Saturday, May 07, 2011

Bishops told: speak clearly on Budget issues

“Bishops have shown no reluctance to speak authoritatively on issues of abortion and same-sex marriages. Bishops and the whole Catholic community must speak with the same clarity and vigor about the budget and the direction it sets for the country.”
In such clear words of its own, a leading Catholic weekly, America magazine, has alerted Catholics of the many grave issues involved in what may become “one of the most important legislative debates of the new century” – the battle over the 2012 budget.

Recalling President Obama’s recent pledge to reject a budget that continues Bush-era tax cuts “that contributed so grievously to the current fiscal crisis,” the magazine urged the church to stake out this position as its own.

When the final decisions are made, the magazine wondered, who will speak for the poor? “The U.S. bishops have been among the few consistent voices in defense of the needs of the most vulnerable,” and now those voices need to be heard loud and persistently against ideas like “Representative Paul Ryan’s proposal to convert Medicare and Medicaid into yet another free-market enterprise.”

“This would amount to federal welfare for the shareholders and chief executives of the nation’s for-profit insurance companies.”

America wrote that the budget struggle “will be a matter of life and death,” one that should show clearly what side the Bishops and all sectors of the church are on.

For more details on America’s case, see its editorial and a separate column by John J. Dilulio Jr. in the May 9 issue at

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