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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.

Economic Justice

"All economic life should be shaped by moral principles. Economic choices and institutions must be judged by how they protect or undermine the life and dignity of the human person, support the family, and serve the common good."

A Catholic Framework for Economic Life
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1996

March 19, 2015 Economic Justice, Human Dignity

Masked in political rhetoric, the image of the “welfare mom” pulses with stereotype.  These stereotypes persist even after the start of federal caps for assistance that were written into law when “welfare as we know it” was reformed in the 1990’s.

There are currently 15 states in the U.S. including California, that have maintained “family caps” - denying additional benefits to families who have more children and who have received aid in the 10 months prior to the child’s birth. 

March 10, 2015 Economic Justice, Human Dignity

A phrase increasingly used to describe the financial difficulties of lower- and middle-income Americans is “income inequality.” 

January 7, 2015 Economic Justice, Human Dignity

State of the State Speech Combined with Inaugural

In the low-key approach that characterizes his second round in office, Governor Jerry Brown combined his Inauguration to a fourth term with his State of the State speech during a joint session of the California legislature on Monday.

Perhaps anticipating this term will cap his public service career, Governor Brown, 76, spent much of the speech talking about consolidating the improvements in the State’s financial affairs which have occurred since 2011 when he began his third term.

November 20, 2014 Economic Justice, Human Dignity

Numerous programs address the material and physical needs of California’s homeless population by providing shelter, clothing and food along with medical and mental health care. But, all too often, a deficit exists in addressing their spiritual concerns.  

For almost 17 years now, the Ignatian Spirituality Project (ISP) has offered retreats, days of reflection and one-on-one spiritual counseling for homeless people, many of whom are in recovery from addictions and actively seek a deep relationship with God.

October 31, 2014 Economic Justice, Human Dignity

Pope Francis sparked renewed conversations this week by re-iterating his call to address the “structural causes” of poverty and inequality in the world.

He told the World Meeting of Popular Movements, a gathering convened by the Vatican, that the effort to fight poverty “must be done with courage, but also with intelligence; with tenacity, but without fanaticism; with passion, but without violence." He pointed the assembled activists to the message contained in Matthew 25 – the Last Judgment - "whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me."

June 16, 2014 Economic Justice, Human Dignity

Edward "Ned" Dolejsi, Executive Director of the California Catholic Conference, issued the following statement in response to the passage of the Budget by the California Legislature yesterday:

“The budget sent to Gov. Brown last night may be a ‘sober’ budget, but it would be wrong to call it a ‘good’ budget. It pays the bills, it provides money for more effective public safety and human service programs at the local level, and there’s some money left over for a rainy day, but for a small, incremental investment, it could have been so much more,” said Dolejsi.

June 5, 2014 Economic Justice, Human Dignity

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) are urging the Senate to defeat a proposal that would cost two million people around the world access to life-saving international food aid from the American people.

May 14, 2014 Economic Justice, Human Dignity

Ned Dolejsi, executive director of the California Catholic Conference, released the following statement today concerning the Governor’s “May Revise” of the proposed 2014-15 State Budget:

“Two concepts seem to dominate Gov. Brown’s revised budget today: prudence and optimism.  Prudence, because while the state’s budget outlook is the best it’s been in years, the recession isn’t over for everybody; and optimism, because we finally have the resources to begin making smart investments in California’s future.

March 13, 2014 Economic Justice, Human Dignity

Money must serve, not rule! The Pope loves everyone, rich and poor alike, but he is obliged in the name of Christ to remind all that the rich must help, respect and promote the poor. I exhort you to generous solidarity and to the return of economics and finance to an ethical approach which favors human beings.  - Evangelli Gaudium, Apostolic Exhortation, Pope Francis

January 23, 2014 Economic Justice, Human Dignity

While briefly celebrating California’s “comeback” from years of severe financial instability and recession, Governor Jerry Brown delivered a tempered State of the State address this week that was peppered with strong calls for prudence and fiscal discipline.

On the bright side, the Governor applauded the high points of the state’s recovery: “A million new jobs since 2010, a budgetary surplus in the billions and a minimum wage rising to $10 and hour!” But he cautioned, “We are not out of the woods yet.”

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