The Common Good

Bishops Assess Budget

The U.S. Catholic Bishops weighed in on the budget again yesterday. A letter signed by Bishop Stephen E. Blaire, Chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and sent to Members of the House of Representatives repeated the “moral criteria” by which they assess the budget:

1. Every budget decision should be assessed by whether it protects or threatens human life and dignity.
2. A central moral measure of any budget proposal is how it affects the lives and dignity of “the least of these” (Matthew 25). The needs of those who are hungry and homeless, without work or in poverty should come first.
3. Government and other institutions have a shared responsibility to promote the common good of all, especially ordinary workers and families who struggle to live in dignity in difficult economic times
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After specifically noting the Child Tax Credit, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps), and the Social Services Block Grant; the bishops concluded,

“…the Catholic bishops join other faith leaders and people of good will urging you to protect the lives and dignity of poor and vulnerable families by putting a circle of protection around these essential programs and to refrain from cutting programs that serve them.”