With the wealth gap in the news, we hear from two people who walk the economic-justice talk. Rep. John B. Larson, D-Conn., discusses, among other topics, the Congressional resolution he’s co-sponsored celebrating Pope Francis for being an example of compassion and humility; and Sarah Abbott, a wealthy 20-something, offers an unconventional approach to philanthropy.
Full text of H. Res. 440, introduced by Congressmen John B. Larson, D-Conn., and Peter King, R-NY, congratulating Pope Francis on his election and recognizing his inspirational statements and actions:
Whereas on March 13, 2013, Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina was elected Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church;
Whereas his election marked the first time a Pope from the Americas has been selected;
Whereas he is the first Jesuit to become Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church;
Whereas he took the papal name of Francis, becoming the first pope to take the name of St. Francis of Assisi, who was known for his devotion to humility and the poor;
Whereas he has demonstrated his humility by choosing not to live in the lavish Apostolic Palace, living instead with the clergy and lay people in the Vatican guesthouse;
Whereas on March 28, 2013, he broke from tradition during the washing of feet, when he washed the feet of 12 criminals, including two women, becoming the first pope to include women in the rite;
Whereas on November 6, he displayed his charity by caressing a man with severe disfigurement, drawing comparisons to the actions of his namesake, St. Francis, whose kiss of a leper forever changed his life by solidifying his commitment to the poorest among us;
Whereas when asked to describe himself during an interview with a Jesuit magazine, he replied ‘‘I am a sinner’’;
Whereas his emphasis on humanitarian efforts to alleviate suffering serves as an inspiration to Congress and all Americans;
Whereas his humility, his commitment to economic justice and improving the lives of the poor, and his outreach to individuals from all walks of life have been universally praised and are living examples of Jesus Christ’s message;
and Whereas his call to end inequality has echoed across the globe and brought millions together in solidarity:
Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the House of Representatives congratulates Pope Francis on his election and recognizes his inspirational statements and actions.
Sarah Abbott, national organizer with Resource Generation, helps trust-fund progressives put their inherited money toward grassroots causes and structural change. An enlightening book she mentions is called Classified: How to Stop Hiding Your Privilege and Use it for Social Change, by Karen Pittelman and Molly Hein. Learn more at http://www.resourcegeneration.org.
Pope Francis in the news:
U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan on “the guy”:
President Obama will meet with Pope Francis in March:
Pope names 19 Cardinals, focusing on the poor:
Pope baptizes baby of unmarried couple:
Pope blesses animals on feast of St. Francis:
Pope tells moms to go ahead and breastfeed in the Sistine Chapel:
In other Catholic news:
Chicago sex abuse cases revealed:
UConn women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma on the separation of Church and Sports:
Our new closing feature: Did You Know?
Did you know that the CT senate passed a bill on May 23 that increased the minimum wage to $8.70 and will increase it to $9.00 next year? This changes minimum wage workers’ salaries to $18,096 this year, and to $18,720 next year. The national poverty line for a family of four is $23,050.
Did you know that the average cost for a 2 bedroom apartment in Connecticut ranges from $1560-$2660/month or $18,720-$31,920. This is why many minimum wage earners need to work 2 jobs, 6 days/week just to maintain shelter for their families.
Did you know that Catholic Social Justice teaching states that ”every person has a fundamental right to life and a right to those things required for human decency”?
Catholic Social Justice teaching also supports a living wage for people which is enough to live in dignity vs. a minimum wage which is not. A living wage in CT is $46,100 for a family of 4.
Action: As Catholics, should we do more? If your senator supported this bill, positive feedback to them would be helpful to let them know that others support poverty issues.