The US Conference of Catholic Bishops is calling on Congress to extend emergency unemployment benefits for more than one million job seekers who lost this critical lifeline as 2013 drew to a close, and asking American Catholics to exercise faithful citizenship by urging their elected representatives to act quickly. The USCCB message reminds readers that "Blessed John Paul II, in Laborem Exercens, called unemployment an evil and said during times of economic pain and high unemployment, there is a moral obligation to ensure unemployed workers and their families have a basic level of security." Indeed, the Holy Father was remarkably explicit about that duty:
The obligation to provide unemployment benefits, that is to say, the duty to make suitable grants indispensable for the subsistence of unemployed workers and their families, is a duty springing from the fundamental principle of the moral order in this sphere, namely the principle of the common use of goods or, to put it in another and still simpler way, the right to life and subsistence.(Laborem Exercens, 18)Advertisement
A USCCB action alert provides details describing how to contact your representative and bear witness.