Archbishop Timothy Dolan
The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is urging priests across the country to preach about "the terrible toll the current economic turmoil is taking on families and communities."
In a letter to his fellow bishops, Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York said, "I hope we can use our opportunities as pastors, teachers and leaders to focus public attention and priority on the scandal of so much poverty and so many without work in our society."
Dolan said, "Widespread unemployment, underemployment and pervasive poverty are diminishing human lives, undermining human dignity and hurting children and families."
The archbishop said the U.S. Census Bureau released statistics this month showing that 46 million people, including 16 million children, were living in poverty in the United States in 2010.
"These numbers bring home to us the human costs and moral consequences of a broken economy that cannot fully utilize the talents, energy and work of all our people," he said.