California’s Catholic bishops have asked Governor Gavin Newsom to increase aid to undocumented and low-wage residents of the state “because the virus doesn’t know the difference between someone who has the right legal documents and those who do not.”
Pope Francis, on Easter Sunday, spoke to the world and urged solidarity in this moment of crisis. He asked all governments “to recognize that the equal and fundamental human dignity of every human person — not economic class or status of documentation — must be the central principle of forging assistance programs in this moment of crisis.”
Governor Newsom has already extended stimulus aid to California residents who do not have legal status and the bishops have asked him to go further as the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on California, the nation and the world.
Last week, Governor Newsom said the state is creating a $125 million disaster assistance fund for undocumented Californians, who have not benefited from expanded unemployment or the federal stimulus. Approximately 150,000 undocumented adult Californians will receive a one-time cash benefit of $500 per adult with a cap of $1,000 per household.
In their letter today, the Bishops asked the Governor to:
- Expand State Disability Insurance (SDI) eligibility to workers unemployed as a result of COVID-19 but ineligible for Unemployment Insurance (UI);
- Send payments of $1200 to all Californians who qualified for the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) last year or this year, as well as to any filer who used an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) and meets the same income levels as the CalEITC;
- Permanently expand the CalEITC to include ITIN filers;
- Ensure that COVID-19 treatment (not just testing) is covered under Emergency MediCal;
- Expand no-cost or low-cost hotel options to workers who are essential to maintaining California’s food supply; and
- Make more money available to food banks and school districts to expand their capacity to get food and information about new relief programs to families in need….
The above comes from an April 20 release from the California Catholic Conference.
Unbelievable. And, my bishop remains in his mansion and has not communicated publicly since 4/10/2020.
How tone deaf are these bishops?
Uh, that would be “His Grace”, as one catholic to another.
Another Catholic , No ! I will not refer to “men” who would use their position for such advocacy knowing that we are headed to some of the worst economic times in memory as his “grace ” they need push back and a reminder to stick to teaching the faithful . I would be willing to bet that they see as well as the state bureaucrats the solution to this is more tax’s , levies, fines, etc , driving more businesses out and making more people miserable. When you insult or try to browbeat the laity or taxpayers with this advocacy terms of respect will not be used . Some empathy and humility are long overdue , maybe if they started paying tax’s they would have a revelation on simple economics that the rest of us have to live by.
A big fat NO to that one bishops! And NO to the guilt trip you will invariably try to give faithful Catholics. America is responsible for Americans first. Our generosity to others is nice, but not absolute.
Just confirms my decision of two years ago to no longer make contributions to any of my diocese’ collections, and I specify the use of funds I donate to my parish.
That’s the last straw. California bishops, you’re pathetic. Is there not one bishop who opposed this? Not Cordelione? Not Vasa?
California is a failed state. California Catholicism is a failed church.
Has anyone been able to see a copy of this letter? I couldn’t find it on the bishops conference website. Another place, about the bishops’ letter wrote, “Their letter was released by the California Catholic Conference, the public policy arm of the state’s bishops.” Letters are to someone from someone (or a group). It would be interesting to find out which bishops of California (all?) signed on to this. Is it possible that this “letter” was generated by a Church bureaucrat on K Street in Sacramento?
Anonymous, California Catholicism is not a failed church , the leadership has failed, it is up to the laity to hold the hierarchy to account , I now see why some say church’s should be taxed . This continued abuse and insult to our faith, intelligence and finances during this time shows all donations should be withheld , except for the support of the priests and the buildings.This selective ignorance of economics ( they are not putting up church funds for this) is a shameless appeal that they WILL use to try to get donations and support from these advocated groups is clear . This state, counties and cities are headed toward bankruptcy , I think that the church needs to go the same way. Also this is a PR ploy to mitigate the flood of abuse lawsuits that are coming.
As men without children who have guaranteed housing and jobs, pray that bishops grow in their understanding of spiritual fatherhood and have healthy relationships with families. Otherwise, they will be out of touch with most of their flock. We, as members of the Church, do indeed have an obligation to those in need. (See what our Lord said in Matthew 25.) That is an absolute, not a matter of being “nice.” Yet, it’s not the job of clergy to direct how taxpayers’ money is spent.
The way things are going, I’m looking out for myself. Sorry, but times are hard and uncertain and I can’t count on a secure future. So no more giving from me.
You’re right anonymous, – it is NOT the job of clergy to direct how taxpayers’ money is spent.
That’s the first statement making sense on this entire subject.
Pay it out of your own money, bishops, not the money you take from the faithful. Sacrifice from your own wealth, eat less, get out among your people with a mask and teach Jesus. Show us Jesus’ charity yourselves.
How can you California Bishops be so insensitive and out of touch with your people?
It seems to me, the better use of the California Bishops time would be figuring out creative ways to bring Mass, the source and summit of our Faith, back to people. Since pew numbers where down prior to the virus, why not start by figuring out how many people attend Mass? Allow x amount of people in per Mass at a given time?? How about offering more Masses?? The parishioners will know to keep their distance and those who are healthy will attend Mass. It bothers me that Mass, an ESSENTIAL service was so quickly shut down. How about taking the time to figure out how to bring the Eucharist to us,starving people? How about assessing the tax paying and Parish supporting families who have lost their jobs? Who is going to pay their mortgages? Who is going to pay their children’s tuition? Who is going to donate to Parishes and Churches? How can you Bishops support more taxation on the backs of your people when California is on the fast track to bankruptcy? I think the California Bishops need to focus on the SALVATION and FEEDING of their flocks souls VERSES suggesting where our taxpayers’ money be spent.
Am I the only one on this site who sympathizes with these illegals? Of course, we need to take care of Americans first but maybe there is a way to help these people so that they don’t starve to death. Someone close to me suggested sending them back to their own countries and I agree if there is no persecution which would result from this. But let’s at least help them a little until they can leave.
Ronnie with respect , we are broke ! the state , counties,etc were heading toward bankruptcy before this is, now it is almost certain .Sympathy, of course but the “leaders” have no clue or sympathy for the citizens who have to pay for it or how . That and this state is so hostile to business in the regulations and restrictions means the state recovery from this will be much worse and harder then other states . From the hierarchy to state and local government they are almost all untrustworthy , incompetent, and will use this crisis to further their own agendas at taxpayer expense. Help them yourself and with your parish , but this is going to get bad for I hope and pray a short while, but our church and secular leaders are not up to this demanding task.
I buy less for me and give from my fixed retirement income to needy people in this country illegally during this time of need. I do not demand money from governments who are billions in debt. Pastors know who they are. Ask them. I don’t have a right to demand the state give money while I sit on mine; so I search out and I supply the needs. We are a big church; our parishes have illegal immigrants. I did so before I retired too, helping them out of my own money. Luke 6:38 “Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.”
James 2:14-18 Faith and Works.*What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?i If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it?j So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead. Indeed someone may say, “You have faith and I have works.” Demonstrate your faith to me without works, and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works.
I agree with you Rick but we still have to help the poor which I do all the time. Maybe a combination of government and the private sector. I know Americans are suffering too but we can’t just let them starve to death.
Ronnie you seem like a good man who’s heart is in the right place , God bless you .
The majority of illegals are from Mexico and in fact California is becoming Northern Mexico. So let Mexico give any extra money. Also note! many of the churches in California are controlled and run by Hispanic clerics.
As a compassionate person, but also a practical one, my first thought when I read this article was this: Why didn’t the California bishops instead call to rally the Catholic laity to help those in need instead of invoking the Government’s help? There’s also the law of unintended consequences: If the bishops are so set on involving the government, then the bishops must be prepared for the government to stick its nose into its affairs, i.e., taxing Catholic churches. Bishops must stay out of politics and lead by absolute spiritual example. Good Stewardship should start from the top: Bishops, clergy, laity, in that order. Also, workers in the field are not paying taxes because they’re most likely being paid in cash. It would be ludicrous to think that the State of California could magically search out and identify migrant workers in order to provide them with stimulus checks. We laity will continue to do what we need to help others in need, and I can bet you there are plenty of people who are helping migrant workers without praise or fanfare. I look forward to seeing photos of our California bishops on the front lines providing charity to the migrant workers in the Central Valley crop fields.
Silent Observer, great points , the bishops in my opinion do not have the gravitas and moral authority they once did , they have shown their weakness in spiritual matters and responsible stewardship of church resources. It is up to us the laity to hold them to account. I ask myself are any of them trustworthy , their character and actions tell me no.
Rick, you seem to indicate that no bishops are trustworthy (“any of them”), based on their character and actions. That is inaccurate as well as uncharitable and calumnious. And, of course, you don’t know them all. My current bishop and my previous bishop are trustworthy men of character, backed up by their actions. And, I know of several other bishops who are as well. Sadly, tragically, I know of several who are not. Some bad clergy, like some bad lay persons, don’t make the entire category bad. That’s unfair to those bishops who are laboring, even heroically in some cases, and meet opposition not only from the world, but sometimes even from some of their brother bishops. And, you are right that the lay faithful should hold them accountable (until they have to give an account to the One Who will hold us all accountable.) Let us pray more fervently for them and for ourselves.
Anonymous Clergyman , thank for a intelligent and thoughtful reply, inaccurate , I will concede that I do not give all bishops the benefit of the doubt as I would hope that I would receive. The bad ones have poisoned the well, I can name more bad clerics then good, that saddens me. I direct my further responses to this story , uncharitable , yes ! they are not stupid they have to or should know that hard economic times, combined with past profligate spending will take us years if ever to recover from.Charity and empathy for the overtaxed legal citizen , I honestly don’t think is possible form them . Calumny no , my statements were not false for the bishops that support this measure , I did not defame them to damage their reputation , I believe that they have defamed and damaged their own reputation multiple times , check the archive of this blog , this is not the first time they have advocated for spending the taxpayers money. I would describe my response as being fueled by moral rage at the again obtuseness contd
of these men who disrespect the laity and taxpayers with such proposals. I am glad you know good bishops , I know good holy priests , the bad bishops and priests have hurt them as well , I don’t want to be unfair to the good bishops but I am hard pressed to name some from this state. Yes I agree that there are bad laity and clergy , but the clergy are held to a higher standard , some abuse their office to deceive , insult and humiliate the laity to do any manner of things under false pretenses , and to avoid scandal or legal action.That other bishops oppose them in their holy labors is evil i.e. mccarrick , mahoney, and far to many more shows the need for an angry laity and brave bishops to speak out Pray more fervently AMEN!, but lets also drive the evil out and call it out by name and rank . God bless you in your work and life .
The government gives money through existing organizations like Catholic Charities and other non Christian organizations. The organizations make money from this as they help the needy from the funds given to them.
I am new here. I will die new here.
Plainly, these chaps rode the short bus to economics class. It’s long past time we added ‘Basic Economics’ to seminary curricula.
What is not being said here is that Home Depot gives a lot to organizations like Planned Parenthood. The old catch twenty-two, we will hire and feed you while we destroy your children and those of others.