Twenty-five years ago, as the U.S. faced an economic crisis and a fierce debate over cutting taxes for the wealthy and limiting benefits for the poor, Catholic bishops issued a landmark statement on social justice that became the touchstone for religious opposition to “trickle down” economics.
This week, as America faces even worse economic circumstances and engages in the same fierce debate over budget priorities, the bishops gathered here for their annual meeting focused on a handful of internal matters and geared up for fights against gay marriage and abortion.
The bishops did not take note of the document’s anniversary—or its core teachings. That shift has dismayed those who believe that this is a moment for the hierarchy to announce the church’s views on the economy with the same vigor that it promotes other causes.
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