What do the US bishops have to say about child poverty in America?


The title says it all. Thanks in advance.


Did you check on the USCCB website to see if you could find anything there?


All of them have aid and other programs to help children (and adults!) In need.

Actions speak louder than words, no?


I did a mental check of Catholic social teaching, but nothing came up. I’ve got a copy of it around here somewhere. There’s a lot of informed Catholics on this board, I thought I’d present the question and see if anything popped up.


Pertinent links found on the USCCB webpage. This was just a quick search and the first hit that came up. The USCCB (Bishops in America) are in union with the Church led by the Pope, so you could find any encyclical on the dignity of life and apply it accordingly as well.



Basic summary is that all life is sacred and that all people are called, as a matter of duty, to provide for the needs of the poor. Here’s another resource (with available word/topic search) with most Encyclicals through history, and below is a link to a word-searchable Catechism that I have pre-entered “poor” for you, and it turned up 60 hits.



The worst kind of poverty a child can endure is to grow without a proper family.
Plenty a children grew up in the past without much material wealth but had a loving family and good moral examples that then effected better lives when they grew up.
This is much of what is ailing our modern culture. And by the way the phenomena can be seen across continents it is not isolated to the US by any means.


Good point. So, I wonder, what do the US bishops have to say about the US being the only developed nation in the world that, by law, offers new parents no paid time off for maternity leave?


A couple things here:
-the Church has spoken directly about the value of family, the fact that work is made for man and not the other way around, rights to care for family without fear of losing one’s job, etc. Take some time to browse through the links I provided, and the links within those. The US Bishops have made it clear that they stand in unison with the Church. So, I don’t know why it would be necessary for them to reinvent the wheel, but you can go to the USCCB page I also linked and browse there as well.
-Are you really just wanting to know what the US Bishops think about child poverty, or are you taking this opportunity to open up a particular topic whereby we debate whether we need a nanny-state to mandate whether employers offer paid maternity leave? Because that’s an entirely different topic altogether.


I’m just a little stunned about what I’ve learned recently about the state of child poverty in the US. I’m interested in what the bishops say specifically about this issue.

I’ll research it myself without the snarky commentary. Thanks anyway.


I don’t know if these links help @tad .





You can start here which is a general page for the Bishop’s statements regarding various aspects of domestic poverty: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/poverty/domestic/index.cfm

You can also look here for a resource page they have put together: http://www.usccb.org/about/justice-peace-and-human-development/unemployement-and-poverty.cfm

Here is another page with a list of statements on various issues of social development in the US: http://www.usccb.org/about/domestic-social-development/index.cfm

Here is the Anti-poverty page:


what does this have to do with child poverty? Do you think if employees got paid to stay home for a few weeks this would eliminate child poverty?


You’re welcome. And I wasn’t being snarky. I was trying to address your words and point you back to the links that were shared, and then was curious if you were wanting to debate a separate topic. :slight_smile:


Thank you @Rob2, those were very helpful.

I’m grateful that the bishops included reasons to be hopeful in their message.


The role of the prophet is not just to proclaim truths in general, but prioritize specifically those truths that are at the moment forgotten, or unpopular. Suppose you lived in a time and place where White Supremacy is constantly affirmed by the media and educational system, but they at least remember that abortion is evil. Then for that environment, affirming racial equality is prophetic.

We live in a time when childhood hunger is (rightly) very widely recognized as a problem in the US.
The bishops should add their voice and efforts to the many many other voices.

But their priority should be on whatever truths are currently forgotten, or even attacked. When people learn I volunteer at a food program for the poor - one of many locally - they all admire me. No opposition at all.

When they learn I am in the diocese prolife program -, the only local one - do you think I get the same response?


In the UK, I got 6 months paid leave, and then a further 3 months state support, and we accrue paid annual and bank holiday leave in that time. In short I was able to spend a year with my son. Hardly a few weeks.

Without it, my family would have been in poverty,


There are 100, no, more like 1000, important issues. Reliable auto repair is important. Sometimes it’s a matter of Life and death. “The Church” should respond to this issue by raising up good citizens, who do honest work. Not necessarily by the bishops conference meeting for 9 months each year for detailed analysis of the issues with brakes, electric system etc, before moving on to the other 999 issues.

There are a very, very few issues of major importance where the whole culture has been trained to forget basic truths, to the point the Bishops have to inform public policy. On those few, rare matters, the bishops should speak out.


All the issue brought up in this thread could be solved if we all started to live out the Commandments through the Beattitudes. The Bishops’ priority should be to live out this example in the way of true leaders and make it attractive to follow. Until that happens, every single program and advocacy group will fall short.


Actually, several of our states do require paid maternity leave.

This kind of program really isn’t part of the job of the Federal Government here in the United States, but its a function which is up to state and local governments.

The usual thing that happens here in America is that the child’s father ponies up the support for his own offspring. Works pretty well, in actuality. I can’t see the bishops complaining about it.

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