Catholic Conference of Ohio
Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Issues - Catholic Conference of Ohio

Poverty

Option for the Poor and Vulnerable

While the common good embraces all, those who are weak, vulnerable, and most in need deserve preferential concern. A basic moral test for our society is how we treat the most vulnerable in our midst. In a society marred by deepening disparities between rich and poor, Scripture gives us the story of the Last Judgment (see MT 25:31-46) and reminds us that we will be judged by our response to the “least among us.” 

Welfare policy should reduce poverty and dependency, strengthen family life, and help families leave poverty through work, training, and assistance with child care, health care, housing, and transportation. It should also provide a safety net for those who cannot work.


Poverty Resources

Ohio Reports/Educational Resources

Ohio Websites

National Links

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

Catholic Leaders Raise Concerns Over U.S. Withdrawal of Paris Agreement on Climate Change

USCCB, CRS, Catholic Climate Covenant among those voicing concerns

USCCB: Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on International Justice and Peace, stresses that, although the Paris agreement is not the only possible mechanism for addressing global carbon mitigation, the lack of a current viable alternative is a serious concern.

USCCB Statement

Catholic Relief Services (CRS): “As an international humanitarian organization, we are confronted with the realities of climate change every day and see the devastating impact on the lives of the people we serve,” said Bill O’Keefe, vice president for advocacy and government relations for CRS.  “People around the world – especially those who contribute least to global warming, will be worse off because of today’s decision.”

CRS Statement

Catholic Climate Covenant: We, the member organizations of Catholic Climate Covenant, are deeply disappointed by President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement and stop all future payments to the Green Climate Fund. We implore him to reconsider. The international agreement of 2015 demonstrates that all nations will be impacted by a warming world and that all nations have a corresponding responsibility to limit greenhouse gas pollution causing climate change. 

Catholic Climate Covenant Statement

Catholic Poverty–Response Organizations Issue Action Alerts regarding the Proposed Federal Budget

Catholic Charities USA and Catholic Relief Services concerned over proposed cuts to human services

Catholic Charities USA Action Alert

 

 

 

Catholic Relief Services Action Alert

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

U.S. Bishops Chairman Calls On Senate To Strip Harmful Proposals From House-Passed Health Care Bill

American Health Care Act still contains major defects

After the U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act (H.R. 1628), Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the U.S. Bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, called on the Senate to strip out the harmful provisions of the bill when the chamber takes it up for consideration.

"Even with efforts to improve the bill before passage, the American Health Care Act still contains major defects, particularly regarding changes to Medicaid that risk coverage and affordability for millions; it is deeply disappointing that the voices of those who will be most severely impacted were not heeded," said Bishop Dewane. "The AHCA does offer critical life protections, and our health care system desperately needs these safeguards. But still, vulnerable people must not be left in poor and worsening circumstances as Congress attempts to fix the current and impending problems with the Affordable Care Act."

Full Statement
Statement of Concern by the Catholic Health Association
Statement of Concern by Catholic Charities USA

USCCB Chairmen Call On Congress To Consider Moral Criteria During Debates On Health Care Policy

The Bishops called on Congress to ensure coverage for those who now rely upon it after the passage of the Affordable Care Act, and expressed concern about any structural changes to the social safety net that could impact access to health care for millions.

In a letter from March 8, 2017, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities, Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration, urged Congress: to respect life by preventing the use of federal funds to facilitate abortion or purchase health care plans that provide abortion; to honor conscience rights; and to ensure access for all people to comprehensive, quality health care that is truly affordable.

“A repeal of key provisions of the Affordable Care Act ought not be undertaken without the concurrent passage of a replacement plan that ensures access to adequate health care for the millions of people who now rely upon it for their wellbeing."

Any modification of the Medicaid system as part of health care reform should prioritize improvement and access to quality care over cost savings."

 

Catholic Teachings on Poverty

Poverty in the world is a scandal. In a world where there is so much wealth, so many resources to feed everyone, it is unfathomable that there are so many hungry children, that there are so many children without an education, so many poor persons. We must all think about whether we can become a little poorer. This is something we must all do. How I can become a little poorer to be more like Jesus, who was the poor Teacher. (Pope Francis, 2013)

Resources on Hunger

Catholic Charities USA 

Catholic Relief Services

Catholic Rural Life

USCCB Agriculture, Nutrition and Rural Issues

Ohio Association of Foodbanks

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