Bishops Support Minimum Wage Hike

Article appeared in America Magazine

U.S. Catholic leaders have called on Congress to ensure that the federal minimum wage is raised to “improve the financial security of millions of American families.” In a letter, dated July 28, Bishop Thomas Wenski, chair of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and Sister Donna Markham, President of Catholic Charities USA, note that a full-time worker, currently earning the federal minimum wage, “does not make enough to raise a child free from poverty.” As pastors and service providers, they say they see how each year “it becomes more difficult for low-wage workers to make ends meet.” Quoting from Pope John Paul II’s encyclical “Centesimus Annus,” they stress that society and the state must guarantee wage levels “adequate for the maintenance of the worker and his family,” as well as ensuring “adequate legislative measures” to stop exploitation of the most vulnerable. Protecting low-wage workers and promoting their ability to form and nurture families, the two Catholic leaders insist, are shared responsibilities and critical to building a more equitable society.