poor

Concern rises over impact of expected tax cuts on programs for the poor

WASHINGTON — Tax policy is not a simple matter. It almost never has been and may not ever be.

Still, Congress is trying to simplify the tax code to deliver on President Donald Trump's campaign promise to cut taxes for the middle class.

Working under the "Unified Tax Reform Framework" introduced by congressional leaders Sept. 27, efforts are underway to reduce the number of tax brackets, resulting in a tax cut for most Americans, and to incorporate numerous other provisions that some observers say primarily benefit the country's top wage earners and largest corporations.

‘I see Jesus’: Working with poor helps young Chileans’ faith

COLINA, Chile — In winter, the dirt roads in the slum known as Rivera Sur are muddy and full of puddles.

"It gets freezing in winter, with so much rain and mud," local resident Teresa Aranda said. "Sometimes I don't let my daughter go to school because I don't want her slipping in the mud on the streets."

But young Chileans volunteering with a Jesuit charity — TECHO-Chile, also known as A Roof for Chile — have helped Aranda and more than 400 other families living in the shantytown known as Rivera Sur, 25 miles north of Santiago.

Encounter with immigrants seen as ‘eye-opening’

Sister Maureen Freeman, CSJ, Maria Yaksic, a translator from La Paz, Bolivia, and Sister Joan Klass, CPPS, held hands during prayer. A Catholic “teach-in” on migration was held at St. John the Baptist Church. The event presented current social justice concerns on the rights of refugees and asylum seekers. It included personal testimonies from immigrants during small group discussions.

Sitting down with an immigrant who has come to America for a better life was eye-opening for Sister Joan Klass.

Sister Joan, who attended a "Catholic Teach-In on Migration: Creating a Culture of Encounter" June 26 with six other Sisters of the Most Precious Blood, said her group was impressed with the immigrants who attended and gave testimony during discussions in a small-group setting. "We really are impressed the immigrants are putting themselves out there," she said. "It added a very special dimension to the evening."

POPE’S MESSAGE | Pray for those who scorn, take advantage of poor

Pope Francis laughs as he greets a woman during an audience with people from Lyon, France, in Paul VI hall at the Vatican July 6. The audience was with 200 people living in difficult or precarious situations.

VATICAN CITY — Pray for those responsible for extreme poverty, for the rich who feast unaware of people in need at their door, and for priests who ignore those who are hurting, Pope Francis told people living a precarious existence.

Say a prayer for these people, wish them well and "ask Jesus that they convert, and I assure you that if you do this, there will be great joy in the Church, in your hearts and also in beloved France," the pope told his audience.

POPE’S MESSAGE | To ignore the poor is to despise God

Pope Francis greeted a child at his general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican May 18. The pope used the parable of the rich man and Lazarus as a reminder of the “harsh reproach” that will come at the final judgment for those who ignore the needs of the poor.

VATICAN CITY — How Christians treat the poor is the clearest demonstration of their relationship with God, Pope Francis insisted.

"To ignore the poor is to despise God! And we must learn this well: To ignore the poor is to despise God!" the pope said May 18 at his weekly general audience.

The pope focused on the Gospel parable of the rich man and Lazarus and said the story is a reminder of the "harsh reproach" that will come at the final judgment for those who ignore the needs of the poor.

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