.- Congress must remember the needs of the poor and vulnerable, both at home and abroad, when it considers the federal budget, said the president of the U.S. bishops’ conference last week, in a letter to Capitol Hill.
“Your budget choices have clear moral and human dimensions; they reflect our values as a people,” said Bishop William Skylstad of Spokane in his March 16 letter.
“We are pastors, not economists or policy makers. Our faith calls us to measure economic decisions on whether they enhance or undermine the lives of those most in need,” the bishop said, explaining the U.S. bishops’ intervention.
“Too often the weak and vulnerable are not heard or seen in the budget debate. They do not have powerful lobbyists, but poor children and their families have compelling needs that have a priority claim on our consciences and our choices as the nation allocates limited federal resources,” he reasoned.
“Congress should shape and adopt a budget that ensures adequate funding for programs that help families in our country escape hunger and homelessness, find decent housing and employment, and have access to quality education and medical care,” the bishop urged.
Development and relief programs in Africa and other poor areas of the world should be a priority, he said.
“These wise and necessary investments will also increase our ability to assist and protect refugees fleeing violence and persecution,” he added.
The bishop also cited Pope Benedict’s encyclical, God is Love, in saying that the state must work to achieve justice “here and now.”
The entire letter can be found at www.usccb.org/sdwp.