Catholic Lobby Calls for End to Growing Violence and Extremism

For Immediate Release: June 15, 2022
Contact: Colleen Ross,, 202-601-7877

Catholic Lobby Calls for End to Growing Violence and Extremism
Mary J. Novak: “The signs of our times are deeply troubling.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the Catholic Sisters and advocates of NETWORK continue our 50-year mission of promoting federal policies that advance the common good, NETWORK is deeply concerned about increasing violent extremism and pledges to confront this growing threat to our democracy. 

“At the heart of our work is the dignity of every person,” said Joan F. Neal, NETWORK’s Deputy Executive Director and Chief Equity Officer. “The Catholic faith is clear in its orientation and dedication to a radical option for those who are pushed to the margins of our society and for the common good. The current climate of violence directly contradicts human dignity.”

Recent weeks have brought cases of attempted violence, including the 31 members of the Patriot Front arrested near “Pride in the Park” in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and a man arrested outside of Justice Brett Kavanagh’s home who traveled there intending to kill Kavanagh. Earlier this year, a poll from The Washington Post and the University of Maryland found that about one in three Americans believes violence against the government is sometimes justified.

“The signs of our times are deeply troubling,” said Mary J. Novak, NETWORK’s Executive Director. “We know we cannot realize our vision of a truly representative, multi-racial society if we remain so perniciously polarized.”

In his first Apostolic Exhortation, The Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis wrote, ”[Jesus] hopes that we will stop looking for those personal or communal niches which shelter us from the maelstrom of human misfortune and instead enter into the reality of other people’s lives.”

Sr. Erin Zubal, OSU, NETWORK’s Chief of Staff added, “In the days ahead, we will be invited to look beyond our narrow perspectives, listen deeply to lived experiences, and respond in ways that bring us closer together, not further apart as a national community.”


NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice – advocates for justice inspired by Catholic Sisters – educates, organizes, and lobbies for economic and social transformation. They have a 50-year track record of lobbying for critical federal programs that support those at the margins and prioritize the common good.