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Bishops Call for “Radical Solidarity” and Support for Women and Families

October 26, 2022 | In a letter to members of Congress, bishop chairmen emphasize the Catholic Church’s vision for an authentically life-affirming society that prioritizes the well-being of families and present policy recommendations to uphold and advance this vision in legislation. As chairmen of committees of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) representing a focus on issue areas of particular concern with women and families, the bishops call for “‘radical solidarity’ with mothers, babies (born and preborn) and families throughout each person’s entire lifespan.”

“There are serious cultural, social, economic, and spiritual challenges that face women, families, and children today. These are challenges that concern the common good. Ensuring that no children grow up in poverty, that parents have time away from work to care for them, that families are formed and remain intact, that the healthcare necessary for healthy moms and children is affordable, that workplace policies respect pregnant and nursing mothers, that child care is affordable and high quality but also not forced on families by financial pressures, that no children are hungry or homeless, that toxic chemicals do not cause babies to have birth defects or cancer, that immigrant families be treated in accord with their inviolable dignity – all of these goals require the cooperation of all and the exclusion of none. Goals like these cannot be achieved by individual efforts alone and will necessarily require collaborative work on the part of our government leaders.”

The letter includes a list of several policy recommendations the USCCB has long supported that would improve the well-being of women and families. These include recommendations related to labor protections for pregnant and nursing women, support for pregnancy resource centers, the Child Tax Credit, parental leave policies, childcare, housing, maternal and child health, nutrition, education, adoption support, relationship education and safety, an end to marriage penalties, environmental policies, and care for immigrant families.

The signatories of the letter are Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco, chairman of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life, and Youth, Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of Washington and chairman of the Committee on Migration.

A copy of the bishops’ letter to Congress and policy recommendations can be found here.