US Bishops issue statement on economic crisis


 The US Catholic bishops have released a statement from their autumn meeting in Baltimore, reminding people that "we are our brothers' and sisters' keepers. We are all in this together."

Cardinal Francis E George of Chicago, the USCCB president, noted that: "hard times can isolate us or they can bring us together."

He said: "As pastors and bishops, we see the many human and moral consequences of this crisis. Though the impact of the crisis is greater in some regions of the country, families all across the nation are losing their homes, workers are losing their jobs and health care coverage, retirement savings are threatened and people are losing the sense of hope and security, it continued.

"But the church will continue to 'reach out to those in need, stand with those who are hurt, and work for policies that bring greater compassion, accountability and justice to economic life."

Bishop Leonard P. Blair of Toledo, Ohio, who proposed the statement, said the impetus for it came out of "the very basic concern we have as pastors" that the economic situation be met with understanding, compassion and a sense of solidarity with one's neighbours."

Parish collections, the annual diocesan charity appeals, the Society of St Vincent de Paul and local food pantries are the kind of help that people have generously supported to help their neighbors in the past and that the bishops hope to encourage with the statement, he said.

The statement noted that Pope Benedict XVI in his message for the 2008 World Day of Peace said families need to have 'a home, employment and a just recognition of the domestic activity of parents, the possibility of schooling for children and basic health care for all.' The Pope, it said, "also insists that society and public policy should be 'committed to assisting the family in these areas."

The bishops concluded by offering prayers for families and individuals, "our sisters and brothers, who are hurting, anxious or discouraged in these difficult times. We also pledge our prayers for our wounded nation and suffering world. We pray that, working together, we can find the courage, wisdom and ways to build an economy of prosperity and greater justice for all."

Source: USCCB

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