Bishops Reiterate Priorities To Protect Poor, Promote The Common Good In Letter To House

May 8, 2012 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON—Congress should assessevery budget decision by how it reflects the shared responsibility of thegovernment and other institutions to protect human life and dignity, especiallyof the poor and vulnerable, said the bishop who chairs the Committee on DomesticJustice and Human Development of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops(USCCB) in a May 8 letter to the House of Representatives.

“The Catholic bishops of the UnitedStates recognize the serious deficits our country faces, and we acknowledgethat Congress must make difficult decisions about how to allocate burdens andsacrifices and balance resources and needs,” wrote Bishop Stephen E. Blaire ofStockton, California, as the House prepared to vote on a reconciliation packagefor the 2013 budget.“However, deficitreduction and fiscal responsibility efforts must protect and not undermine theneeds of poor and vulnerable people. The proposed cuts to programs in thebudget reconciliation fail this basic moral test.”

Bishop Blaire singled out an“unfair” proposal to change the Child Tax Credit to exclude children ofimmigrant families, “the large majority of whom are American citizens,”proposed cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerlyknown as food stamps) that would affect all poor families and be “a directthreat to their human dignity,” and the cutting of the Social Services BlockGrant, “an important source of funding for programs throughout the country”that serve “the homeless, the elderly, people with disabilities, childrenliving in poverty, and abuse victims.”

The full text of Bishop Blaire’sletter is available online:


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