Catholic World News

US bishops weigh in on budget deal

April 14, 2011

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has praised aspects of the budget deal that averted a federal government shutdown.

“We are particularly grateful for three essential elements of the bipartisan agreement: expanded funding for the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Fund, which is a matter of justice for poor children; restoration of the prohibition on the use of congressionally appropriated funds for abortions in the District of Columbia; and the fact that spending cuts to programs that serve poor and vulnerable people in our nation and around the world were significantly less than originally proposed,” said Bishop Howard Hubbard of Albany, chairman of the USCCB committee on international justice and peace, and Bishop Stephen Blaire of Stockton, chairman of the USCCB committee on domestic justice and human development.

The DC Opportunity Scholarship Fund is a program that allows nearly 2,000 students to attend Catholic and other private schools.

“We write as pastors and teachers, not experts or partisans,” the bishops stated. “In light of growing deficits, Congress faces difficult choices about how to balance needs and resources and allocate burdens and sacrifices,” adding:

We offer several moral criteria to help guide difficult budgetary decisions: 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 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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  • Posted by: unum - Apr. 14, 2011 9:33 PM ET USA

    I don't remember any place in Scripture where Christ told the apostles to be politicians. Perhaps I missed it. But, if Jesus didn't ask them to spend time with Caesar, then why are our bishops dabbling in politics when adults not being taught the faith, our priests are not being properly supervised, and the sacraments are not available to many Catholics because there are no priests to administer them. Someone needs to explain "Job One" to the bishops.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 14, 2011 6:31 PM ET USA

    Again, there is no particular reason for the bishops' staff to "weigh in on budget deal." Except, of course, to justify the bloated staff at the USCCB. Will they ever say anything about subsidiarity??

  • Posted by: jimtotter - Apr. 14, 2011 2:15 PM ET USA

    I note that the bishops did not weigh in on Planned Parenthood funding. Another lapse of credibility!

  • Posted by: - Apr. 14, 2011 11:44 AM ET USA

    In addition to their other sterling qualities the US Bishops now show us how gullible they are.