National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Peace & Justice

Putting a face on poverty

 | 

WASHINGTON – When some 700 Catholic Charities leaders from across the country were preparing to visit their senators and representatives Sept. 28 to urge passage of legislation that would take a new approach to poverty, they were told one effective approach is to bring to the meetings a story from their own local experiences. They could put a human face on poverty by showing the legislators how it is affecting some of their own constituents.

Catholic Charities lobbies for innovative anti-poverty program

 | 

WASHINGTON -- Catholic Charities leaders from across the nation flooded the offices of U.S. senators and representatives Sept. 28 to push for a major new U.S. approach to drawing Americans out of poverty.

More than 700 Catholic Charities delegates from nearly all U.S. states swarmed through congressional offices asking members of Congress to become co-sponsors of their National Opportunity and Community Renewal Act, a bill that could transform the way federal, state and local poverty relief programs operate.

The key to transformation would be flexible combining of existing programs, tailored to the specific needs and capacities of clients, to enable them not only to survive in poverty but to lift themselves out of poverty's vicious cycle or downward spiral.

"With this legislation, today we tell the tens of millions of Americans living in poverty that there is a new hope. That they are not destined to live in poverty for their entire lives," said Catholic Charities USA president and CEO, Fr. Larry Snyder.

Radical individualism and the poverty rate

 | 

“The tax system should be continually evaluated in terms of its impact on the poor.” -- “Economic Justice for All,” U.S. Catholic Bishops, 1986

The U.S. poverty rate reached 14.3 percent, the largest increase in more than 30 years, according to a Census Bureau report released last month. More than 43 million Americans -- the highest number ever recorded -- are officially “poor.” That’s one in seven of us. Forty-two years after Lyndon Johnson declared a “war on poverty,” it appears poverty is winning.

Court limits church's authority over workers

BERLIN -- The European Court of Human Rights ruled Sept. 23 that a church organist's employment rights were ignored when he was fired by a Catholic church for remarrying outside the church.

The court said German churches have some latitude in firing staff who violate the faith's moral tenets, but said it must be weighed against the prominence of the job and the worker's own rights.

The case involved Bernhard Schuth, the longtime organist at St. Lambert parish in Essent, who separated from his wife in 1994 and started a relationship with another woman in 1995.

The new relationship might have gone unnoticed until Schuth's child mentioned a new sibling at school in 1997. Schuth was fired in 1998 because, the church said, an extramarital relationship violated basic Catholic teaching.

Beside adultery, the church also accused Schuth of bigamy since his first marriage was never annulled.

The course worked its way through Germany's courts before heading to the European court in Stasbourg, France, where judges ruled that German courts had weighed the church's interests more heavily than Schuth's.

Catholic Worker groups part of faulty FBI probe

WASHINGTON -- A handful of Catholic Worker groups across the country were among the anti-war activists, environmentalists and animal-rights groups wrongly investigated by the FBI, according to a lengthy report released Sept. 20 by the Justice Department's Office of the Inspector General.

According to Inspector General Glenn Fine, there was "little or no basis" for the investigations.

Catholic Charities writes, pushes legislation to end poverty

 | 

WASHINGTON – In an unprecedented action, Catholic Charities USA has drafted federal legislation that would take a new approach to ending poverty in America.

At its centenary convention in Washington CCUSA unveiled its dramatic – and possibly transformative – national legislative proposal to change the way federal, state and local governments help poor Americans get out of the vicious cycle of poverty and become self-sufficient and productive.

Some 1,000 Catholic Charities delegates from across the country got first news of the legislative initiative Sept. 26, the second day of their Sept. 25-28 national meeting.

Antiwar defendants get unexpected hearing

 | 

Fourteen antiwar activists claimed a victory of sorts Sept. 14 when a county judge in Las Vegas helped them turn a misdemeanor trespassing case into a wider hearing on the legality of the use of unmanned military drones by the U.S. military abroad.

Surprising both the activists and prosecutors, Clark County, Nev., Judge William Jansen said he needed “at least three months” to look into witness testimony and study applicable international law regarding the activists’ allegedly illegal April 2009 prayer vigil on Creech Air Force Base.

The activists, who are known together as the “Creech 14,” walked on to the base outside Las Vegas on Holy Thursday, April 9, 2009. Once there, they offered Air Force personnel bread and water and started a prayer vigil for the end of the military’s use of unmanned aerial vehicles. After about an hour at prayer they were arrested and taken into custody.

Pages

Feature-flag_GSR_start-reading.jpg

NCR Email Alerts

 

In This Issue

October 10-23, 2014

10-10-2014.jpg

Not all of our content is online. Subscribe to receive all the news and features you won't find anywhere else.