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


I think it’s me you meant to reply to. Here, it’s the norm to take off approx one year with every baby. We get the same paid leave for adoptions too.

The poverty would have come from having no income for a year, if I had not had access to paid leave.

Here we get paid maternity (and paternal) and adoption leave as well as paid bank holidays and annual leave and sick leave. Overall, certainly in my industry, I don’t see it being abused.


Starting in the 1970s the bishops conference was deluged by demands the bishops put their endorsement on whatever issues were pushed by the media that year. Many position papers written mostly by lobbyists were essentially rubber stamped, so the lobbyists could say “the Catholic Church supports this!”

The great majority of these proposals supported the Democratic Party. They nearly all required more government.
The bishops periodically added “oh yeah, abortion is important too” but this was drowned out in the media coverage. Years ago I wondered what issues the bishops were NOT addressing while spending so much time on foreign policy, defense, economic policy, and other matters they had no training in. What BISHOP job duties were they skimping on?

Now we know.


so it is a cultural thing. You don’t need to plan to financially support yourself if you decide to have a baby because your society is already set up to pay for it.

The only difference between our two cultures is that we put the responsibility on the individual and don’t expect anything from the government.

we get 6 paid national holidays, vacation based on length of work history, 1 week after the first year, 2 weeks after the third year, 3 weeks after the 5th year and 4 weeks after 10 years. It’s capped at 4 weeks. No paid sick leave. But I have insurance that covers short or long term illness.

Most of the women use their remaining vacation time and then use their ‘disability’ insurance if they took out a policy. We generally will hold their jobs, at least I’ve never heard of any woman losing her job because she took leave to stay home with her baby. Almost all come back to work within 4 weeks.

The only maternity that seems to lead to poverty here is unmarried pregnancy at a very young age. So even with maternity leave it wouldn’t necessarily eliminate poverty as witnessed by the number of unmarried women on welfare.


I find this a little insulting to “my culture”. We are not layabouts sponging off the state. It’s how we do it here. It works.


I don’t think that was being implied. At least on my end it wasn’t. Cultures vary and people adapt. It’s neither right nor wrong, just different.


nothing of the sort was implied. I clearly stated that your culture has a certain expectation, that there is a government supplied responsibility and mine has a different expectation, that the individual is responsible. At no time did I imply which was superior only that it was different.

I could just as easily say that you have presented your version as superior and others have actually stated that as some have posted how awful that a nation like ours doesn’t provide this benefit. Both versions have benefits and consequences.

But I still don’t see how it relates to reducing poverty.


Years ago, a bishop who had a doctorate in Canon Law but no course in Economics would arrive in Washington and try to skim a 300 page summary of a proposed, complex legislation supposed to “help the poor”, but economists themselves in disagreement. But the bishops were under pressure to “send a message” so they would end up recommending something few understood.

Guess what subject they DID have expertise on, that they SHOULD have discussed and acted on in confidential session, that they never got around to?

What worries me is that the bishops are still, today, under pressure to take a stand on whatever CNN is focusing on. What more relevant- to-bishops issues are they postponing now?


The bill referenced in the article I posted above was introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)

Here’s what the Senator had to say.

The senator said it is “wrong” when new mothers are forced back to work within weeks of having a child to avoid missing a paycheck. The bill also aims to reduce the number of new mothers currently forced to turn to other forms of public assistance.

“It’s startling how many parents, particularly first-time mothers and people with who just have children in their family, go on public assistance because they lose their job or they can’t draw a paycheck any longer. So what we’re doing is we’re giving people an option,” explained Rubio.


That’s not a very compelling argument for not supporting paid family leave, as the US bishops do.

Given the Church’s commitment to life, the family and the worker it’s easy to see how they have come to that position.


How does it benefit society to put strain on employers and their other employees, and still have to pay the one who isn’t working? Someone has to do the job of the missing person, and most likely that will be a temporary hire for a long term absence. The employer will then be paying TWO employees, knowing that one will later be let go an de unemployed. What if the temp hire is the better worker? What if the one you have been paying later decides not to return to work? Is there a way to recap the free money you gave them or is it just your loss?

All I see happening is businesses using this to lay off people or find ways to avoid hiring people, that are likely to need this leave time. That benefits no one at all.

And this is the reason politicians want this. It is to prevent families going on public assistance. I don’t think the families going on public assistance are the ones that would benefit from this at all. Employers will be hurt which will in turn hurt all of their workers, and the number going on public assistance will just increase anyway.


I would agree here. Public assistance was designed to help those who through no fault of their own needed help. I would think if a woman is married and the couple is planning to have children they would plan for when she isn’t working. That doesn’t mean I’m not sympathetic to a woman who finds herself pregnant and not married. But an across the board program shouldn’t be necessary. For too long we have had programs and people who turn to the government to solve problems of their own making. We need to stress personal responsibility more. We need to teach people how to save, how to spend wisely, and how to make good decisions but too often no one wants to address problems from that point of view. There’s a big difference between being irresponsible and being uneducated on how to be responsible.


I work for a small business. We just have an handful of employees. The whole reason I got this job is I happened to stumble in one day when his framer was in the hospital with pneumonia. I worked there on a part-time basis until his framer was able to work again. A little while later, when the manager of 15 years quit, I was offered the job. My boss is a Catholic and a man of conscience. He paid the framers full wage the whole time he was out of work. Everyone benefited. The framer didn’t go into debt because of his illness, I got a great new job, and my boss got the best manager he’s ever had.

All this because my boss decided to do the right thing.

With a booming economy and large corporate tax breaks, I don’t understand why these businesses wouldn’t want to do the right thing as well. I also don’t understand why we’re putting business interests ahead of our greatest resource, our children.

Again, in a society where 1 child out of 5 ends up aborted, and 1 on 7 is born into poverty, it’s easy to see why we wouldn’t care if parents are forced away from the children during the first weeks of their infancy because of economic necessity. It’s wholly consistent.


This isn’t accurate though. Parents are not forced away from their children. We have up to 12 weeks unpaid leave, which many employers do paid leave of 6 weeks or more anyways. We can take other paid leave as well. And we don’t HAVE TO return to work unless we want to. I, and most mothers I know, return to work for all sorts of reason. Being forced isn’t one of them.

I am glad that you have a great employer who is able to provide that. Not all employers can. And honestly, should they have to? Would you pay for a job that isn’t being done? Would you pay for a service that wasn’t rendered? Would you WANT to be paid for not having done what you were contracted to do? For me, the answer is no. I am not going to a store and pay for things I never bought either.

The countries that have parental benefits, it is usually covered by the government. Why not ask the government to cover that instead of insisting employers do it? Either a paid leave policy or a lump sum benefit. What about the moms that don’t work? Would they not qualify for the benefit? It doesn’t seem prolife to only give it to some babies and their families but not all. The countries that give these benefits do not have higher fertility rates, and often have much lower rates. So it doesn’t seem to make parenthood there an incentive at all. Their abortion rates rival or are higher than ours as well.


What does one have to do with the other?

Do you think that paid maternity/paternity leave solves child poverty? I think the vast majority of such children are in single parent households, where the legal parent doesn’t have regular employment, so I don’t see the impact.

Do these other countries give paid leave for every child you chose to claim as your own? If these baby daddies aren’t supporting their offspring, how does paid leave help.

When one has an agenda, it’s best just to come out with it in the OP (IMHO).


this is correct, the real cause of child poverty is unwed mothers. Statistics show that the quickest way out of poverty is to have a married mom and dad.


You guys really need to knock this off.


Don’t follow.

You said practically nothing in your OP and only later exposed what you were thinking on the topic. Are you a school teacher? This isn’t class.


Are you a bishop? I don’t recall asking your opinion.

I really don’t need you, or anyone else second guessing my motivation. I’ll be flagging the next poster who does.


You are getting quite defensive.

You started a thread here, this isn’t a forum for getting Bishops to explain things to you. If you don’t like the responses, if they make you uncomfortable, it’s something for you to reflect upon.


Hey guys. I’m not the subject of this thread. The last two posts have been flagged.

If you want to share what the US bishops have to say about poverty, fine.

If you want to share your opinion on what the US bishops have to say about poverty, fine.

If you want to talk about me, while I’m flattered, you’ll have to start your own thread.

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