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Archbishop Wenski, Bishop Cantú Urge Protection for Programs Serving the Poor and Vulnerable in Federal Budget

 
March 3, 2015
WASHINGTON—Decisions around the 2016 budget resolution should be measured against whether they protect human life and dignity, the poor and vulnerable and the common good, particularly workers and their families, said two U.S. bishops in a letter, February 27, to every member of Congress.

Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami and Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, New Mexico, wrote, “The moral measure of the federal budget is not which party wins or which powerful interests prevail, but rather how those who are jobless, hungry, homeless, or poor are treated. Their voices are too often missing in these debates, but they have the most compelling moral claim on our consciences and our common resources.”

Archbishop Wenski and Bishop Cantú chair the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development and Committee on International Justice and Peace, respectively.

The bishops expressed support for reduction of future unsustainable deficits and their impact on the economy, but said a just framework for a federal budget cannot rely on “disproportionate cuts in essential service to poor persons.” The bishops noted how Budget Control Act caps and sequestration have limited many domestic and international poverty-focused programs and cautioned lawmakers against using the reconciliation process to achieve savings by cutting health care, nutrition and other programs.

“As pastors, we see every day the human consequences of budget choices. Our Catholic community defends the unborn, feeds the hungry, shelters the homeless, educates the young, and cares for the sick, both at home and abroad. We help poor families rise above crushing poverty, resettle refugees fleeing conflict and persecution, and reach out to communities devastated by wars, natural disasters and famines. In much of this work, we are partners with government, and our combined resources allow us to reach further and help more,” the bishops wrote.

The full text of the letter is available online: www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/federal-budget/letter-to-congress-from-archbishop-wenski-bishop-cantu-on-federal-budget-fy-2016-02-27-2015.cfm
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Keywords: Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski, Miami, Bishop Oscar Cantú, Las Cruces, New Mexico, Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Committee on International Justice and Peace, USCCB, U.S. bishops, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops,


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