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Bishop draws attention to rural poverty

Catholic World News - September 03, 2013

Writing for the blog of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the bishop of Wyoming called upon Catholics to remember that “rural poverty is over two percentage points higher than urban poverty.”

“This poverty is more pervasive and persistent: of all the counties that experienced deep spells of poverty over a 20-year span, over 88% are rural,” said Bishop Paul Etienne of Cheyenne. “Today, about two percent of all jobs are agricultural, a significant decline from only a few decades ago, when the bounty of thriving American farms was the envy of the world.”

“The jobs vacuum in rural communities has been filled, in many instances, with low-paying or dangerous jobs that do not pay enough to support a family,” he added. “Not only should we help [rural communities] meet their basic needs through charity and a sense of appreciation for who produces our food, but we must also demand justice and seek to rebuild our economy so that people have access to living wages and good jobs in every community.”

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