Skip to comments.US Catholic Bishops on Government Shutdown: The Poor, Needy Should Come First
Posted on 10/03/2013 8:58:03 PM PDT by Alex Murphy
Top bishops from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have spoken out on the recent government shutdown by suggesting that moral criteria should guide budgetary decisions, and insisted that the poor and needy should come first.
"We write as pastors and teachers, not experts or partisans, to bring both moral principles and everyday experience to this discussion. The Catholic community defends the unborn, feeds the hungry, shelters the homeless, educates the young, welcomes refugees, and cares for the sick, both at home and abroad. In many instances, the government is a partner with the Church and its ministries in accomplishing this work," read the letter to the House and Senate signed by Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles; Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, California; and Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa.
There has been much talk on the government shutdown that hit Tuesday morning after Democrats and Republicans failed to agree on budgetary concerns, with both sides pointing fingers at each other. The bishops suggested that certain moral criteria should be used when making important decisions on the matter, and offered:
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" (Mt 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 Catholic bishops referred to the Catechism of the Catholic Church and many of the comments Pope Francis has made during his time as leader of the Vatican which affirm that the role of the government is to provide people with essentials, such as food, health, work, education.
"In our country today, millions of Americans struggle to meet these basic needs, through no fault of their own, as a result of an economy that continues to fail to create sufficient economic opportunities," the letter continued, and pointed out that the poverty rate has hit a 20 year high, and that over 1 in 5 children are forced to live in poverty.
The letter also shared a recent quote by Pope Francis, who said: "You can't govern without loving the people and without humility! And every man, every woman who has to take up the service of government, must ask themselves two questions: 'Do I love my people in order to serve them better? Am I humble and do I listen to everybody, to diverse opinions in order to choose the best path?' If you don't ask those questions, your governance will not be good."
The bishops concluded their statement by promising they are ready to work with leaders from both political parties and move toward a budget that "reduces future unsustainable deficits, protects poor and vulnerable people, advances the common good, and promotes human life and dignity."
....The Catholic bishops referred to the Catechism of the Catholic Church and many of the comments Pope Francis has made during his time as leader of the Vatican which affirm that the role of the government is to provide people with essentials, such as food, health, work, education.
the role of the government is to provide people with essentials, such as food, health, work, education.
NO. it. is. NOT.
Hey, at least the government will fund abortions for poor and needy mothers despite the shutdown.
And of course, the TSA will still be doing 3rd degree sexual assaults on those cute chicks running to make their flights.
The NSA is busy collecting e-mails and listening in on phone calls.
0-care is in place to force lower income people to buy overpriced insurance plans that have increased big insurance company profits.
We’ve got to fund government no matter what; render onto Caesar don’t ya know.
The Pope and the Bishops need to shut up. I'm tired of them all.
These three bishops are among the most left-wing in the country. They work tirelessly to bring pro-abortion voters into the country.
The USCCB lobbied for Obamacare for eighty years. They collaborated with Bart Stupak and his idiotic charade.
They can shove it.
Some apologist will be along to tell us what "they really said"
Obviously the media is distorted the Bishops' statements in a communist fashion. /sarc.
Almighty government! Rain down on us your heavenly mana!
Pro-abortion Bishops are ignored here.
“US Catholic Bishops on Government Shutdown: The Poor, Needy Should Come First”
The communists running this country should use their own words against them when they strip them of their tax-exempt status. The they can represent Christianity and not Caesar.
“The Catholic bishops referred to the Catechism of the Catholic Church and many of the comments Pope Francis has made during his time as leader of the Vatican which affirm that the role of the government is to provide people with essentials, such as food, health, work, education.”
They should instead be referring to encyclicals from earlier Popes that referred to socialism as the robbing of people’s wages.
And what is so blasted frustrating to me, as a Catholic, is that the crap you see spewed from the USCCB doesn't even sound like it comes from the same church as the one in the Vatican.
For example, could you ever imagine the USCCB saying this:
In recent years the range of such intervention has vastly expanded, to the point of creating a new type of State, the so-called "Welfare State". This has happened in some countries in order to respond better to many needs and demands, by remedying forms of poverty and deprivation unworthy of the human person. However, excesses and abuses, especially in recent years, have provoked very harsh criticisms of the Welfare State, dubbed the "Social Assistance State". Malfunctions and defects in the Social Assistance State are the result of an inadequate understanding of the tasks proper to the State. Here again the principle of subsidiarity must be respected: a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to coordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good.
By intervening directly and depriving society of its responsibility, the Social Assistance State leads to a loss of human energies and an inordinate increase of public agencies, which are dominated more by bureaucratic ways of thinking than by concern for serving their clients, and which are accompanied by an enormous increase in spending.
Or, how about this:
Lovecaritaswill always prove necessary, even in the most just society. There is no ordering of the State so just that it can eliminate the need for a service of love. Whoever wants to eliminate love is preparing to eliminate man as such. There will always be suffering which cries out for consolation and help. There will always be loneliness. There will always be situations of material need where help in the form of concrete love of neighbour is indispensable. The State which would provide everything, absorbing everything into itself, would ultimately become a mere bureaucracy incapable of guaranteeing the very thing which the suffering personevery personneeds: namely, loving personal concern. We do not need a State which regulates and controls everything, but a State which, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, generously acknowledges and supports initiatives arising from the different social forces and combines spontaneity with closeness to those in need.
And it is particularly frustrating when you realize that not all the US bishops even think the same way as the US. For example, in regards to Obamacare, one bishop commented:
the Catholic Church does not teach that government should directly provide health care. Unlike a prudential concern like national defense, for which government monopolization is objectively good it both limits violence overall and prevents the obvious abuses to which private armies are susceptible health care should not be subject to federal monopolization. Preserving patient choice (through a flourishing private sector) is the only way to prevent a health care monopoly from denying care arbitrarily, as we learned from HMOs in the recent past. While a government monopoly would not be motivated by profit, it would be motivated by such bureaucratic standards as quotas and defined best procedures, which are equally beyond the influence of most citizens.
(And he's not the only one)
And on this subject of illegal immigration, apparently the USCCB doesn't bother to consider the words of this current, "progressive", pope:
Pope Benedict XVI sketched the parameters of such policies, stating that they should set out from close collaboration between the migrants countries of origin and their countries of destination; they should be accompanied by adequate international norms able to coordinate different legislative systems with a view to safeguarding the needs and rights of individual migrants and their families, and at the same time, those of the host countries (Caritas in Veritate, 62)
It must also be emphasized that such cooperation begins with the efforts of each country to create better economic and social conditions at home, so that emigration will not be the only option left for those who seek peace, justice, security and full respect of their human dignity. The creation of opportunities for employment in the local economies will also avoid the separation of families and ensure that individuals and groups enjoy conditions of stability and serenity.
Excerpts from Message for World Day of Migrants 2014
15. And in addition to injustice, it is only too evident what an upset and disturbance there would be in all classes, and to how intolerable and hateful a slavery citizens would be subjected. The door would be thrown open to envy, to mutual invective, and to discord; the sources of wealth themselves would run dry, for no one would have any interest in exerting his talents or his industry; and that ideal equality about which they entertain pleasant dreams would be in reality the levelling down of all to a like condition of misery and degradation. Hence, it is clear that the main tenet of socialism, community of goods, must be utterly rejected, since it only injures those whom it would seem meant to benefit, is directly contrary to the natural rights of mankind, and would introduce confusion and disorder into the commonweal. The first and most fundamental principle, therefore, if one would undertake to alleviate the condition of the masses, must be the inviolability of private property. This being established, we proceed to show where the remedy sought for must be found.
17. It must be first of all recognized that the condition of things inherent in human affairs must be borne with, for it is impossible to reduce civil society to one dead level. Socialists may in that intent do their utmost, but all striving against nature is in vain. There naturally exist among mankind manifold differences of the most important kind; people differ in capacity, skill, health, strength; and unequal fortune is a necessary result of unequal condition. Such unequality is far from being disadvantageous either to individuals or to the community. Social and public life can only be maintained by means of various kinds of capacity for business and the playing of many parts; and each man, as a rule, chooses the part which suits his own peculiar domestic condition.
38. Here, however, it is expedient to bring under special notice certain matters of moment. First of all, there is the duty of safeguarding private property by legal enactment and protection. Most of all it is essential, where the passion of greed is so strong, to keep the populace within the line of duty; for, if all may justly strive to better their condition, neither justice nor the common good allows any individual to seize upon that which belongs to another, or, under the futile and shallow pretext of equality, to lay violent hands on other people's possessions. Most true it is that by far the larger part of the workers prefer to better themselves by honest labor rather than by doing any wrong to others. But there are not a few who are imbued with evil principles and eager for revolutionary change, whose main purpose is to stir up disorder and incite their fellows to acts of violence. The authority of the law should intervene to put restraint upon such firebrands, to save the working classes from being led astray by their maneuvers, and to protect lawful owners from spoliation.
The USCCB is an out of control, radical leftist group that needs to be disbanded, the building demolished, and the ground salted afterwards.
I feel the same way about the USCCB as I do about Barack Obama.
depends on what type of Government they are speaking of,right?
If they are speaking of Communism, they are correct.
BTW.....they love Gov Education, but its the Gov that took prayer out of school and glorifies Homosexualily. they better be careful what they wish for
Works for me.
With their belief in government, it seems to me it doesn’t leave much room for the church or a reliance on God. The church wouldn’t be needed at all. What is the point of the church or God if most everything belongs under government control?
I have always loved the bible, to listen to or read people talk about the bible but I have never cared much for the churches. This just reenforces my attitude.
Same here. And can somebody please point me to the line in the Catechism that says the government is responsible for our corporal works of mercy? I know it's not really in there, but I'm wondering what those jackasses are interpreting as that.
Well, then, the CHURCH should be doing ITS job and taking care of the poor.
This is the problem with foisting off on others our mandate handed down by Jesus Himself to care for the poor. Jesus never said to vote it off on to the government.
The Catholic bishops need to get their house in order and stop abdicating their responsibility.
Do they SERIOUSLY think that the government is capable of showing the love of Christ to the poor?
“Do they SERIOUSLY think that the government is capable of showing the love of Christ to the poor?”
Has any government every done so? In the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus praises the Samaritan who helps the injured traveler of his own free will; He never indicated the state was the solution.
Very good post.
Unfortunately, the logical conclusion of it is that many (most?) American bishops, while validly ordained, aren't actually Catholic. Or, at least, like the archbishopess of Washington, Donna Cardinal Wuerl, they are, at best, part-time Catholics and full-time Democrats (or, in some cases, full-time fascists and communists).
I await the pope who will invite them all to Rome for a little cook-out.
2406 Political authority has the right and duty to regulate the legitimate exercise of the right to ownership for the sake of the common good.
Although they have apparently neglected to factor the following section in, as demonstrated by their incessant, strident calls for socialist-style intervention by Big Brother:
2425 The Church has rejected the totalitarian and atheistic ideologies associated in modem times with "communism" or "socialism." She has likewise refused to accept, in the practice of "capitalism," individualism and the absolute primacy of the law of the marketplace over human labor. Regulating the economy solely by centralized planning perverts the basis of social bonds; regulating it solely by the law of the marketplace fails social justice, for "there are many human needs which cannot be satisfied by the market." Reasonable regulation of the marketplace and economic initiatives, in keeping with a just hierarchy of values and a view to the common good, is to be commended.