U.S. Budget Priorities

In a letter to Congress on March 6, Bishop Stephen Blaire of Stockton, Calif., and Bishop Richard Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, supported moves to strengthen programs that help the poor and vulnerable at home and abroad. The two U.S. bishops, who lead the justice and peace efforts of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, advised Congress to base federal budget decisions on whether they protect human life and dignity, whether they put the needs of the hungry, the homeless and the unemployed first and whether they reflect the shared responsibility of government and other institutions to promote the common good of all. Especially “workers and families who struggle to live in dignity in difficult economic times,” they added. “The moral measure of this budget debate is not which party wins or which powerful interests prevail,” they wrote, “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.”

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