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our bishops' conference is deeply disappointed ...

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jan 31, 2006

USCCB President Bishop William Skylstad gives Congress a scolding about its budget:

In December, as President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, I wrote to you expressing serious concerns about provisions in the budget reconciliation bill. The proposed changes in Medicaid, child support enforcement funding, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and agriculture conservation programs, in particular, could have a negative impact upon the most vulnerable in our nation.

Our Bishops' Conference is deeply disappointed that the final budget reconciliation conference agreement coming once again before the House of Representatives includes provisions in these areas which we believe could prove harmful to many low-income children, families, elderly and people with disabilities who are least able to provide for themselves. Because of these concerns, we ask you to oppose the budget reconciliation conference agreement.

So imagine you're a congressman. How are you going to react to a moral reprimand concerning your budget priorities delivered by a bishop whose own diocese has filed for bankruptcy? Having been upbraided for not demonstrating greater solicitude toward "the most vulnerable in our nation," how will the admonishment strike you -- knowing that the bankruptcy in question was brought about, not by imprudently lavish charity on the part of the diocese, but by costs consequent upon the sexual predations of its clergy? With the beam of the Buggery Bill lodged firmly in the eye of the episcopacy, are you going to trust it to remove the budgetary mote from your own?

Tip to Rich Leonardi at Ten Reasons.

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  • Posted by: Moreman - Feb. 01, 2006 7:23 PM ET USA

    CWN reports: "In his notes on the second part of the encyclical, regarding the charitable activity of the Church, the Holy Father emphasizes that the Church should not be involved directly in partisan political affairs." Perhaps the USCCB has not received a copy of the encyclical yet? More likely the encyclical was DOA in DC -- and in state capitals around the country. It will take more than an encyclical to keep the Corps of Catholic Lobbyists from hobnobbing with the power elite.

  • Posted by: principle not pragmatism - Feb. 01, 2006 3:25 PM ET USA

    Do we have many Bishops that are not socialist democrats?

  • Posted by: Sir William - Feb. 01, 2006 10:23 AM ET USA

    I suppose the case can be made that the bishops get the 'render unto Caesar what is Caesar's' part of Jesus' admonition, because they harp on it enough. I just wish they'd take the 'and render unto God what is God's' part just as seriously and get busy with that.

  • Posted by: major - Feb. 01, 2006 10:00 AM ET USA

    Did not the Amercian Bishops build thmeselves a new 'palace' where they can all meet? If so, why don't they sell it and give it to the poor? Email is cheaper then airfare.

  • Posted by: benedictusoblatus - Feb. 01, 2006 12:18 AM ET USA

    Bishop Skylstad would do well to take a lesson from the Apostles. Justifiably concerned about the plight of the poor members of their flocks, they did what they could to alleviate their suffering. The burden of this "social" work eventually negatively impacted their real mission of preaching the Gospel and saving souls. They chose deacons to distribute what material aid they could to the poor. Leave social work to social workers. Get holy and fast, and then help the rest of us get holy too.

  • Posted by: Janet Baker - Jan. 31, 2006 8:00 PM ET USA

    When I read the first few words of the opening sentence, I thought, "A miracle! The USCCB president is admonishing the Catholic politicians to vote in accord with the Magisterium on life and morality issues!" Silly me!

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