WASHINGTON (February 10, 2003) -- "Almost 500 Catholic leaders from across the country have come to Washington Feb. 10-12, to urge policymakers to step back from the brink of war in Iraq and to support policies that help poor children and families at home and abroad.
The national, diocesan and parish leaders have come to the nation"s capital for the annual Social Ministry Gathering: Seeking Justice, Overcoming Poverty, Building Peace.
A highlight of the meeting will be Tuesday afternoon, when the church leaders meet with their Members of Congress to oppose war in Iraq; to support funding for new initiatives to combat HIV/AIDS, famine and poverty in Africa; and to urge more tax relief and other aid for poor children and families at home.
Speakers at the gathering include Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras, Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS), Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND), Michael Gerson, speech writer and policy advisor to President Bush; Dennis Rivera, President, Service Employees International Union, New York local 1199; Maryann Cusimano Love, Ph.D., of the Bishops' Committee on International Policy; and Lord Daniel Brennan, head of the Catholic Union of Parliamentarians in Britain.
The gathering is at the Washington Court Hotel, February 10-12.
On site contact: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops registration desk, Washington Court Hotel: 202-879-2982.