MISSOURI CATHOLIC CONFERENCE
The bishops of Missouri, speaking together on matters of public policy, form the Missouri Catholic Conference. October 2009
- 2 Corinthians 5:7
Americans are undergoing the worst economic downturn since the
Great Depression. Now more than ever, Catholic citizens need
to trust in God and work for the common good.
Legislation Just Over the Horizon
By all current accounts the 2010 fully informed about the abortion would impose a two year CAre: Many people work for
session of the Missouri General procedure or the consequences. moratorium on executions while employers that do not provide
Assembly will be dominated This legislation provides women a study commission examines health coverage. Working
by issues relating to economic with detailed information aspects of the death penalty parents in these situations
recovery and funding the about abortion, including system including the experience can apply for Medicaid health
state budget. Legislation and the risks associated with the levels of defense lawyers and coverage, but in Missouri the
programs with high fiscal costs procedure, information about prosecutors, the cost of the death Medicaid eligibility level is so
will have a difficult time securing the development of the unborn penalty, issues of racial disparity low (22 percent of the federal
passage. child, a list of organizations that and the interests of families poverty level) that many working
will provide assistance to help of victims. The commission parents do without health
The economic downturn carry the child to term and an would make recommendations care. During the past several
will not prevent the Missouri offer to allow women to view an to Governor Nixon and the sessions the MCC has worked
Catholic Conference (MCC) ultrasound of the unborn child General Assembly. In 2009, a to expand access to Medicaid
from advocating for issues that and hear the heartbeat. study commission that looked at health coverage for low-income
protect the sanctity of human the system was approved by the Missourians by raising the
life and uphold the dignity of The legislation also seeks to stop House of Representatives, but eligibility levels of the state’s
every human being. Below are coerced abortion. Commonly not in the Senate. A moratorium/ program. If federal legislation
some issues of importance that told stories of coerced abortions study commission bill will be on health care reform is passed
the MCC will be working on in tell of pregnant women who introduced again in 2010 by this year, it is likely that state
the upcoming session. were threatened with divorce, Rep. Bill Deeken (R-Jefferson legislation will be introduced in
loss of homes and support, loss City) and Sen. Rita Days (D-St. 2010 to address issues involved
AlternAtives to Abortion (AtA): of college scholarships or were Louis). in the new law.
Many women have daunting abused if they did not abort their
challenges when faced with unborn child. Statistics indicate PAydAy loAns: Payday lending eduCAtion: Catholic teaching
pregancy. The ATA program 40 percent of all women seeking targets people unable to access supports the fundamental right
provides services during abortions are victimized by traditional financial services of parents to select schools that
pregnancy and for one year after domestic violence. and those least able to pay the meet the needs of their children
the birth of the child including exorbitant interest rates. This and that is in accord with
prenatal care, medical and In 2009, the Missouri House legislation changes the laws their convictions. Accordingly,
mental health care, parenting of Representatives approved regarding unsecured loans the MCC has supported tax
skills, education services, legislation to require informed of $500 or less, referred to as deductions and other financial
housing, clothing, food supplies consent and to stop coerced payday loans, and allows the assistance to parents who
related to pregnancy, newborn abortions. The Senate removed Attorney General to maintain an send their children to private,
and infant care and adoption the coerced abortion provisions action to enforce compliance. parochial or home schools.
assistance. Catholic Charities and weakened the informed Missouri has some of the most With the current budget crisis
of St. Louis and Catholic consent language. The bill died lenient payday loan laws in it will be exceedingly difficult to
Charities of Kansas City - St. before the House and Senate the nation. All of the states pass any legislation that takes
Joseph are among a consortium could reconcile differences. bordering Missouri - Arkansas, funds from state coffers.The
of faith-based agencies that The MCC will be working with Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, MCC believes greater success
provide these vital services. Rep. Cynthia Davis (R-O’Fallon) Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky and can be found in ensuring that
ATA was appropriated $1.9 to ensure that meaningful Tennessee - prohibit renewals all students, including those
million in the FY2010 budget legislation is passed to protect of payday loans. In Missouri, a attending Catholic schools,
but cuts were proposed by the women and their unborn payday loan can be rolled over have equitable access to
Missouri Department of Health children. up to six times. A person can programs available to public
in June in response to budget end up paying interest charges school students. In 2009, the
shortfalls. In August, Governor
morAtorium/study Commission that amount to 75 percent of the MCC was successful in allowing
Nixon committed to fully funding
on the deAth PenAlty: Missouri’s original loan. Rep. Mary Still children in private, parochial
the program for FY2010. The death penalty statute has been (D-Columbia) and Rep. John and home schools to have
MCC will be working to at least
on the books for over 30 years, Burnett (D-Kansas City) will access to virtual school courses
maintain current funding levels
yet the state has never done a sponsor legislation in 2010 to provided by their local public
for the next fiscal year. thorough study of the system strengthen the regulation of the school district. The MCC will be
to ensure it is fair and innocent payday loan industry. seeking similar opportunities in
informed Consent/CoerCed people are protected from a education legislation introduced
Abortion: Women are often not death sentence. This legislation exPAnding ACCess to heAlth in 2010.
Is “Budget Cliff” Around the Bend?
Despite Gov. Nixon’s vetoes and money must be paid back into the the impending budget cliff, most
A Moral Document
fund withholdings earlier this year, fund by May 15, 2010. Missouri citizens are not. They
many observers of the Missouri Missouri’s fiscal situation would may think state budget problems
state budget see big trouble be much worse if the state had are mainly a problem for a few In the past the MCC has urged
ahead. To them Missouri’s budget not received a massive injection state employees in Jefferson City. state legislators to base their
resembles a train heading round of federal stimulus money. Absent In fact, state government reaches decisions not on politics but on the
a mountain bend for a yawning the federal bailout, Missouri would into every corner of Missouri. good of all Missouri citizens. Here
are several guiding principles the
chasm no longer bridged by any have faced a $1 billion shortfall in
MCC has continually set before
sound fiscal policy. its fiscal year 2010 budget. The Almost 900,000 children, including legislators:
federal money has cushioned the many Catholic children, attend the
The ink was barely dry on the blow of the current recession, the state’s K-12 public schools. Over Uphold the sanctity of human
legislature’s proposed state worst economic downturn since 850,000 Missouri citizens, including life: Services like the Alternatives
budget for fiscal year 2010 last the 1930’s Great Depression, the elderly and disabled, receive to Abortion program that save
summer when Gov. Nixon vetoed but unless Congress authorizes health coverage through Medicaid. human lives should be given
over $100 million in spending and another bailout, Missouri gets only Sheltered workshops offer jobs priority;
withheld spending for another $325 one more year of federal help. to the disabled, the Missouri Protect the most vulnerable:
million. In October, due to declining Department of Natural Resources The very poor, those with severe
sales tax revenues, the Missouri Without more federal help, or addresses toxic chemical spills disabilities, the frail elderly, all
Department of Natural Resources a dramatic improvement in and other environmental threats, warrant special consideration in
cut 100 state park positions. the economy, Missouri state the Missouri Department of Health framing the state budget;
government faces in fiscal year contracts with Catholic Charities of Respect the dignity of work
Symptomatic of a deeper problem 2012 what has become known in St. Louis and Catholic Charities of and workers: Government
is the constant raiding of the state Jefferson City as the “budget cliff.” Kansas City - St. Joseph to provide upholds the dignity of worker and
piggy bank known as the budget Unlike the federal government, alternatives to abortion services. workers when it requires safe
reserve. Since the beginning of Missouri is required by its working conditions, a living wage
fiscal year 2010, which began July constitution to balance the state All this and much more is in and offers health coverage for
1, state officials have raided the budget. Deficit spending is not an jeopardy. Tough decisions will workers whose employers don’t
offer health benefits;
piggy bank three times to address option and there is little political will have to be made. In this crisis, it
cash flow problems. In July state to raise taxes. Unless tax revenue will be vital for Governor Nixon Call for Common Sacrifice:
officials borrowed $125 million, in collections pick up, major cuts in and legislative leaders to work in When a family goes through
August they borrowed $75 million state programs are inevitable. a bipartisan fashion because the economic difficulties, all family
and in October they borrowed stakes are too high for politics as members sacrifice together. In
another $150 million. Now, only While Gov. Nixon and legislative usual. government no program should be
exempt from scrutiny to determine
$170 million is left. By law this budget writers are well aware of
whether it is necessary and being
Deficit Spending Versus Frugality Practice Good Stewardship:
Public officials have an obligation
to be good stewards of taxpayer
In a recent issue, The Economist John Maynard Keynes supported The Catholic Church does not dollars. Waste in government
reported that American households deficit spending by government claim expertise in technical programs coupled with excessive
are now spending less and saving in order to fill the demand gap left aspects of economics but it taxation can undercut the ability
more. Savings rose to 5% of when households and businesses insists that policies be grounded of families to support themselves
disposable income by the end of lose confidence and stop buying in “a transcendent vision of the and undermine investment and
job hiring by businesses;
the second quarter of 2009. The consumer goods and investing in person,” as Pope Benedict XVI
increased frugality is a common business ventures. puts it in his encyclical Caritas in Empower local communities:
Government cannot solve all
sense response by families trying Veritate. When the Church sees
problems and there are times
to weather the current recession. But even Keynes acknowledged systems placed over the welfare when government can be most
But when households spend less, that too much deficit spending of people, it will and does register helpful by partnering with local
businesses sell less and workers can lead to runaway inflation, disapproval. No person should be communities and churches;
are laid off. This can lead to undercutting the value of the sacrificed for some five year plan, Ensure government resources
economic contraction. currency and exploding government as people put in labor camps were are adequate: Government must
deficits. While many economists in the former Soviet Union, and have sufficient revenue to do its
In responding to the present support deficit spending in deep no private corporation should be job properly. Raising taxes is one
option when funding is inadequate
recession, both the Bush and recessions, there is vigorous given license to exploit its workers for the legitimate purposes of
Obama administrations have taken debate about how much is enough or befoul the environment. government.
a page from the playbook of a and how much is too much.
British economist who died in 1946.
Don’t Walk Alone.
Get Involved. Make a Difference.
The Missouri Catholic Conference believes...
Cut along dotted line and mail to: Missouri Catholic Conference,
• in strengthening the family as the foundation of society. P.O. Box 1022, Jefferson City, MO 65102
• in the sanctity of all human life.
• in empowering the poor and protecting the vulnerable. Citizen Network Enrollment Form
• in showing care and respect for God’s creation.
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• in the dignity of work and the rights of workers.
• each person has fundamental rights and responsibilities.
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a difference in society. It is people just like you writing letters,
making phone calls and visiting with your public officials. City:
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alerted on important issues. By joining our network of Catholic
citizens you will receive MCC’s monthly newsletter, Good News,
a personal invitation to the MCC Annual Assembly, up-to-date
information on current legislation and tools to actively participate
and influence public officials. Parish:
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YOU can truly make a difference! Conference Web site www.mocatholic.org
Getting Help in Hard Times
If you or somone you know has been adversely affected by the current economic crisis, these agencies could be of assistance.
St. Louis Catholic Charities
This organization has a number of different agencies providing a variety of services including legal, refugee, family, housing and
much more. For more information about the different agencies contact the St. Louis Catholic Charities at 314.367.5500 or go online
Kansas City & St. Joseph Catholic Charities
This organization offers many services including: adoption, mental health, emergency assistance, housing, senior care and much
more. For more information or getting help contact the Kansas City, St. Joesph or Warrensburg Catholic Charities offices.
KC Catholic Charities St. Joseph Catholic Charities Warrensburg Catholic Charities
816.221.4377 816.232.2885 660.747.2241
Other Kansas City Area Assistance - These locations offer food, clothing and employment assistance.
Bishop Sullivan Center St. James Place
Central Missouri Assistance
These organizations provide services including: food, clothing, school supplies and much more.
Samaritan Center Christo Center SERVE, Inc. Open Door Ministries GRACE
Jefferson City, Mo. Moberly, Mo. Fulton, Mo. Sedalia, Mo. Rolla, Mo.
573.634.7776 660.263.0278 573.642.6388 660.827.1613 573.368.5577
Springfield/Cape Girardeau Diocese
Springfield - Cape Girardeau is currently forming a Catholic Charities agency, however, if you need assistance please contact Don
Emge with the Diocese of Springfield/Cape Girardeau at 417.866.0841.