To the editor:
Regarding the letter “Money won’t solve poverty” in the January 2009 issue: Mr. Reed addresses two issues. First, he is critical of the Courier downgrading abortion in favor of more liberal views. Second, he questions Mr. Magliano’s article about poverty.
First, the Bishops’ statement, Faithful Citizenship, leaves room for Catholics to vote according to conscience. Paragraphs 34-35 point out the following: 1) A person’s intention in voting determines moral culpability. I am guilty of sin only if I vote for a candidate because he supports an intrinsic evil. 2) One may choose to vote for a candidate because of other morally grave reasons. 3) No candidate may fully support church moral teaching thereby leaving the voter to use prudence in deciding who is best for the common good. Most Catholics struggle with these questions. Therefore, the distinction of “liberal” and “conservative” needlessly divides our church.
Second, Mr. Reed’s plan may betray a lack of perceptiveness regarding poverty. Poverty is a multifaceted problem. Money alone does not solve it. However, the way the USA and others invest their resources can have an impact on reducing poverty.
Innumerable individuals work hard every day. Most have a high school education and strong family units. A college education is unaffordable for many. The purchasing power of take-home pay is less than what it was in 1970. Poverty has risen dramatically over the past decade. The economic system is broken. It is simplistic to say that all we need is more hard work. The answers of a generation ago are not necessarily the answers for today.
Robert J. DiFulio