Bishops to Congress: protect "the least of these"

As Washington confronts a potential economic catastrophe, two bishops sought to keep attention on those who are often forgotten.

From the USCCB web site:

In a July 26 letter to the U.S. House of Representatives, Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, California, and Bishop Howard J. Hubbard of Albany, New York, called on Congress to remember the human and moral dimensions of the ongoing budget and debt ceiling debate.

The bishops wrote, “A just framework for future budgets cannot rely on disproportionate cuts in essential services to poor persons. It 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.”

Bishop Blaire and Bishop Hubbard respectively chair the Committees on Domestic Justice and Human Development and International Justice and Peace of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

The bishops wrote that every budget decision should be assessed by whether it protects human life and dignity, how it affects “the least of these,” including the hungry and homeless, and how well it reflects the shared responsibility of the government and other institutions to promote the common good of all, especially workers and families struggling in the current economy.

From the letter:

The moral measure of this budget debate is not which party wins or which powerful interests prevail, 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.

Read the entire letter here.

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