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A homeless man searches through discarded items during the coronavirus pandemic, Los Angeles, USA A homeless man searches through discarded items during the coronavirus pandemic, Los Angeles, USA  (2020 Getty Images)

Covid-19: US Bishops demand aid for poor and vulnerable

Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City, Chairman for Domestic Justice and Human Development of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) releases a statement urging for care for the poor and vulnerable in further consideration of Covid-19 relief legislation.

By Vatican News

Archbishop Paul Coackley opens his statement by stressing that “as Congress turns once more to considering additional relief related to the Covid-19 pandemic, the focus should be on those most in need”.

“This is not a time for indifference” says Archbishop Coackley, recalling Pope Francis’ Easter Urbi et Orbi Message. “The whole world is suffering and needs to be united in facing the pandemic. The most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters” living in every part of the world must “not be abandoned”, he says. “Let us ensure that they do not lack basic necessities...’

Waiting, therefore, for the US Congress to establish "further aid" in relation to the coronavirus pandemic, Archbishop Coakley urges that attention turn to “the poor, the vulnerable, and people on the margins, to offer them some hope and assistance in desperate circumstances”.

The Archbishop of Oklahoma City then recalls the numerous letters he and his brother bishops have sent members of Congress since the beginning of April. In these letters, the bishops demand assistance for the most vulnerable, addressing issues such as “food security, housing, access to affordable health care, protection for the unborn, addressing racial and ethnic disparities in health outcomes, assistance for the poor and unemployed, care for migrants and refugees, safety for detainees and the incarcerated, education, international assistance and debt relief, and help for charities serving vulnerable populations”.  

Finally, Archbishop Coackley welcomes the Vatican’s new commission on Covid-19. He assures that the US Bishops will “continue our advocacy in the same mode as this critical work for the common good continues”.

 “Let us proceed in this hope”, he concluded, “asking the Lord for wisdom on how best to respond, drawing close to our brothers and sisters in need, and finding our peace in the Lord’s promise to be with us ‘until the end of the age.’” 

25 May 2020, 19:00