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ATLANTA—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), meeting for their annual Spring General Assembly, approved a proposal by the bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development to draft a message entitled Catholic Reflections on Work, Poverty and a Broken Economy.
The proposal passed with a vote of 171 to 26 on June 13.
Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, California, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, called the move “timely, if not overdue.”
“It has been a long time since the body of bishops has addressed the moral and human dimensions of economic life in light of Catholic teaching,” said Bishop Blaire. “This is especially urgent when so many of our people are suffering and wonder whether their Church cares and has anything to say about their situation and the economy that has left them behind.”
The goal of Catholic Reflections on Work, Poverty and Broken Economy is to communicate the bishops’ concern for people hurt by the economy, especially the jobless and those living in poverty. It will apply the human, family, moral and social costs of the economic crisis to Catholic teaching on economic life, especially the encyclicals of Pope Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est and Caritas in Veritate.
The document will invite “Catholic conversations” on the moral dimensions and human impact of economic life among parishes and dioceses, college and universities and other Catholic organizations and movements. It will also seek to go beyond the ideological and partisan polarization on economic issues, briefly addressing the responsibilities and limitations of various economic players, including individuals, the private sector, religious and non-profit groups and the government.
Keywords: USCCB, U.S. bishops, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, June meeting, Atlanta, Spring General Assembly, Bishop Stephen E. Blaire, Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, solidarity, subsidiarity, personal responsibility, public action, family, economic structures, unemployment, Catholic Reflections on Work, Poverty and a Broken Economy, Pope Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est, Caritas in Veritate, poverty, social justice
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