Friday, January 12, 2007

Catholic Charities USA's Anti-Poverty Campaign



From Catholic Online:
[..] Poverty in the United States is a moral and social wound to the nation, a human-made unnatural disaster that cries out change, said a report from a Catholic and one of the country’s largest social service networks.

"Poverty in America: A Threat to the Common Good," the title of the 28-page Catholic Charities USA policy paper released at a Jan. 10 press briefing on Capital Hill here, provides a “moral reasoning” to the call to fight poverty, offers specific public policy changes to reduce it and argues for a society-wide commitment to action.

[..] There has been a conscious and deliberate retreat from our nation’s commitment to economic justice for those who are poor,” it says. “Poverty remains our nation’s most serious political blind spot and one of our nation’s most profound moral failing,” seen in the faces of infants, children and elderly, urban and rural dwellers, the working poor, those with limited economic opportunity, the homeless, veterans, immigrants and refugees.
From a press release:
"The Campaign to Reduce Poverty in America is about who we are as a nation," Father Snyder said. [referring to Rev. Larry Snyder, president of Catholic Charities USA] "We must no longer ignore the injustice of poverty and the extreme inequality in America and instead must seize this opportunity to advocate for changes that promote human dignity and the common good," he said.

The poverty report pointed to the “growing gap between the haves and have-nots,” citing statistics that indicated the United States “had not seen such extreme inequality since the 1920s.” [..]

[..] "Catholic Charities USA pledges its experience and resources to help reduce poverty in America. But, we can only succeed with the active involvement of Congress and the Administration. Only through partnerships between government and community leaders like Catholic Charities, will we develop the capacity and the scale necessary to attack poverty in a comprehensive and sustained way," said Father Snyder.

This faith-based approach runs parallel to the plan of 2008 presidential candidate John Edwards, who outlined a plan to end poverty in the United States within 30 years, last June. June 22, 2006: See John Edwards to Outline Plan to End Poverty at National Press Club Today
He will outline his plan to cut poverty by one third within a decade, lifting 12 million Americans out of poverty by 2016, and to end poverty within 30 years, lifting 37 million Americans out of poverty by 2036.

Senator Edwards will also discuss the creation of a working society for the 21st century. In the Working Society, Senator Edwards believes that everyone who is willing to work hard will be expected to work and, in turn, be rewarded for it. He will outline his initiative which includes major new policies in the areas of work, housing, education, savings, and family responsibility.
The Speech can be read HERE.


Senator Edwards understands that there are "two Americas" and that government cannot solve the issue of Poverty alone. We all must do our part - individual citizens, American business, charities, and faith-based organizations. We each must play our unique part if we want to change this country. The news from Catholic Charities is encouraging because it shows how, in leaders like Senator Edwards, we are finding a moral compass that has been missing from American leadership.
Links:

- U.S. poverty moral wound to nation’s soul, Catholic Charities report says

- Catholic Charities vows to cut poverty in half by 2020

- Press Release

- Pope Benedict XVI Speaks on Poverty:
Here is a translated text of excerpts from the Papal message given today at the Pope's traditional new-year meeting with local civil officials. On hand were Piero Marrazzo, president of the Latium region; Walter Veltroni, mayor of Rome; and Enrico Gasbarra, president of the Province of Rome.
Pope: poverty is problem for all

"The suffering man belongs to us.

Every suffering man belongs to the Church and, at the same time, to all brothers in humanity.

He belongs, therefore, and in a specific way, also to your responsibility as public administrators.

We need to encourage cooperation between ecclesial bodies and your administrations with the objective of alleviating and going out to meet the many forms of poverty, economic but also human and relational, which afflict a notable number of people and families, especially among immigrants.

There is, moreover, the enormous area of health care, which calls for considerable and coordinated effort to assure all those who suffer from physical or psychic illnesses immediate and adequate treatments. [..]

[..] Politicians should have willingness to foster this cooperation ... will surely help the whole population."

6 comments:

Dharmashanti said...

The issue of poverty and our collective and individual responsibility to helping those less fortunate are some of the few areas in which myself and the Catholic Church are in full agreeement. I am grateful to their efforts and for their compassion towards those in need.

Thanks for bringing more light to this issue.

Peace,
Dharmashanti

TomCat said...

Great article, Jude. I wish that the religious right could see that Jesus focused on the poor, the sick and the outcasts, not gay marriage, flag burning, and war.

BJ said...

aaHi! I thought you and your readers might be interested in some post-Easter news about Pope Benedict XVI...
The Pope's car is being auctioned off to raise money for Habitat for Humanity:
www.buyacarvideos.com/popecar.htm
The bidding is already more than $200,000! Personally, I think this is a really fun and creative way to raise
money. The auction goes until April 14th if you and your readers want to check it out.

BJ said...

Hi! I thought you and your readers might be interested in some post-Easter news about Pope Benedict XVI...
The Pope's car is being auctioned off to raise money for Habitat for Humanity:
www.buyacarvideos.com/popecar.htm
The bidding is already more than $200,000! Personally, I think this is a really fun and creative way to raise
money. The auction goes until April 14th if you and your readers want to check it out.

Jude Nagurney Camwell said...

Thanks, BJ!

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