Poverty and our call to a preferential option for the poor are the topics of a new statement from Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York and Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn. It was released on September 27, the feast of St. Vincent de Paul.
The two bishops highlight the poverty and income inequality in their home city of New York. They note, for example, “[o]ne poignant statistic – in one zip code on the East Side of Manhattan the average household income is about $101,000. In the South Bronx another zip code’s average income is about $19,800.”
They call upon both private citizens and government to do more to help the poor among us. They cite the recent memorable comment from Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput: “Jesus tells us very clearly that if we don’t help the poor, we’re going to go to hell.” They note that there is “[t]oo much rhetoric in the country [that] portrays poor people in a very negative way,” and they call us all to the solidarity that is absolutely necessary if we’re to protect the human dignity of all peoople in our nation and world.