Cincinnati, OH. – (July 24, 2003)
commend the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) for its
long-standing commitment to address and eliminate the root causes of poverty
in the United States. As Roman Catholics we take pride in the work of CCHD and
the witness to justice by all the cyclists and their supporters involved in
the Brake the Cycle Poverty Tour 2003.
Poverty remains a reality for far too many Americans. In the
United States poverty is continuing to rise and too many American families are
being left behind. It is a moral tragedy that one in six children live in
poverty. It is unconscionable 44 million Americans have no access to
affordable health insurance. It is a grave injustice that so many Americans
have no access to safe affordable housing. It is unacceptable that so many
Americans work and yet cannot make ends meet.
In our state, Kentucky, the General Assembly has repeatedly
failed to address structural budget imbalances. As a result low-income
Kentuckians are burdened by a systemic injustice which places one of the
highest income tax burdens on those least able to afford it.
CCHD programs and its self-help approach to reducing the
injustice of poverty is but one solution to reducing poverty and improving
human life. Government and decision makers must make the poor a priority when
setting policies and writing budgets. As Bishop Wilton Gregory, President of
the United States Catholic Conference recently stated: "A fundamental moral
measure of our nation’s budget policy is whether it enhances or undermines the
lives and dignity of the most vulnerable members of our society. ...
Preserving an adequate safety net for the poor and vulnerable may not command
as much attention as homeland security, tax cuts and military expenditures,
but it is a fundamental moral obligation of a responsible society."