Pope Calls on Congress to End Cycle of Poverty
In his address today to a joint session of Congress, Pope Francis called on policymakers to take action against poverty in the United States.
“In times of crisis and economic hardship, global solidarity must not be lost,” he said. “I would encourage you all to keep in mind all those people who are trapped in a cycle of poverty. They, too, need hope.”
The Pope’s dedication to fighting poverty is reflected in ongoing efforts within the larger Catholic community to address the issue. Last May, for example, Georgetown University hosted the bi-partisan Catholic-Evangelical Leadership Summit on Overcoming Poverty with panelists including President Obama, American Enterprise Institute President Arthur Brooks, and Harvard professor and author Robert Putnam.
During his welcome to the White House yesterday, President Obama praised the Pope’s advocacy for the impoverished, saying that he reminds us that our worth “is not determined by wealth or power or station or celebrity, but by how well we hew to Scripture’s call to lift up the poor and marginalized.”
The Pope’s focus on poverty has also helped elevate the conversation about economic opportunity among conservatives. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) have announced a poverty forum to “articulate their plans to help all Americans achieve their dreams” and, according to Politico, are inviting all the GOP presidential candidates.
In his remarks to the joint session of Congress today, Pope Francis said that the effort to end poverty is rooted in income inequality and the distribution of wealth.
“It goes without saying that part of this great effort is the creation and distribution of wealth. The right use of natural resources, the proper application of technology and the harnessing of the spirit of enterprise are essential elements of an economy that seeks to be modern, inclusive and sustainable.”
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