Skip to comments.US [Catholic] bishops to Congress: ‘not justifiable to weaken the national safety net’
Posted on 09/02/2011 7:17:21 PM PDT by Alex Murphy
Acknowledging that the fiscal status quo is unsustainable, with mounting deficits and growing debt for our children, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is urging the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction not to make disproportionate cuts to domestic and international poverty-assistance programs.
A central moral measure of any budget proposal is how it affects the least of these (Matthew 25), wrote Bishop Stephen Blaire, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and Bishop Howard Hubbard, chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace, in their August 31 letter. The needs of those who are hungry and homeless, without work or in poverty should come first.
It would be wrong to balance future budgets by hurting those who already hurt the most by cutting programs such as foreign aid, affordable housing programs, child nutrition, or health care, they continued. A just framework also requires shared sacrifice by all, including raising adequate revenues, eliminating unnecessary military and other spending, and addressing the long-term costs of health insurance and retirement programs fairly.
At a time of record foreclosures, increasing poverty and high unemployment it is not justifiable to weaken the national safety net or to make disproportionate cuts to programs that can help low and moderate income families avert crisis and live in dignity, the bishops added. We especially fear the costs of undermining poverty-focused international assistance, which is an essential tool to promote human life and dignity, advance solidarity with poorer nations, and enhance global security.
It would be wrong to balance future budgets by hurting those who already hurt the most by cutting programs such as foreign aid, affordable housing programs, child nutrition, or health care, they continued. A just framework also requires shared sacrifice by all, including raising adequate revenues, eliminating unnecessary military and other spending, and addressing the long-term costs of health insurance and retirement programs fairly....it is not justifiable to weaken the national safety net or to make disproportionate cuts to programs that can help low and moderate income families avert crisis and live in dignity....We especially fear the costs of undermining poverty-focused international assistance, which is an essential tool to promote human life and dignity, advance solidarity with poorer nations, and enhance global security.
Sadly the usccb does not represent the Catholic bishops, but it’s own entrenched bureaucracy.
boggles the mind.
I’m not Catholic, & I don’t know who this USCCB is; but such a statement sure sounds both communist and satanic (redundant, I know).
They do not represent our secular beliefs. And they most certainly do not speak for the Pope.
The lot of them should be excommunicated by His Holiness!
I quit giving to most charities, including Catholic charities. I still give to a few charities who seem to actually help those who can't help themselves. But the last couple of years, I've decided my money will be better spent giving to individual candidates who understand the role of our government.
I'm tired of my taxes going to Michelle's 10 million dollar vacations and someone else’s idea of social justice.
Source(s): these links will take you to other sites, in a new window.
Not having read their letter, I am doubtful that these two bishops speak for the consensus of the Catholic bishops in the US and I am certain that they do not speak for the Catholic religion in general. Hughes is known radical close to mandatory retirement. I don’t know about the other bishop. I do know that the premise that US anti-poverty programs serve to keep people from starving is highly exaggerated at best. The “poor” in America tend to be fatter than the rest of the population. That, along with their cars and cell phones, might be an indication that they are more poor in spirit than materially.
In cases in which neither universal law nor a special mandate of the Apostolic See has granted the power mentioned in §1 to a conference of bishops, the competence of each diocesan bishop remains intact, nor is a conference or its president able to act in the name of all the bishops unless each and every bishop has given consent.
Bishops Blaire and Hubbard have the competency to speak for themselves in this matter, not on behalf of the US Catholic Bishops.
Since Bishops Blaire and Hubbard do not have the competency to speak for the Catholic Church, what does the Catholic Church teach on the subject?
Pope Pius XI:
As history abundantly proves, it is true that on account of changed conditions many things which were done by small associations in former times cannot be done now save by large associations. Still, that most weighty principle, which cannot be set aside or changed, remains fixed and unshaken in social philosophy: Just as it is gravely wrong to take from individuals what they can accomplish by their own initiative and industry and give it to the community, so also it is an injustice and at the same time a grave evil and disturbance of right order to assign to a greater and higher association what lesser and subordinate organizations can do. For every social activity ought of its very nature to furnish help to the members of the body social, and never destroy and absorb them.
Pope John Paul II:
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.100
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. In fact, it would appear that needs are best understood and satisfied by people who are closest to them and who act as neighbours to those in need.
Pope Benedict XVI:
A particular manifestation of charity and a guiding criterion for fraternal cooperation between believers and non-believers is undoubtedly the principle of subsidiarity, an expression of inalienable human freedom. Subsidiarity is first and foremost a form of assistance to the human person via the autonomy of intermediate bodies. Such assistance is offered when individuals or groups are unable to accomplish something on their own, and it is always designed to achieve their emancipation, because it fosters freedom and participation through assumption of responsibility. Subsidiarity respects personal dignity by recognizing in the person a subject who is always capable of giving something to others. By considering reciprocity as the heart of what it is to be a human being, subsidiarity is the most effective antidote against any form of all-encompassing welfare state.
The principle of subsidiarity must remain closely linked to the principle of solidarity and vice versa, since the former without the latter gives way to social privatism, while the latter without the former gives way to paternalist social assistance that is demeaning to those in need…Such aid, whatever the donors' intentions, can sometimes lock people into a state of dependence…
Take from the rich or thou shall not covet other people’s wealth. Choose this day whom you will serve.
While Christ does suggest that people should be charitable with their own resources, that is enormously different from instructing that they should support a secular redistributionist state.
To resent someone because they have something resenter lacks is the essence of covetousness. It is also the essence of leftism. While there may be some aspects of leftism which are not predicated upon covetousness, it is not a stretch to renounce leftism as not being merely a 'different political philosophy', but fundamentally evil. Such renunciation is the most effective rhetorical technique, but one should not attempt to "work with" leftists without recognizing their fundamental nature. It's fine to "work with" an enemy as a means of undermining him, but those who compromise with the devil always lose.
I understand the sentiment, but we must not give in to despair. I have personally (through the KofC) known two exemplary bishops: Bishop D'Arcy of Fort Wayne, and Bishop Jenke of Peoria. Profoundly holy and learned men, both humble and both great leaders.
As well, the new crop of bishops that His Holiness has sown shows more promise than any since the USCCB was formed. We have the hope of Christ, yet the Augean stables that the USCCB has become requires a Herculean effort to muck out. We laity must be behind a return to orthodoxy and acceptance of the new/old liturgy beginning in Advent.
With that said, my own bishop's only worth is to be dipped in concrete and used as a boat anchor.
Very good. 150 years ago, the churches were in the charity business and the gubmint was in the governing business. Now? The gubmint is in every business and the useful idiots on the left take the current system as the only one that we should work under.
Formerly, bishops were often invited to stay past their mandatory retirement age; this is often not true - especially with the heresiarchs. Some of them are invited to retire early (heh heh) and their letters of intent accepted. There have been a recent number of summons to Rome in order to explain just what the hell you idiots think you're up to. Some rather interesting outcomes have resulted from these quiet little come-to-il-Papa meetings.