by Catholic News Service
WASHINGTON (CNS) — A new plan to fight poverty announced by House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and House Republicans June 7 is a good start, but it needs to be something everyone in Congress works on together, said Miami Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski.
“This plan concerning poverty ought to be a catalyst for strong bipartisan dialogue,” said the archbishop, who is chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “My hope is that members of all parties will seize this moment to begin to work more collaboratively on these issues.”
The poverty-fighting plan was announced with the release of a 35-page report by the Republican Task Force on Poverty, Opportunity and Upward Mobility. The group’s recommendations will be publicly announced during upcoming weeks.
In a June 10 statement, Archbishop Wenski said that “more input and dialogue will be essential moving forward,” adding that the Catholic Church can contribute to this discussion from its varied ministries working with the government to help the nation’s poor.
He also said the Catholic Church has a rich tradition addressing labor, human dignity and the preferential option for the poor.
On a practical level, he said, leaders in Congress need to account for the current state of job training and the availability of good paying jobs in the country. They also should address the root causes of poverty and the need for nutritious food for people of all ages.