Bishop Robert McElory’s article at America “A Church for the Poor,” continues to garner attention. +McElory was interviewed by Gerard O’Connel, at Vatican Insider. You can read the full interview here. A few money quotes:
Pope Francis repeatedly places the face of Lazarus before us, calling us to recognize the patterns of our global, national and personal lives that sustain poverty and exploitation. In a very real way he is forcing us to confront our identity as the rich man in the parable, with the consequent very sobering recognition of the judgment that fell upon him in the Gospel
It is true that political efforts to alleviate poverty within the United States and throughout the world require prudential judgment for their specification and implementation. But so do efforts to address abortion, marriage and religious liberty. The Church has core teachings on the requirement of societies to provide threshold supports for income, housing and health care domestically, as well as to address dire poverty and inequality throughout the world. As a consequence, patterned voting by elected officials or citizens to diminish the already meager support for the poor either domestically or internationally is not merely a difference in prudential judgment, but a rejection of the Church’s core teachings on poverty and human dignity. The Church in the United States must witness to this reality.
On the level of pastoral style, Pope Francis statements on the rights of the poor challenge us all as bishops, teachers, priests, religious, lay leaders and citizens, to proclaim the Church’s message with a truly dialogical and engaging tone that is in sharp counterpoint to both the polemics of the culture warrior and the silence of those who refuse to become engaged in the social mission of the Church