Do No Harm

Congress should avoid measures that harm at-risk students, low-income families and the global poor who benefit from international assistance, said Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, Calif., and Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, in a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate on Nov. 13. The bishops oversee the justice and peace efforts of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “As you work to avoid sequestration and enact responsible deficit reduction…we hope longstanding moral principles and values will inform your decisions,” they wrote. The bishops said Pope Benedict XVI warns against “downsizing of social security systems” and emphasizes “solidarity with poor countries” and asked Congress to weigh the “human and moral consequences” of numerous policy choices. The bishops said the “important goal” of long-term deficit control “must not be achieved at the expense of the dignity of poor and vulnerable people at home and abroad.”

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