Loading
Massachusetts bishops: Severe state budget cuts must not ignore social needs

.- Massachusetts politicians must remember the vulnerable in their spending cuts planned to remedy a $1.2 billion budget gap, the state’s Catholic bishops said.

“In the devastation of shrinking city and state budgets across the country, all face excruciating choices,” they commented in a Feb. 9 statement. They cautioned against the “temptation” to “turn away from the growing social needs confronting our cities and towns.”

Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley of Boston and Bishops George W. Coleman of Fall River, Timothy A. McDonnell of Springfield and Robert J. McManus of Springfield signed the statement.

“For many residents--a great many--the reality of the financial crisis, its initial impact and its continuing turmoil, is all too evident,” they said. “From our pastors and most poignantly from our social service agencies, we see and hear of the recession’s impact on families, and especially on the children.”

One food pantry in Boston which normally provides 5,000 pounds of food per month had to distribute 12,000 pounds of food in a single week, the bishops reported. Catholic Charities offices have said that hundreds of families are “doubling-up” in inadequate housing or are squeezing into “already overwhelmed shelters and motel rooms.”

The bishops characterized the budget challenge as one of maximizing the effectiveness of existing programs. Housing, health care, nutrition, education, and employment help ensure a “decent quality of life” and advance the common good.

They urged elected officials and Massachusetts citizens to preserve a special regard for the vulnerable, such as those who must choose between heat and food or shelter and clothing.

Federal government figures put Massachusetts’ unemployment rate at 8.2 percent. Over 12,000 foreclosures in the state were reported in 2010.

“We all face a punishing intersection of rising human needs and declining resources that threatens the dignity of the human person and the stability of family life,” the bishops continued.

They pledged to do everything possible to enable Catholic institutions to continue to “do their best in extending their help to our neighbor in need,” not only to the poor but also to those recently unemployed.

Gov. Deval Patrick’s proposed spending plan would cut 1.8 percent of the state budget, about $570 million. Cuts would affect school health services, services for the mentally ill, a program for low-income pregnant women and an early intervention program for children with delayed development.

Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Timothy P. Murray said that the administration is doing its best to save money without hurting services, but painful cuts are probable because of a loss of stimulus money and a diminished rainy day fund.

“There’s no doubt that poor people and vulnerable populations are going to be impacted by this budget and this economy, and we’re trying to do our part,” he told the Boston Globe. “I applaud the bishops for their willingness to try to do more; the governor and I have said we need individuals, businesses, and faith communities to step up and fill this gap, because government cannot do it alone.”


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

RESOURCES »

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

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
19

Liturgical Calendar

April 19, 2014

Holy Saturday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 28:1-10

Gospel
Date
04/19/14
04/18/14
04/17/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Gen 1:1-2:2
Gospel:: Mt 28:1-10

Saint of the Day

Blessed James Oldo »

Saint
Date

Homily of the Day

Mt 28:1-10

Homily
Date
04/19/14
04/18/14
04/17/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: