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Kansas bishops lament national debt

Catholic World News - August 01, 2012

Reflecting on the economy and the election, the bishops of Kansas outline principles of Catholic social teaching and note that “unlike issues involving intrinsic evils such as abortion, same-sex marriage, and threats to religious liberty and conscience rights, Catholics of good will may have legitimate disagreements about how to apply Church teaching in the economic sphere.”

“While the Church does not endorse specific solutions to our economic challenges, she has much to offer when it comes to the necessary relationship between the economy and morality,” the bishops note. “The Church’s duty is to articulate principles; it is the duty of the lay faithful in their mission to renew the face of the earth to put those principles into action.”

After briefly discussing stewardship, solidarity, the universal destination of goods, private property, a safety net for the poor, charity, subsidiarity, private initiative, and the human person, the bishops turn to the national debt:

The United States has become a debtor nation with an unsustainable national debt. Most of this debt burden is unjustly transferred from one generation to the next. The potential for a collapse of our economy, resulting from a failure to address our spiraling debt, imperils everyone, but places the poor at the most serious risk.

As we expect individual households to live within their means, we have the right to expect that the government will also live within its means as an indispensable part of our nation’s economic recovery. It is irresponsible for those elected to positions of political leadership to fail to address realistically and effectively government debt and unfunded obligations. Our nation, at all levels of government, is on an unsustainable fiscal path that, left unreformed, will eventually lead to an economic calamity with disastrous consequences for everyone.

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  • Posted by: FredC - Aug. 02, 2012 1:42 PM ET USA

    The enormous debt will have its greatest impact on the middle class, driving most of it into the lower (poor) class with some moving to the upper (rich) class -- until the government takes from the upper to sustain the lower.

  • Posted by: unum - Aug. 02, 2012 8:03 AM ET USA

    I applaud the courage of the Kansas bishops. They obviously live in the real world, unlike their colleagues who continually advocate government spending in their letters to the Congress.

  • Posted by: koinonia - Aug. 01, 2012 8:45 PM ET USA

    It might be noted that Kansans and other midwesterners are enduring a hot summer of epic proportions and an intense drought. Kansas friends have advised that one can count on one hand the days of rainfall since spring. There will be economic consequences. Rivers are so low in the Midwest that water supplies and shipping are affected. Catholics in Kansas (where several parishes are often served by just one priest) can use our prayers as can everyone else in the Midwest during these shortages.

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