"Every economic and political theory or action must set about providing each inhabitant of the planet with the minimum wherewithal to live in dignity and freedom, with the possibility of supporting a family, educating children, praising God and developing one's own human potential. This is the main thing; in the absence of such a vision, all economic activity is meaningless." (Pope Francis in a Letter to UK Prime Minister David Cameron for the G8 Meeting)
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.
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.
On December 12, 2013, Pope Francis called for action against the scourge of human trafficking. He stated, "Human trafficking is a crime against humanity. We must unite our efforts to free victims and stop this crime that's become ever more aggressive, that threatens not just individuals, but the foundational values of society, international security and laws, the economy, families and communities.”
California is facing its third straight year of lower than normal rainfall. The Golden State is no stranger to drought and - although one has not been officially declared – the low levels of reservoirs, Sierra snowpack and groundwater are becoming increasingly apparent.
“Water is essential to who we are as human beings,” said Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento and president of the California Catholic Conference of Bishops. “Our reliance on water reveals how much we are part of creation and creation is a part of us.”
Five months is nothing in the life of an institution that "thinks in centuries" like the Catholic Church. So it's almost miraculous that Pope Francis has, in the short time since his election, amassed so much teaching on a single subject: economic inequality. This subject is also the focus of the 2013 Labor Day Statement by Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, California, chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development.
Late Thursday afternoon, a budget deal was announced that repeals the Maximum Family Grant (MFG) rule, provides additional funding for naturalization and other immigration services and funds teacher empowerment and recruitment items as well as additional early childhood education.
Authorization to purchase lethal drugs for Medi-Cal patients, while receiving no support from Assembly budget negotiators, is still apparently included albeit at a reduced rate as the program is “phased in.” Fortunately, funding for an assisted-suicide “hotline” was not included in the final budget.
“The order of creation demands that a priority be given to those human activities that do not cause irreversible damage to nature, but which instead are woven into the social, cultural, and religious fabric of the different communities. In this way, a sober balance is achieved between consumption and the sustainability of resources.” - Message to the Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization for the Celebration of World Food Day, October 16, 2006.