‘Dealing with poverty is not a luxury to which our nation can attend when it finds the time and resources. Rather, it is a moral imperative of the highest priority.’ – Economic Justice for All (#170)
In 1986, the United States bishops approved the pastoral letter, “Economic Justice for All,” which stated that fulfilling the needs of the poor was to be “the highest priority” of economic policy.
The idea for the letter on economic reform and the use of material goods had been proposed at the November 1980 bishops’ meeting by Bishop Peter Rosazza, auxiliary bishop of Hartford, Connecticut.
Bishop Rosazza and four other bishops began working on the pastoral in the summer of 1981, spending three years on the first draft which would address the larger topic of the United States economy.
At the November 1984 bishops’ meeting, only 13 bishops commented on the first draft. One of them was Archbishop Francis Hurley of Anchorage, Alaska, who advised the bishops to ‘get to know poor people firsthand. Set an example of personal contact with poor people. Jesus was personally and visibly with the poor.”
Bishop Peter Rosazza was appointed auxiliary bishop of Hartford, Connecticut, on this day in 1978. He later served as archbishop of Hartford until 2010 when he resigned because of age.