Bishop Blair Calls for Statement on Economic Crisis
Here's a story from last week's USCCB meeting that somehow slipped under my radar screen concerning the current economic crisis facing our nation and a statement on the crisis proposed by my own Bishop:
"We are our brothers' keepers," remind bishops in economic statementTo see a video of the press conference with Bishop Blair, click here.
BALTIMORE (CNS) -- At a time of economic crisis, the U.S. Catholic bishops issued a statement Nov. 11 reminding people that "we are our brothers' and sisters' keepers. We are all in this together."
The brief statement issued by Cardinal Francis E. George of Chicago, the bishops' president, noted that "hard times can isolate us or they can bring us together."
It was drafted during the annual fall meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore and approved by the body of bishops in a voice vote Nov. 11 as a statement from Cardinal George on their behalf.
"As pastors and bishops, we see the many human and moral consequences of this crisis," the statement said. Though the impact of the crisis is greater in some regions of the country, families all across the nation are losing their homes, workers are losing their jobs and health care coverage, retirement savings are threatened and people are losing the sense of hope and security, it continued.
But the church will continue to "reach out to those in need, stand with those who are hurt, and work for policies that bring greater compassion, accountability and justice to economic life," the statement said.
Bishop Leonard P. Blair of Toledo, Ohio, who suggested the statement, said at a press conference following its approval that the impetus for it came out of "the very basic concern we have as pastors" that the economic situation be met with understanding, compassion and a sense of solidarity with one's neighbors.
A day earlier in his home state, he noted, another major employer announced dramatic job cuts. DHL, the international shipping company, announced it was eliminating 9,500 jobs, about 7,000 of them located in Wilmington, Ohio.
"Our people are hurting and the bishops want to be with people as they're hurting," Bishop Blair said.
Bishop Blair said Toledo has a long tradition of people helping people, particularly at the parish level, and he doesn't see that being particularly affected by diocesan financial situations.