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Economic Justice
for All

Twenty-five years ago, the U.S. Bishops issued a landmark 99-page pastoral letter entitled Economic Justice for All: Catholic Social Teaching and the US Economy. Today, with a record number of people suffering in a flailing economy, the letter’s call to promote human dignity in economic, policy and individual actions is as relevant as ever.

Human Dignity

We believe that each person has a right to access the basic necessities of life. We advocate for food and income security for all—especially children and the elderly. We believe in policies for decent housing and shelter, especially for farm workers. We support access to basic health care for all. We advocate for employment and promote the idea of fair wages and fair taxes. We oppose unjust discrimination, racism, torture and human trafficking.

Download a backgrounder on Human Dignity and Economic Justice

April 4, 2017 Economic Justice, Human Dignity

“Be attentive to the needs of the poor, the suffering, the lonely, for whoever has chosen to love Jesus cannot but love his neighbor.”

                                                                                                                        -Pope Francis, December 18, 2014

March 20, 2017 Economic Justice, Human Dignity

The word ‘cultivate’ calls to mind the care which the farmer has for his land in order that it bear fruits and that they be shared:  how much passion, how much attention, how much dedication in all that this demands! That familiar relationship is formed and the earth becomes “sister” earth.  -Pope Francis, January 31, 2015

February 28, 2017 California Bishops Statements, Immigration, Human Dignity

Sacramento, CA - (En Español) Today marks the beginning of the Lenten Season, a time when Christian people devote ourselves more intentionally to the spiritual and corporal works of mercy in an earnest effort to reform our lives in the image of Jesus Christ.

January 10, 2017 Economic Justice, Human Dignity
It is downtown San Bernardino in early December. 
 
“I’m so hungry. I don’t feel good. I’m so hungry.” 
 
The woman explains this in urgent tones as she scrambles off her bicycle and up the steps to the office at St. Bernardine’s. She receives a sack lunch and eats where she stands.  
 
After a bite of sandwich she asks, “Would it be too greedy if I asked for another?” When a volunteer hands her a second lunch, she thanks him, pulls her hood over her face and quietly cries. 
 
December 5, 2016 Immigration, Human Dignity

Homily Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, December 4, 2016

December 1, 2016 Immigration, Human Dignity
WASHINGTON—A Day of Prayer with a focus on the plight of refugees and migrants will take place across the United States on December 12, 2016, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  It will be a time to place before a merciful God the hopes, fears, and needs of all those families who have come to the U.S. seeking a better life. 
 
September 19, 2016 Human Dignity

By Gerald D. Coleman, P.S.S.

In Weed the People, the author argues that “America is changing its mind about marijuana. For the past 80 years we’ve treated it as a ruinously dangerous drug, a public health menace, an addictive and illegal scourge. This is changing, and more quickly than many of us once thought possible. At the end of 2014 the U.S. reached a tipping point: for the first time ever, a majority of Americans lived in states with some form of marijuana legality.”[1]

The public perception of marijuana has been steadily shifting over the past decade. Gallup polls in the early 2000s found that about one-third of Americans favored legalization. That climbed to 44% in 2009, 48% in 2012, and 58% in 2013. A major factor behind this surge was the growing approbation of medical marijuana. By 2013 medical marijuana use was seen as helpful and safe.[2] Seventy-seven percent of Americans believed marijuana had legitimate medical uses and 83% thought doctors should be able to prescribe limited amounts for patients with serious illnesses.

One moment crystallized the nation’s new openness to marijuana when on August 8, 2013 CNN chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, publicly changed his mind on the positive effects of medical marijuana. Gupta said that he “mistakenly believed the Drug Enforcement Agency listed marijuana as a Schedule I substance because of sound scientific proof. In fact, the DEA had no such proof. Though government continued to deny it, marijuana has very legitimate medical applications. In fact, sometimes marijuana is the only thing that works.”[3]

The doctor-prescribed use of medical marijuana has led to the worrisome assumption that the recreational use of marijuana enjoys the same level of safety and oversight. This conjecture has led to an increasing number of states to legalize or hope to legalize the use of marijuana for reactional purposes.

This assumption needs careful critique.

September 1, 2016 Immigration, Human Dignity
WASHINGTON—USCCB Migration & Refugee Services has received a large charitable donation from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), to further efforts assisting refugees.
 
June 8, 2016 Economic Justice, Human Dignity

[The State Budget] concerns profound moral questions about who are we as a society, how we view our future and whether as a people we can look beyond our own self-interest to the interest of the larger society.  (In Search of the Common Good, 2011)

Over the course of the next few days, the Governor and Legislative leaders will make decisions regarding the State Budget that will impact millions of Californians. 

April 7, 2016 Economic Justice, Human Dignity

Faced with an aggressive, far-reaching initiative heading to the November ballot, California lawmakers have enacted the highest minimum wage in the nation.  Governor Brown quickly signed the measure which will bring the State’s lowest wage earners to $15 per hour by 2022.

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