Catholic Conference of Ohio
Thursday, January 18, 2018

Issues - Catholic Conference of Ohio

Economic Justice


"The development of economic activity and growth in production are meant to provide for the needs of human beings. Economic life is not meant solely to multiply goods produced and increase profit or power; it is ordered first of all to the service of persons, of the whole man, and of the entire human community. Economic activity, conducted according to its own proper methods, is to be exercised within the limits of the moral order, in keeping with social justice so as to correspond to God's plan for man." 
(Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2426).

Catholic Social Doctrine teaches that a just economy is one that serves the human person. Questions of fair wages, fair taxation, fair treatment of workers and fair business practices are important public policy debates. 


State Budget:

The State Budget is an expression of moral priorities. This budget should adequately fund health and safety, education and human services, economic development and environmental security. The needs of the poor and vulnerable should be a high priority.

The Catholic Conference of Ohio supports tax policies that fairly raise adequate revenues, and mitigate the impact on persons with fixed and low incomes. We believe wages should be adequate for workers to provide for themselves and their families with dignity.


Tax Reform:

Taxation is both an economic and moral issue. We believe there are important questions to be answered.

  • Does Ohio’s tax structure adequately protect the poor, vulnerable children, seniors and the disabled?
  • Are Ohio’s tax policies sufficiently progressive, intentionally designed to collect more from those with a greater ability to pay?
  • Is Ohio’s tax code fair to all taxpayers?
  • Do our tax policies serve the common good of Ohioans?

The Ohio Bishops support tax reform that is fair, raises adequate revenues, is progressive, and mitigates the impact on persons with fixed and low incomes.


​​Resources


 

Advance Final Tax Reform Bill Only if it Meets Key Moral Concerns, Says USCCB Chairman

Letter Offers Recommendations for the Tax Proposals

Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, insisted that Congress should advance a final tax reform bill only if it meets key moral concerns.

Bishop Dewane's letter highlighted various strengths and weaknesses of the pending tax proposals.

U.S. Bishops’ Chairman Calls For Senate To Amend Tax Proposal To Ensure Just Moral Framework

Senate proposal is fundamentally flawed as written and requires amendment.

Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, called for amendments to the Senate tax reform proposal to "ensure a just and moral framework for all."

"...Congress must take adequate time to analyze the complexities of these proposed reforms, and make certain that the nation does not further enshrine indifference toward the poor into law. The Senate should act now to amend its legislation to better ensure a just and moral framework for all..."

Church Leaders Call House Tax Reform Bill "Unacceptable," "Unconscionable" as currently written

Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, New Mexico, and Bishop George V. Murry, SJ of Youngstown, Ohio call for amendments

“Doubling the standard deduction will help some of those in poverty to avoid tax liability, and this is a positive good contained in the bill,” wrote the Bishops of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.  “However, as written, this proposal appears to be the first federal income tax modification in American history that will raise income taxes on the working poor while simultaneously providing a large tax cut to the wealthy.  This is simply unconscionable.”

U.S. Bishops Chairman Urges Prudence And Thoughtful Deliberation On Tax Reform

Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chair of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Offers Words of Caution

The USCCB offers moral criteria to assist Congress in their deliberations on the 'Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.' The changes proposed in this bill are significant and complex, affecting the entire nation. Current information indicates that the House is planning to move this bill quickly through the legislative process. However, prudence requires that members of Congress and the people of the country have adequate time to fully understand and debate the consequences of any tax bill so that decisions serve the dignity of the human person and the common good. This is not a moment for hurried action, but thoughtful deliberation.

Moral Criteria To Assist Congress During Deliberations On Possible Tax Reform

Labor Day Statement 2017

Teaching of Pope Francis Emphasized in USCCB Statement

On this Labor Day, let us give thanks to God present to us in the Eucharist as we toil for our heavenly reward.  Let us give thanks for the human vocation to work, and strive to make our businesses, our communities, our nation, and our world places where the human person can fully thrive.  And let us give thanks for the opportunity to encounter Christ present in those in need, along with the great gifts that come in demonstrating care and concern for our most vulnerable brothers and sisters, including those experiencing great poverty in the area of work.  May we all earnestly seek to adopt God's "gaze of love" as our own, to envision and make real a world of work restored "in deed and in truth."

Full Statement

House Budget Resolution Places Poor in Jeopardy Says U.S. Bishops Chairman

Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development expressed concern

“The USCCB is closely monitoring the budget and appropriations process in Congress and is analyzing the proposed House budget resolution in more detail.  It is clearly noted at the outset that the proposal assumes the harmful and unacceptable cuts to Medicaid from the American Health Care Act.  Additionally, steady increases to military spending in the resolution are made possible by cutting critical resources for those in need over time, including potentially from important programs like SNAP that provide essential nutrition to millions of people. The bipartisan approach to discretionary spending in recent years, while imperfect, reflected a more balanced compromise given competing priorities. 

A nation’s budget is a moral document.  Reducing deficits through cuts for human needs—while simultaneously attempting a tax cut, as this proposal does—will place millions of poor and vulnerable people in real jeopardy.  Congress should choose a better path, one that honors those struggling in our country.”

More

Ohio Bishops Oppose the Denial of Workers' Compensation to Undocumented Workers

Ohio Senate Removes Provision

Background:

The Ohio House recently passed Workers’ Compensation legislation (HB 27) that includes a provision prohibiting undocumented workers from receiving workers’ compensation benefits. Thanks, in large part, to advocacy efforts opposing this provision, the Ohio Senate removed the provision.

Workers’ Compensation is funded by employers as an insurance policy which provides medical and compensation benefits for work-related injuries, diseases and deaths.

Bishops Statement:

The Catholic Bishops of Ohio are opposed to the denial of workers’ compensation benefits to undocumented workers.

We have consistently called for meaningful immigration reform. In our April 2017 letter to Congress, we, again, called upon elected officials to address our country’s broken immigration system through a comprehensive reform that improves security and creates more legal and transparent paths to immigration.

We do not condone unauthorized entry into the United States.  Yet, once undocumented immigrants are here and working, their human dignity itself should guarantee basic compensation and protections for the work they provide.

In our Catholic teaching, work is first and foremost the very expression of the human person in the world and participation in God’s creation.  When someone engages in work for an employer, that person should receive just remuneration and just worker protections. Respecting a person’s human dignity should remain paramount. (Pope St. John Paul II, Laborem Exercens, nos. 6, 19, 23)

Workers’ compensation is an insurance policy that the employer pays in recognition of the worker’s labor. It provides medical and compensation benefits for work-related injuries, diseases and deaths. It should be available to all workers regardless of their legal status. Denying workers’ compensation to undocumented workers may result in more abuses by unscrupulous employers to this already often exploited population.

Bishops Statement ( updated PDF)
Catholic Conference of Ohio Testimony
Links on Immigration Reform

Chairmen from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Raise Concerns over Proposed Federal Budget

The moral measure of the federal budget is how well it promotes the common good of all, especially the most vulnerable

President Trump's proposed budget calls for a sharp increase in military spending while making significant cuts across much of the rest of government, including reductions in many long-standing federal programs that assist the poor and vulnerable.

In letters to both the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate, the bishops reaffirmed the federal budget as a moral document containing profound implications for the common good of our nation and world. The letter states that the "budget requires difficult decisions that ought to be guided by moral criteria that protect human life and dignity, give central importance to 'the least of these' (Matthew 25), and promote the welfare of workers and families who struggle to live in dignity."

"Sharp increases in defense and immigration enforcement spending, coupled with simultaneous and severe reductions to non-defense discretionary spending, particularly to many domestic and international programs that assist the most vulnerable, would be profoundly troubling.  Such deep cuts would pose a threat to the security of our nation and world, and would harm people facing dire circumstances. When the impact of other potential legislative proposals, including health care and tax policies, are taken into account, the prospects for vulnerable people become even bleaker." 

The letter was signed by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, Chairman, Committee on Pro-Life Activities, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Chairman, Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, Chairman, Committee on International Justice and Peace, Bishop George V. Murry, SJ, of Youngstown, Chairman, Committee on Catholic Education, Bishop Christopher J. Coyne, of Burlington, Chairman, Committee on Communications, and Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, Chairman, Committee on Migration. 

The full text of the letter sent to the U.S. Senate/U.S. House of Representatives is available at:  

http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/federal-budget/letter-to-congress-on-fy-2018-federal-budget-2017-05-19.cfm

Catholic Bishops of Ohio Issue Statement regarding Collective Bargaining

February 28, 2011

Regarding SB 5: The Catholic bishops of Ohio encourage leaders in government, labor, and business to pursue changes that promote the common good without the elimination of collective bargaining.

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