The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has released a statement drawing attention to an excellent letter drawing much-needed attention to one of the most pressing moral issues in our day: the plight of poverty in the United States, the rate of which continues to rise. The text of the press release is as follows, you can follow (and I recommend that you do) the link in the statement, which will lead you to the Archbishop’s full letter.
WASHINGTON—Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), urged bishops and other Catholic clergy nationwide to bring the issue of poverty into their homilies.
He also underscored the need for educational and advocacy efforts on behalf of the poor and jobless.
Archbishop Dolan made the appeal in a September 15 letter to the nation’s bishops at the urging of the USCCB Administrative Committee. The Committee oversees USCCB work between plenary sessions and met in Washington, September 13-14.
“Widespread unemployment, underemployment and pervasive poverty are diminishing human lives, undermining human dignity, and hurting children and families,” he wrote. “I hope we can use our opportunities as pastors, teachers, and leaders to focus public attention and priority on the scandal of so much poverty and so many without work in our society.” The entire letter can be found at http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/economic-justice-economy/letter-to-bishops-on-economic-situation.cfm
Archbishop Dolan added, “Sixteen million of our children (almost one out of four) are growing up poor.”
“It is especially disheartening that African-Americans and Hispanics live with unemployment and poverty at far higher rates than others. Immigrant workers are especially vulnerable to exploitation and unfair treatment. These realities contradict our national pledge of ‘liberty and justice for all,’” he said. “They also contradict the consistent teaching of our Church. Our Catholic tradition begins with respect for life and the dignity of all, requires a priority concern for poor and vulnerable people, reflects the ties and bonds of solidarity, respects the mutual relationships of subsidiarity, and promotes the dignity of work and protection for workers.”