Called To Protect the Poor In Our Economic System

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by Sr. Brenda Walsh, Racine Dominican

     In  recent times, there is much conversation and concern about ways to balance state and national budgets. Some individuals and groups are calling for cuts in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. If these efforts succeed, they could be disastrous for millions across the nation, for older adults, families with young children, and disabled veterans, leaving them without needed resources and care.

      Pope Francis is calling on all people, not to balance the budget in ways that deprive millions of poor and suffering of their basic human rights.  It goes against Biblical principles and must be avoided at all costs. Many of the church leaders in past and present have emphasized this matter. Pope Francis is rightly called the Pontiff of the poor. He chose the name Francis, because he wanted to be associated with a Saint who had great concern for the poor. He also hopes that the church will be a church of the poor and for the poor. Presently, his choices and lifestyle reflect his calling as he preaches by the witness of his life. He is aware that there is a global financial crisis that is destroying people’s lives and calls all of us to speak out boldly and clearly against the lack of ethics in our economic system. His hope is to wake the world up to the injustice in the system and its devastating effects on the poor and suffering of our time and place. Francis and the two previous Popes ask us to reflect on the ills of the current system and to work to develop a more just and equitable one.

This calls us to look at our own lifestyle and to examine the lack of ethics in the economic system. Hopefully, it will call all of us to work together and make decisions based on the common good.  I often think of what Mahatma Gandhi once said: “There is enough for everyone’s need but not enough for everyone’s greed.”

In many places, budgets are being explored at local, state and national levels, and ways to balance the budgets are being considered. We remind our legislators that we must be concerned about more than profit in our decision-making. We are required to make the common good the foundation of our decisions. For employers, the decisions made must include workers, suppliers and producers and to look at the total picture as decisions are made. We can all be part of developing a more just economic system. We also ask ourselves “What are we asking of the millionaires and billionaires?  Why do we need to spend so much money on wars and military work and how can we control it? Currently in the US,  we spend more on military spending than the rest of the world. 

Here are some things we can do to bring about change:

--Invite people of all faiths to gather and discuss the issue and then plan to invite business and government leaders to address the issue of economic justice and make decisions about how they will respond. We ask ourselves, “Do we worship a god of growth, power, and money?

-Write letters to the editors of various newspapers and urge them to be aware of economic injustice as it is now proposed. Pope Benedict XVI reminded us that the dignity of the individual and the demands of justice require that we cannot allow economic choices to cause disparities in wealth and increase the wealth of some in an excessive way that is morally unacceptable (“Caritatis in Veritate” (36)” Contact local and state legislators and urge them to take a public stand on just economic development  and to protect the poor. We can train young people to prepare for life, and work to enable them to take advantage of opportunities offered.  All can reach out to support and encourage families that are suffering from poverty and lack of opportunity to enable them to live a dignified human life.

Together we can create a better future for all. We need to replace many of the present plans with more sustainable ones that ensure the welfare of all people in  a safe and secure life and environment.  Remember that our world was created by God for all people and we must work together to preserve the wonderful gift.  Above all, we must work to replace our plans for ongoing wars with plans for peace and wellbeing. We ask the guidance of the Spirit to give us insight, strength and hope to make it happen. Let us begin today with courage and conviction .  No effort is too small to make a difference.


Justice Preaching Archive

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• A New Year •
• Two Essays on Peace •
• A Call To Respect and Welcome Diversity - A Challenge of Our Faith •
• Addressing White Power and Priviledge •
• An Ethical Reflection on Work... •
• A Re-energized Catholic Church •
• A Renewed Call for Nuclear Disarmament •
• Called to Proclaim and Live With Moral Courage •
• Called To Protect the Poor In Our Economic System •
• Call To Persevere In Praying and Working for Peace •
• Care For the Environment •
• Care for the Earth •
• Caritas in Veritate •
• The Challenge of Discipleship •
• Comprehensive Immigration Reform •
• The Death Penalty Revisited •
• What Is Ecological Economics •
• Eliminating Global Poverty •
• Global Warming... Calling for an Urgent and Ethical Response •
• God's Fool •
• Green Congretations - A Growing Movement •
• More Gun Control •
• Healing the Racial Divide •
• Speaking the Truth in Today's World Takes Courage •
• Justice and Compassion •
• Labor Issues and the Catholic Church •
• Is More Consumer Spending the Answer? •
• Moving from A Culture of Violence to a Culture of Peace •
• Preaching Justice & Moving from Violence to Peace •
• Reaching For the Stars - Brenda Walsh •
• A Call To Reduce Prison Population •
• The Relationship Between Labor And the Catholic Church •
• Sermon On Domestic Violence •
• Sustainability •
• The Death Penalty •
• The New Economy Movement •
• The Role of Ethical Standards... •
• War Is Not the Answer •
• Witnesses To Hope •

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