Meet Your Neighbor: Chris Korzen, Author and Advocate

By Carol McCracken

For the “common good” is the mantra of the organzation Catholics United. This non-profit is focused on eliminating the politics of division which dominated the presidential election of 2004, said Chris Korzen, at a book signing at Books, Etc. on Exchange Street at the end of July.

Korzen is a co-founder of Catholics United and serves as its executive director with headquarters in Washington, D.C. He attended Weston Jesuit School of Theology from which he earned a Masters of Theological Studies. He lives near the former Adams School on the Hill.

Korzen read excerpts from his new book, “A Nation for All. How the Catholic Vision of the Common Good Can Save America From the Politics of Division.” He urges all religiously affiliated voters, be they Catholic or of another faith, to reject the narrow agenda of the far right which was crucial in re-electing President Bush to a second term in 2004. This narrow agenda benefits a few who are rich and powerful. Korzen said so far, “it’s been a very one-sided debate, although that is beginning to change.”

All voters need to embrace the issues of poverty, housing, climate change and others since they are at the core of religious teachings. These issues are crucial to the ‘common good’ in meeting the challenges of greed, materialism and excessive individualism,. “This message does not get said enough,” said Korzen, although he intends to change that.

Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr., Pennsylvania, wrote the introduction to Korzen’s book. It was recently reported in “The New York Times” that he may be a speaker at the Democratic convention later this month. Casey has supported Barack Obama from the get-go. Casey is a Catholic opposed to abortion. The August 7 article, written by John Broder, stated that sixteen years ago, the senior Casey was denied a speaking slot at the Democratic convention because he was anti-abortion. Some conservatives have never gotten over the ovesight – costing the Democrats votes, said “The New York Times” article.

Korzen will be speaking and signing books once again at Longfellow Books, Monument Way, on October 9th. The hardcover book costs $24.95 and can be purchased at local bookstores.