House member to Cardinal Dolan: Urge Congress to make poor a priority
Published: April 17, 2012
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A Catholic Democratic House member has urged New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan to call on Congress to prioritize the needs of poor and vulnerable Americans as the 2013 federal budget is debated. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., ranking Democrat on the labor, health and human services and education subcommittee, suggested in an interview with Catholic News Service April 16 that the U.S. bishops, and Cardinal Dolan in particular, might do well to open a public campaign to protect programs aiding the country's poor. DeLauro outlined her concerns in an April 13 letter to Cardinal Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The 22-year member of Congress cited the recent passage in the House of Representatives of the 2013 budget resolution that was written by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. She said the plan would be devastating to millions of out-of-work and low-income Americans. New York archdiocesan spokesman Joseph Zwilling told CNS the afternoon of April 17 that Cardinal Dolan had received the letter but had no immediate response. DeLauro told CNS that the budget deserved as much attention from Cardinal Dolan and the nation's bishops as that being given in a two-week campaign in support of religious freedom June 21-July 4. The bishops' Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty announced the "fortnight for freedom" April 12, saying American Catholics must resist unjust laws "as a duty of citizenship and an obligation of faith." Budget issues have been addressed several times since early March by the USCCB. The bishops' basic message has been that Congress should base budget decisions on whether they protect or threaten human life and dignity and if they promote the common good of "workers and families who struggle to live in dignity in difficult economic times." They have called for cuts in military spending to be on the table as well as consideration of new revenue streams to help balance the federal budget.
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