New Mexico

Archbishop using 'Social Gospel' to fight New Mexico poverty

Advocates say Santa Fe Archbishop John C. Wester is forcing New Mexico lawmakers to reconsider various proposals related to fighting poverty in one of the nation's poorest states.

Less than two years into his tenure, Wester has been outspoken on issues ranging from early childhood education and immigration to income inequality.

He recently called a press conference with other faith leaders to denounce a tax proposal that critics say would unfairly raise grocery prices for low-income families.

He hosted an immigration forum earlier this year and criticized the Obama administration for not giving due process to detained migrant children from Central America. He also spoke out against an effort to reinstate New Mexico's death penalty.

Wester says his activism is rooted in Scripture and the call to defend the poor.