Maryland bishops call for legislation to ease poverty
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- The bishops of Maryland urged Catholics in the state to contact elected officials and ask them to consider the needs of the poor as they make public policy decisions in the upcoming year.

“Thousands of our brothers and sisters who are homeless experience the daily reality of a life in crisis,” they said in a statement released before the opening of the Maryland General Assembly’s 2012 session.

Caring for the poor is “an obligation and a requirement of true justice,” they underscored.

The Jan. 9 statement was issued by Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington, D.C., Cardinal-elect Edwin F. O’Brien, apostolic administrator of Baltimore, and Bishop W. Francis Malooly of Wilmington.

The bishops recalled the “challenging circumstances” faced by Joseph and Mary, traveling to a foreign city, being unable to find lodging even as Mary was “on the verge of childbirth,” and then being forced to flee to another country to escape danger.

Although many are familiar with this story, people often “forget that this scenario is played out over and over, every day, in the lives of millions of people.”

While Maryland is one of the wealthiest states in America, many of its residents are struggling to meet their basic needs, they explained.

In the last year, the poverty level in Baltimore alone has increased by 20 percent and now affects one in four residents. 

Almost 700,000 families in Maryland receive food assistance, and 2010 estimates indicate that more than 10,000 locals are homeless.

Twenty percent of Maryland households with children reported being unable to feed their families at times during 2009-2010.

The bishops voiced their concerns that due to continuing high rates of unemployment, many individuals in the state are struggling to find adequate food, clothing and shelter.

Recalling that we encounter Christ in our interactions with other people, they said that love of one’s neighbor is the duty of every Catholic.

The principle of subsidiarity demands that individual Catholics should donate their “time, resources and voices” to serve the poor, said the bishops, noting that the Catholic community of Maryland serves as “the state’s largest non-governmental provider of social services,” providing assistance to thousands of those in need.

However, because individuals do not have the capacity to meet all of the needs that exist, the government shares in the responsibility of caring for the poor, they said.

While they acknowledged the fiscal crisis faced by many levels of government, the bishops also recognized the necessity of laws that incorporate “the principles of justice and respect for human dignity.”
They emphasized the importance of housing as a “basic human right,” which they said “should be made accessible to all.”

Those in the state should remind members of the Maryland General Assembly that “the budget is a moral document that reflects the public’s priorities.”

Reminding Maryland Catholics of their call to put faith into action in their everyday lives, the bishops asked them to encourage legislators to institute policies that promote the creation of jobs and offer relief for the poor and vulnerable through a “social safety net.”

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea

Liturgical Calendar

December 21, 2014


All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 21:23-27


Daily Readings

Gospel:: Lk 1: 26-38

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mt 21:23-27