also, if necessary, direct intervention from the state to correct the more intolerable inequalities."
On Nov. 25, the pope again made headlines with his Apostolic Exhortation, which included a sharp condemnation of the capitalist economy.

10) "How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?"

11) "The thirst for power and possessions knows no limits. In this system, which tends to devour everything which stands in the way of increased profits, whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenseless before the interests of a deified market, which become the only rule."

12) "No to a financial system, which rules rather than serves. Behind this attitude lurks a rejection of ethics and a rejection of God."

13) "We are far from the so called 'end of history,' since the conditions for a sustainable and peaceful development have not yet been adequately articulated and realized."
Reacting to right-wingers who criticized him by labeling him "Marxist," Pope Francis said in an interview with Italian daily La Stampa, Dec. 15 that Marxism is wrong, but:

14) "I have met many Marxists in my life who are good people, so I do not feel offended."
Photo: Pope Francis greets people in Varginha, Brazil, July 27.  (Agencia Brazil/CC)

Source:  People’s World on Line:
Posted by Tom Connolly

Friday, June 28, 2013


The Human Chain Against the chained CPI

July 2, 2013 @ 3 p.m.

Join the Connecticut Alliance for Retired Americans and the
Connecticut AFL-CIO  in a National Day of Action to elevate
our voices in the battle to protect and enhance retirement security. 
We will join together in front of the Robert Giamo Federal Building
 in New Haven to form a Human Chain against the Chained CPI.

The Chained CPI is a Social Security benefit cut that will take
thousands of dollars out of the pockets of seniors.  Join us on July 2nd
and tell Congress we oppose any cuts to Social Security!

Where: Federal Building, 
150 Court St. New Haven, CT
(corner of Orange St and Court St)
What: National Day of Action to
 oppose cuts to Social Security

When: Tuesday, July 2 at 3:00pm

Contact:  Mary Elia at
      or (203) 500-6089
Posted by T. Connolly

Friday, June 14, 2013


Even the best of us make mistakes -- and public television just made a big one.

Because they were afraid of upsetting Tea Party billionaire and PBS donor David Koch, public television pulled funding for a documentary by Academy Award-nominated filmmakers on the corrosive role of money in politics. That means millions of PBS viewers won't have the chance to see the film Citizen Koch. David Koch's enormous wealth -- and $23 million in donations to public television as a board member of local PBS stations -- shouldn't give him the power to suppress programming that serves the public good.

Sign our petition: Koch money shouldn't influence public television programming -- we want to see Citizen Koch aired on PBS. 

We're huge fans of public television, and I bet you are too. That's why we want to see it live up to its founding principles of serving the public interest -- not the private interests of wealthy donors like the Kochs. Citizen Koch's exploration of money in politics is exactly the type of debate that public television was started to help foster. But instead, big money has prevented the discussion from even starting.

What makes it even scarier is that right now the Koch brothers are attempting to buy the second-largest newspaper chain in America. Imagine how much more news they could censor and distort if the Kochs owned papers like theLos Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune.

We hope that someday public broadcasting receives enough public funding so it won't be in the position of needing to take money from unsavory and ideological donors like the Koch brothers. Until then, we need to make sure these donations aren't having an outsize influence.

Add your name: Public television should stop the self-censorship and air the documentary Citizen Koch

Thanks for your help, and we'll keep you posted,
Erica Sagrans
Working Families

PS: You can watch the trailer for Citizen Koch here.
Sources:1. "A word from our sponsor," New Yorker, 5/27/20132. "L.A. Times Suitor Charles Koch Confirms Interest in Acquiring Newspapers," Hollywood Reporter, 6/5/2013 
Posted by Tom Connolly - From The Working Families Party

Thursday, May 30, 2013



Time is running out to pass important immigration reform bills in Connecticut.   The session ends June 5th, and when it does will we be able to look back and say we expanded economic opportunity in our state?

Join CCNE, CIRA, CIVIC, immigrants, faith, community and labor leaders from across the state for a mass Immigration Rally and Multicultural Festival this Saturday, June 1st at 1:00pm in Hartford's Bushnell Park.

CIRA htfd April 10 rally

Let's say no to racial profling and the separation of families. Let's fight for our dreams - to live free from fear and discrimination in welcoming communities where everyone is treated with dignity. Help us pass critical immigration reform bills while celebrating our diversity and having some fun with your family and neighbors. 

And to stay up to date on immigration reform efforts and the broader movement for economic and racial justice, be sure to "like" CCNE's facebook page:

Posted by Tom Connolly

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


About 100 labor and community activists attended a 12 noon demonstration toady at the Hartford Courant  to stop the Koch brothers from buying the Courant. [See Photos Below]
 Background - By The Working Families Party.

The Koch brothers are the right-wing duo infamous for funding the Tea Party. Now they want to buy their own media empire to spread their extreme views -- including the Hartford Courant, and its parent, the Tribune Company.

The Kochs have spent their fortune funding anti-worker candidates like Scott Walker and right-wing lobbying groups like ALEC. They even warned tens of thousands of their employees that there would be "consequences" if they didn't vote for Republicans. Not exactly the kind of guys I want running the most respected newspaper in Connecticut. Isn't one Rupert Murdoch enough?

The Hartford Courant is a valuable source of honest journalism. We can't let it turn into a right-wing mouthpiece.

Posted by Tom Connolly