It looks like this week our elected representatives in the House and Senate will be voting on our national budget, and the Bishops are concerned that legislators will propose amendments that cut funding to programs that serve the poor and vulnerable. On behalf of the USCCB, Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami and Bishop Oscar Cantu of Las Cruces have urged our legislators to apply three moral criteria when acting on the budget:
1) Every budget decision should be assessed by whether it protects or threatens human life and dignity. 2) A central moral measure of any budget proposal is how it affects “the least of these” (Matthew 25). The needs of those who are hungry and homeless, without work or in poverty should come first. 3) Government and other institutions have a shared responsibility to promote the common good of all, especially ordinary workers and families who struggle to live in dignity in difficult economic times.
The USCCB invites all of us to contact our legislators and urge them to tend to “the least of these,” and makes it easy to do so by visiting their website. Please take a moment and ask your elected representatives for a budget that fills the hungry with good things. If scarce resources mean someone must be sent empty away, it shouldn’t be the poor.