Budget should protect the poor, say U.S. bishops

May 23, 2011

Acknowledging that Congress and the administration face "difficult challenges" in tackling the country's massive budget deficit, the U.S. bishops reiterated their call that the needs of poor and vulnerable people must be protected in any budget decisions.

The bishops urged lawmakers to protect human life and dignity as the budget debates unfold in a May 5 letter to each member of the Senate.

The letter was signed by two bishops who chair committees of the U.S. bishops' conference that deal with public policy.

"The moral measure of this budget debate is not which party wins or which powerful interests prevail, but rather how those who are jobless, hungry, homeless or poor are treated," the bishops wrote.

"Their voices are too often missing in these debates, but they have the most compelling moral claim on our consciences and our common resources."