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WASHINGTON—The U.S. bishops will vote on a document urging action to overcome poverty, affirming the work of Catholics in response to the economic crisis and expressing solidarity with those looking for work during difficult economic times at their Fall General Assembly in Baltimore, November 12-15. "The Hope of the Gospel in Difficult Economic Times" calls on all of society to work together to put people and families at the center of the economy.
"It is our hope that this letter will encourage prayer and study, as well as conversation and discussion, within our parishes and our dioceses, in order that together we may find creative and constructive ways of resolving the economic problems we face," the bishops write in the draft document.
The document encourages Catholics to build on the good work of individuals and institutions to help those impacted by the recession. It urges a commitment to serving the poor, both through direct assistance and through advocacy for broader systemic solutions needed to overcome poverty.
"Economic institutions, governments and businesses, even the most complex of them, are not uncontrollable and impersonal entities. At least they need not be," according to the draft document. "It is an error, as Pope Benedict XVI teaches, to think that economic dynamics should not be influenced by criteria of moral judgment."
The document calls for all people to act virtuously and give to others what is due to them. It says the principles of subsidiarity and solidarity always go together and that government should respond to human needs in a way that doesn't create a permanent underclass.
More information on the bishops' meeting in Baltimore is available online: www.usccb.org/about/leadership/usccb-general-assembly/
Keywords: USCCB, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, U.S. bishops, Fall General Assembly, November meeting, Baltimore, poverty, recession, economic crisis, economy, unemployment, labor, wages, justice, government, businesses, charity
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