I am writing a logline for a story which deals with the global immigration crisis and the Catholic Church's response to it. I think the word response here would have a negative connotation when the story talks about the help the church is giving stranded and helpless migrants.
'Response' is, indeed, neutral so it requires some additional information.
The Catholic Church's initiative, in response to the issue, was ...
Definitions of 'initiative' :
Initiative - a new plan or process to achieve something or solve a problem:
That which initiates, begins, or originates; the first step in some process or enterprise; hence the act, or action, of initiating or taking the first step or lead; beginning, commencement, origination.