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Prelate: poverty must join abortion at top of Church’s ‘political agenda’

October 16, 2013

Writing in America Magazine, Auxiliary Bishop Robert McElroy of San Francisco argued that the Church in the United States “must elevate the issue of poverty to the very top of its political agenda, establishing poverty alongside abortion as the pre-eminent moral issues the Catholic community pursues at this moment in our nation’s history.”

“Both abortion and poverty countenance the deaths of millions of children in a world where government action could end the slaughter,” he continued. “Both abortion and poverty, each in its own way and to its own degree, constitute an assault on the very core of the dignity of the human person, instrumentalizing life as part of a throwaway culture. The cry of the unborn and the cry of the poor must be at the core of Catholic political conversation in the coming years because these realities dwarf other threats to human life and dignity that confront us today.”

“Choices by citizens or public officials that systematically, and therefore unjustly, decrease governmental financial support for the poor clearly reject core Catholic teachings on poverty and economic justice,” he added. “Policy decisions that reduce development assistance to the poorest countries reject core Catholic teachings. Tax policies that increase rather than decrease inequalities reject core Catholic teachings.”


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  • Posted by: impossible - Oct. 17, 2013 12:13 AM ET USA

    Abortion is an intrinsically evil act, evil in any and all circumstances. Bernardin laundry list strikes again. Is Bishop McElroy seems promoting the fallacy that socialism and big government are the answer? That violates Catholic teaching. He should read 69 of the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church, “With her social doctrine, the Church aims at helping man on the path of salvation. This is her primary and sole purpose.” Partisan politics is not! Please study history.

  • Posted by: Minnesota Mary - Oct. 16, 2013 9:16 PM ET USA

    The rate of poverty is rapidly increasing due to Social(ism)Justice and amnesty for illegals that are constantly being promoted by the Bishops. If you want more of something you subsidize it. If you want less of something you tax it. The middle class is sliding down into the poverty ranks because one man won't work for something that another man gets for free. There is no longer any incentive to work and pay taxes in this country when you can get Uncle Sam to pay for everything you need.

  • Posted by: unum - Oct. 16, 2013 8:37 PM ET USA

    Another USCCB bishop politician! But, then I repeat myself.

  • Posted by: dover beachcomber - Oct. 16, 2013 7:12 PM ET USA

    Here's the difference, Bishop McElroy: the Church teaches that the poor should be helped; that is a core teaching. But the best methods for delivering that help remain a matter of prudential judgment, primarily for the laity to exercise. Multiple answers that are morally sound are possible. But with abortion, there is only one morally acceptable position: it is gravely wrong, period.

  • Posted by: [email protected] - Oct. 16, 2013 7:01 PM ET USA

    Here we go again with another bleeding heart from California the welfare state. Most of the people that the bishop considers poor in this country do not know real poverty. What they continually create is a mindset of victimization. Someone must take care of them. How about teaching them how to take care of themselves. Most US support has the string of abortion and contraceptives tied to it. More private help and less government is better.

  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Oct. 16, 2013 5:33 PM ET USA

    I don't know about others, but I cannot recall that poverty was deemed a "constitutionally protected right" for anyone by any court in the land. Bishop McElroy is playing with language here, equating those proverbial bananas and apples. Something tells me he knows his logic is faulty.