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Thousands celebrate Catholic Faith in Action Advocacy Day

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The Capitol served as a backdrop for a couple of thousand Catholics who came to Austin.

Tuesday's gathering was a stand of faith for the church as much legislation going through the Capitol affects the Catholic Church.

Lawmakers were able to see firsthand thousands standing as one.

"For all of them it's impressive for some of them it evokes such pride and perhaps in a couple even some fear. Let it be. But what we want is your presence is what we want," said one Cardinal.

Many of those values have become hot button topics for the Catholic Church like abortion.

"If the state and the city or the society I should say permits violence in the womb then we cannot be surprised if there is an outbreak of violence every else in society," said Bishop Daniel Flores Diosece of Brownsville.

"We're always interested in the pro-life issues so were very interested in the issues … on abortion on issues on human life and the beginnings and end of life," said Cardinal Daniel DiNardo.

Another issue being watched closely by the church is education.

"Today with a new hope inspired by Pope Francis we want to double our efforts to be on the side of poor families who need education," said Bishop Placido Rodriguez Diocese of Lubbock.

The school voucher idea has come under some criticism, but not Tuesday on the steps of the Capitol.

"The bill that Sen. Patrick has put forward for school choice--tuition tax credits. We think it's a wise bill. We think it's a good one," said Cardinal DiNardo.

The church is firmly against the pay day and auto title lending bill saying it targets the poor who wind up paying exorbitant fees and interest.

"This bill explicitly allows payday and auto title lenders to add on even more debt on top of borrowers existing loans," said Bishop Joe Vasquez of Diocese of Austin.

"We're very much opposed to the pay day lending bill because we think it does not go far enough," said Cardinal DiNardo.

"Our presence here is intended to be a blessing for all people as we raise our voices to protect the dignity of every human person," said Bishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller Diocese of San Antonio.

Bishop Daniel Flores said to the gathering this act of religious expression is perhaps the most cherished and precious of American freedoms.

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