Sat 25th Oct 2014 | Last updated: Fri 24th Oct 2014 at 18:39pm

Facebook Logo Twitter Logo RSS Logo
Hot Topics

Comment & Blogs

What are we Catholics doing about poverty?

The economic question remains the biggest one of the age

By on Monday, 24 September 2012

Work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith

Work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith

Years ago, when I was quietly sitting on my bench taking notes in the Gregorian University in Rome, the professor of morals, Fr Sergio Bastianel SJ said something that made me sit up. It was this: that the biggest moral question of our age was the economic question, to do with the commandment thou shalt not steal, rather than any other commandment, even thou shalt not kill.

Nothing that I have seen or read since then has made me think he was wrong about this. Poverty remains the biggest issue for us all. It is true that life issues are of great importance, but many life issues have underlying economic causes.

Just reading The Observer online this Sunday is a reminder that the poor are with us always. Living standards are falling, and the poor in Britain are destined to get poorer, we are told.  Then there is this story about a family in Nottingham, which one may assume to be typical.  It makes sobering reading:

They don’t own their own home and half of their joint income of around £30,000 a year goes on rent and council tax. Clair would love the family to buy their own house but sees no hope because prices are so high and money is too tight. “If childcare was cheaper, I would be able to work more and make a greater contribution to the family budget,” she says. “That would make it easier to buy a house.”

She has also thought of re-training for a new career that would better suit her family’s needs, but that route seems blocked too. “I qualified as a hairstylist after finishing school. Since then I have looked into re-training for a career in education, but the cost of the training is more than we can afford.”

Nowadays Clair and Dan just concentrate on getting by, rather than looking forward. “We can’t look beyond the next payday. I can’t even think of my children growing up and needing more. I have to deal with what they need this month. We’re stuck in a rut.”

She adds: “I look around and it’s hard to see signs of hope. A neighbour’s son went to university and hasn’t worked in a year.”

And in the comment section, Kevin McKenna (a Catholic, by the way, and always worth reading) praises Ross Kemp for telling it straight  about McKenna’s native Glasgow:

Gillian had been without a hearth for six years, during which time she slept under a motorway intersection by day and worked as a street girl at night to feed her drug habit and that of her pimp. Such an existence became inevitable as soon as an older male relative began injecting her with heroin as a nine-year-old for the purposes of softening her up for sexual abuse. He had convinced her that she had diabetes and that the injections contained insulin.

There was no self-pity in Gillian’s voice, nor was there any bitterness or anger, and this was more shocking than anything else. For this was the hand she had been dealt and her job was simply to reach the end of her day and be fit to start a new one. If she had a dream, it was to be reunited with her children and resume being a caring mother to them.

As he encountered more of Glasgow’s desaparecidos, Kemp informed us that our homeless were 19 times more likely than me to suffer a violent attack. At one point, he was almost lost for words as he asked how it is that a caring society can permit these “cave people” to live under the M8 from where they can watch dinner parties twinkling above them in the riverside abodes. It’s too easy to say that, due to drugs and alcohol, these people are the authors of much of their own misfortune. The only difference between them and us, though, is that they had no one to turn to when they encountered evil.

I suppose you might say that The Observer is the newspaper of choice for liberal bleeding hearts. Maybe it is, but this should not detract from the fact that poverty in Britain is real.

Back in 1844, when he was a prisoner in the fortress of Ham, Louis Napoleon wrote a treatise entitled The Elimination of Poverty. Four years later he was ruler of France and for the next twenty-two years tried his best to do just that – eliminate poverty. Even his critics admit that he was sincere in his concern for the poor. France in the nineteenth century saw a huge increase in poverty thanks to industrialisation and urbanisation – as did Britain, where Disraeli highlighted this challenge in his novel Sybil, published in 1845, one year after Louis Napoleon’s treatise.

In our own day the poor are still with us; one politician stands out as concerned about poverty in Britain, Iain Duncan Smith, whom, thankfully, the Prime Minister could not shift in the recent reshuffle. Cameron’s Big Society may have owed something to Napoleon III and Disraeli, but that all seems to have been forgotten now. What are Cameron and Osborne doing about poverty? Do they care about the ordinary people of this country who are finding life so hard?

The Church, in its social magisterium, has long been concerned about the condition of the working class (even George Orwell conceded as much, via one of his characters in Keep the Aspidistra Flying, if memory serves). We cannot simply blame the government for poverty (though they must shoulder part of the blame for the way they tax the working poor). Nor should the question of poverty be reduced to talk about government cuts. But what are we Catholics doing about the problem? How seriously do we take it?

  • nytor

    Iain Duncan Smith is, of course, a Catholic, and is trying to address poverty by reducing dependency.

    I find the most telling thing in this piece to be that £30,000 a year is not enough to enable a family to do more than subsist even in an area far from London which is cheaper. This is around – indeed, I think above – the average income, yet it isn’t enough to allow them to do more than live hand to mouth. Surely the answer is to address prices? Accommodation costs, both to buy and to rent, are far too high in this country as a proportion of income, and constantly building more cannot be the answer. Perhaps a cap of some sort?

  • EndTimes101

    “the biggest moral question of our age was the economic question, to
    do with the commandment thou shalt not steal, rather than any other
    commandment, even thou shalt not kill.Nothing that I have seen or read since then has made me think he was wrong about this.”

    I seriously despair with so many of your posts. You seem to have completely lost your mind and soul to a twisted and corrupt world. The role of a priest is FIRST and foremost to care for people’s souls. Did you ever really believe that? The soul, the eternal, is of infinitely more value than the body, the temporary shell we MUST leave behind sooner or later. Yet in your warped world of social justice and and all the other neo Marxist claptrap you seem to have swallowed hook line and sinker you make ease of the body your number one moral issue.

    I would humbly suggest, dear Father, you put down the Guardian and Independent and pick up a Rosary because you obviously have your priorities COMPLETELY backwards and a prayer life of near zero that you can go so far off the reservation. I think only very many prayers can bring you back to your senses. Can you remember why you become a Priest in the first place?

  • EndTimes101

    “the biggest moral question of our age was the economic question, to do with the commandment thou shalt not steal, rather than any other commandment, even thou shalt not kill.Nothing that I have seen or read since then has made me think he was wrong about this.”

    I seriously despair with so many of your posts Father. You seem to have
    completely lost your mind and soul to a twisted and corrupt world. The
    role of a priest is FIRST and foremost to care for people’s souls. The soul, the eternal, is of infinitely
    more value than the body, the temporary shell we MUST leave behind
    sooner or later. Yet in your warped world of social justice and and all
    the other neo Marxist claptrap you seem to have swallowed hook line and
    sinker you make ease of the body your number one moral issue.

    I would humbly suggest, dear Father, you put down the Guardian and
    Independent and pick up a Rosary because you obviously have your
    priorities COMPLETELY backwards and a prayer life of near zero that you
    can go so far off the reservation. I think only very many prayers can
    bring you back to your senses. What is the reason you chose the priesthood over social work for example?

  • South Saxon

    Nytor is correct. Accommodation is more expensive than in many European countries where wages are higher.

  • http://twitter.com/morysireland Morys Ireland

    And yet Jesus did heal the sick, he did teach us how to treat each other. If there were no point in such things I find it hard to believe he would have taught them. While of course the main message is that of eternal salvation, the social aspect of His teaching is hard to ignore. Of course loving your neighbour does not have to manifest itself in “neo-Marxism” (not sure Duncan-Smith fits into that category!), nor any particular political philosophy.

    But your assertion that there is no point tackling poverty because poverty is essentially an earthly issue, and therefore not relevant in the grand scheme of things, appears to me to fly in the face of so many of our Lord’s teachings. Is not loving your neighbour one of the measures by which we will reach eternal salvation? What is tackling poverty if it is not loving your neighbour?

  • Mph

    There has to be more to the story of the family from Nottingham “struggling” on £30,000/yr. My wife and I have a joint income of about £21,000/yr gross. I work full time, she works part time, and we don’t receive any benefits. Yet we live quite happily with all our Western mod-cons (TV, computers, laptops, internet, mobile phones, music, etc.), in a nice three-bed terrace in a good area of Sheffield, and do not struggle in any way to get by. OK, we don’t yet have any children, but financially we can well afford to have them, since we also put money into our savings every month. 
    Perhaps this family feel poor not because they lack money, but because they are poor with money. How on earth are they spending £15,000/yr on rent and council tax? That’s £1,250/mth! Perhaps they should move to a house/area that is within their means and budget, rather than moan about how expensive their current lifestyle is while expecting society to indulge them with cheap childcare and cheap retraining.

  • Romulus

    As one with a middle class standard of living, one must be constantly on guard not to be dismissive about our duties to the poor.  Nevertheless, I find myself frequently coming back to the question whether the duty of the Christian is to oppose poverty or to assist the poor.  I am not at all convinced that these are one and the same, and it troubles me to see others skating past what seems to me a crucial question, given that Christianity is is God’s program for the salvation of this world, not its perfectibility.

  • EndTimes101

     I think you have misunderstood my point. It is a question of priorities. As a Catholic, any faithful Catholic, not just a priest, you must be clear that the moral priority is NOT thou shalt not steal, but thou shalt Love God with our whole hearts and souls. All Love comes from God, so only in putting God first can we have any measurable level of GENUINE love for our Neighbours, and in Loving our neighbours many of the social ills people wish to eradicate can be eased.

    But as Our Lord told us, we shall ALWAYS have the poor. It is a penance and purification for many to save their souls. Our Lord warned how likely riches can destroy our souls. He could have eradicated ALL illness and sickness, but he did only for a select few that he met. Ever wonder why?

  • NewMeena

    I don’t believe you understand the expense of raising a child.
    This woman speaks of “children” – so she has at least two of them.
    A single child would cost far more than your “western mod-cons”.
     
    Remember, you will need other people’s (present) children to largely run and fund your retirement and supply the goods and services which you will need – from the assistants and managers in the supermarkets etc. to those manning the NHS, the fire service, servicing your car, repairing your computer and TV, police keeping law and order and maintaining the countless other functions necessary to the running of our society.

    There are many parts of the south-east where £1,250 a month, and more (post income tax and NI contributions), would be needed to cover private sector rent and council tax for a 3 bed house or flat.

  • Alexander Lucie-Smith

    I imagine as the husband has to travel a lot one thing that makes them poor is the staggering cost of transport in the UK. When i was a teacher in Lndon, twenty years ago, my monthly travel card came to 10 per cent of my take home pay. I would imagine for many it is now a bigger proportion. Yes, I agree re the question of prices in the UK.. we have the most expensive property in the world, so it is commonly said (though that’s probably not true), and we have the most expensive travel too!

  • NewMeena


    constantly building more cannot be the answer. ”

    It would not need to be CONSTANTLY building more. Just building (much) more would be sufficient – and the answer.  

    “much more” actually MEANS “costs much less” in any capitalist society. 

    (And here, of course, we meet one or two of the real and eternal problems of capitalism) 

  • NewMeena

    As one with a little more than a middle-class standard of living, I am disappointed to read such a comment in 2012 (but by no means surprised).

  • EndTimes101

     “Iain Duncan Smith is, of course, a Catholic”

    Is that the same “Catholic” Iain Duncan Smith that i saw on Question time a year and a half back saying religious couples should be discriminated against during adoptions? It was left to David Starky to be politically incorrect and defend amongst others, Catholic couples and their religious beliefs. You could not make it up……

  • EndTimes101

     For those late comers wondering why my original comment was removed, i can only assume it was because i pointed out that Father Lucie-smiths comment that poverty is the No1 moral issue, even above murder (and certainly above first commandment of Loving God with all your worth) was completely erroneous from the Catholic perspective. It only makes sense if you make the Marxist utopian dream your primary ideology…..

  • EndTimes101

     For
    those late comers wondering why my original comment was removed, i can
    only assume it was because i pointed out that Father Lucie-smiths
    comment that poverty is the No1 moral issue, even above murder (and
    certainly above first commandment of Loving God with all your worth) was
    completely erroneous from the Catholic perspective. It only makes sense
    if you make the Marxist utopian dream your primary ideology…..

  • Romulus

     That is not much of an answer.  And what does the year have to do with it?  Seriously.

  • NewMeena

    EndTimes101:  ”
    You could not make it up……”

    Well, you just did.

    Iain Duncan Smith expressed his view that all people adopting children, and all organisations involved in the process, should observe the law.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    Christ taught us that the greatest imperative is to love the Lord our God with our heart, strength and whole being. And this is linked (both ways) with the second Great Commandment, to love our neighbour. 

    To do the first and not to do the second is to have a dead faith: to do the second without the first is sentimentality, not love at all. 

    As creatures of God all we have and are is from Him. Our help to our neighbour must therefore be rooted in love of God. 

    I don’t know about poverty in Britain. I have lived though in three former USSR republics, three Moslem countries and one in Africa (before being chased out by machete and pistol-wielding robbers) and I can tell you that £30,000 annual income in those places wouldn’t just keep one family for a year but about five families.

    The problem of poverty in Britain is a POLITICAL problem: welfareism, sky-high taxes and the curse of socialism.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    What’s going on with the moderation here? 

    A post which criticized socialism fit for deletion? 

    Why, Moderators?

  • EndTimes101

     Welcome to my world Benedict. In these last days you have to assume all media outlets are compromised, even those that have labelled themselves “Catholic”….

  • EndTimes101

      Welcome to my world Benedict. In these last days you have to assume all
    media outlets are compromised, even those that have labelled themselves
    “Catholic”….

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    My comment seems to have appeared again.

  • nytor

    Given the horrifying levels of immigration to which this country is being subjected, I cannot see how it could be other than constant building to keep up with it – and we’d have no countryside left. It’s no answer at all.

  • Lewispbuckingham

    ‘Slept under a motorway …worked as a street girl at night’
     And the second is as great as the first thou shalt love one another, as I have loved you.
     This second commandment is appalling in its context in that we are asked to be as Christ was and to love others as he did, not just to do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
     The example above of poverty is not primarily that of an economic crisis for the person, who when she and her pimp recover from the last drug dose simply go and get more money to buy more drugs by being a sex worker.In Australia they typically are on centrelink and have regular payments, free food every day in Sydney at least, usually the truck comes to them, and can get cash out at any ATM.
     Providing housing is an issue, not because it is never available, but because the people involved are so dysfunctional with mental illness that they cannot live in a flat and maintain it.If they have any children that survive abortion, DOCS takes them anyway so they have no economic need to look after children.
     The example above is one of not only material poverty in the sense of lack of maintained possessions but that of psychological, spiritual, and health poverties, to put it imperfectly,and where our church must lead.
     Leadership is best from the laity at the ground level.

  • NewMeena

    Your comment hardly called for much of an answer.
    I alluded, by implication, not only to the year, but to the times in which we live.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22gCw4iDdu4 

  • NewMeena
  • Mph

    I fully understand that raising a child is a massive commitment, spiritually and financially. However, my wife and I are friends with another couple who have 2 young children, expecting their third, and they manage on not too much more than we’re on. And, again, I’ll state that my wife and I have money left over each month to put into savings on £9,000/yr less than this family earns. I also appreciate that parts of the South East are expensive to live in. But this family does not live in the South East. They live in Nottingham, where it is quite easy to find a rental property to fit their budget. They could also move to nearby Derby, where, if anything, a three-bed property would be cheaper. Bottom line: if you’re spending half your joint salary on rent and council tax, and struggling to get by, perhaps the answer is to move somewhere you can better afford, and live within your means. 

    How much do they spend on food and drink? Utilities? Travel? Clothes? Electronics? If they are stuck in a rut, then they need to look again at their budget. £30,000/yr is a lot of money, and if you can’t get by on that then, I’m sorry, but there’s something wrong somewhere that has precious little to do with poverty.

  • Peter

    When Jesus said “what you do to one of the least of my brothers you do to me”, he was referring to a hierarchy of human needs, where the most basic needs of life and death take precedence over others.

    Sadly we live in a world where hundreds of millions suffer daily through lack of food and clean water, and where millions of children die every year because of the effects of malnutrition and the lack of basic medication. 

    What Jesus meant by “least of my brothers” are the most seriously needy, those whose who want to live but are dying in their millions and suffering gravely in their tens of millions through lack of basic necessities such as food, clean water and medicine.

    It is incumbent upon Christians to prioritise these who are the least of Christ’s brothers and sisters as Jesus commanded.  

    However, it is easy to forget them and become preoccupied with the relatively disadvantaged in our own rich society.  Of course their needs are great and many good people attend to them, but being a Christian means to focus on the least of Christ’s brothers and not to forget them.

    According to the Gospel, if we ignore the seriously poor, those with life and death needs, irrespective of what good we do within our own rich society, we will go to hell.  That is the stark message.

  • Adsum

    Catholics need to be consistent in their witness, especially in their ethical and political choices.  They need to be very careful of the very right wing Tory agenda. Anything that harms or represses the life of my neighbour, especially if he is helpless or vulnerable situation, is a sorrow to Christ.  I heard a Catholic call, the other day, for the return of the death penalty.  Is this consistent with the protection of the life of the unborn child?  The ill thought depredations upon the NHS and the care of the vulnerable in our society which the present government are imposing with almost reckless abandon while taking care of the affluent classes cannot but be a sorrow to our Lord.  We need careful discernment in our social and political choices – I am alarmed at some of the rancour of comment here: but I wonder if my comment will see the light of day …

  • Hermit

    Christ told us that the poor would always be with us. The works of mercy on which we shall all be judged guide us on how we should behave in the face of poverty.

    A rule of thumb to see if we are really following Christ’s command (not advice!) on helping the needy is to compare what we spend of luxuries (including money spent abroad on holidays) and the alms we give to the poor, both those in our country and those far away. To be sincere we must keep a record of the amount we give to the poor every time we do it. Because if we just give without knowing exactly how much we are giving, we might easily be deceived thinking that we are giving out a lot when it would not be the case.

    We need to remember also that charity begins at home.

  • JByrne24

    I think the answer is 10% or so. But this includes everything: businesses of all kinds, shops of all kinds, the infrastructure of the country: roads, railways, ports including airports, power stations,  etc..etc..

    Only 2% of the built environment is housing of all the various types, situated on their own land.
     

  • Romulus

     Appealing to the year is just silly.  It’s not as if history’s on a pre-determined Marxist march to anything but the eschaton.  Do you claim otherwise, and to possess privileged knowledge of what will pass for Enlightened Thought in five or five hundred years?  Can you assure us that once enlightened thought is achieved that it will remain unchanged?

    As for the original point, if you understand Christianity as a home improvement project to make this world bearable, especially for middle class consciences, you are quite mistaken.  I am seriously questioning the conflation of a secular goal, be it ever so worthy, with a corporal work of mercy.  If poverty in se is an absolute evil whose very existence is hateful to God, whose abolition is mandated by heaven, then what are we to think of those who live happy and holy lives in poverty?  Are they mad?  What are we to think of the poverty of our Lord, who warned of riches, and of those in religious life who voluntarily embrace poverty?  Was the Poverello deluded and evil for renouncing possessions and countenancing the same in others?  Contrariwise, in what way will God be glorified and souls saved if we do manage to abolish poverty?  You have not yet bothered to explain just how this social transformation will definitively, categorically advance the kingdom of God.  So — what’ve you got?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    What an ideological anti-Tory rant! It’s pathetic.

    Tell me, what is more Christian? To continue paying out billions in welfare that has cut off whole sections of the population from any desire to contribute to society and which has bankrupted the country, or do something about it (which the Government by the way has so far signally failed to do)?

  • Charles

    The purpose of the Catholic Church is not to reduce poverty. The apostles and Church fathers were not concerned with people’s material lifestyle but rather with their conversion. The Bible has been twisted to fit into Marxist propaganda that implies the poor is a permanent social class. In reality, a healthy growth oriented economy should allow the poor to raise themselves up to the middle class. For this to happen we need responsible government that doesn’t create gigantic debts by spending money we don’t have and allowing economic depressions to occur by their lack of proper oversight. When I was literally dirt poor I never expected any material assistance form a church; I expected them to actually proclaim the faith of our Fathers and not the faith of Karl Marx.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    Hear, hear!

  • Ælfrid the Mercian

    Perfect post.

  • Ælfrid the Mercian

    We are supposed to practice CHARITY.

    “Justice and peace”, which has replaced charity since Vatican II, is merely the Modernists’ use of Catholic words to promote Marxism.

  • Johanne

    £30,000 a year is NOT poverty, no matter what way you look at it. 

    It’s frankly staggering – if not to say insulting – that this could be overtly implied as such in a Catholic newspaper, though looking at where Fr Lucie-Smith sources his story from might give you a clue as to what’s going on here…..

  • Angela

    The trouble with building more is that house prices are so inflated that even when built they are beyond the reach of the people who need them most, here in the East of England we have developments taking place where there are a few ‘affordable’ homes tacked onto estates where you would need two large salaries coming in to be able to buy.

  • Peter

    The purpose of the Church is to save souls and souls are only saved by loving God.  

    The only way we can demonstrate our love for Christ in this life is by loving and helping the least of his brothers, the seriously poor and most wretched, with whom he has explicitly identified himself.

    The sacraments, and most especially the Eucharist, allow us to see the face of Jesus in the poorest and most wretched, which means that by loving them and helping them we are loving and helping Jesus.

    The Church spreads the Gospel by putting love for Christ into action around the world by helping the poorest and most wretched who are his brethren.

  • Charles

     If you concede that God has infinite intelligence then you must concede he must want us to truly help the poor rather than seem to help the poor. Truly helping the poor means permanently getting them out of poverty and into a dignified middle class. That can not and has not been done through Marxist programs that create a permanent dependency on government without providing for higher wage opportunity, stemming from better education and healthy economic growth.

  • NewMeena

    “….
    welfare that has cut off whole sections of the population from any desire to contribute to society and which has bankrupted the country..”

    Private debt is much higher and significant than public debt, and a much greater problem.

    The former is one of the many consequences of middle-class stupidity. 

  • NewMeena

    “Appealing to the year is just silly.”

    Come back when you have read my comment.

  • Kevin

    Poverty remains the biggest issue for us all. It is true that life issues are of great importance

    This will be interpreted as suggesting that murder is of lesser moral importance. Poverty is a state that we may hope to alleviate, but murder is the death of all (temporal) hope. It is much more consequential and should be treated as such.

    The title of this article should be amended to read, What are wealthy Catholics doing about poverty?. A cleric who has taken a vow of poverty, a lay couple who remain faithful to Humanae Vitae, or a layman who risks his livelihood for the Faith are all likely to be in need of support themselves.

    Insofar as the Church is capable of raising the necessary funds, a good response to poverty woud be to take back control of institutions that the Church created that help alleviate it. This would include our schools, hospitals and adoption agencies. Surrendering these to Socialists and Cameronites puts the fate of our society in the hands of those opposed to God and love of neighbour and in favour of abortion, infanticide, fornication, liberal divorce, the destruction of marriage, assisted suicide and the persecution of Catholics.

  • JabbaPapa

    “Poverty remains the biggest issue for us all. It is true that life issues are of great importance”

    This will be interpreted as suggesting that murder is of lesser moral importance.

    YES !!! Exactly !!!

    Especially given that one of the central “justifications” provided for institutionalised baby-murdering is to “fight poverty”.

  • JabbaPapa

    “Dignified middle class” is NOT the destiny that God is preparing for us in Heaven.

  • Adsum

    Yes. And banker and corporate executive greed, the behaviour of the banks.  I stand by ‘my Tory rant’.  It is so easy to blame the vulnerable voiceless in our society for its fiscal and other ills.

  • Robin Leslie

    In Latin America the Church is embodied in and by poor people, Masses are crowded with people
    who do not have enough to eat, do not have a roof over their heads and are clothed in rags and
    whose children scavenge on waste heaps. During the 1990s middle-class Latin Americans used to randomly shoot orphaned children in their lunch breaks, and of course we all remember General Pinochet and his death squads, another ‘devout’ Catholic who disposed of poor people.
    Now the worm has turned in Brazil and Venezuala where poor people are being rescued through a
    collective redistribution of wealth and Chavez is rightly cherished.
    The work of Maryknoll in Latin America was miraculous, though opposed by the Vatican at the time,
    their practical and courageous work alongside poor people building up their communities, constructing housing, building roads, churches, surgeries as well as looking after their spiritual needs remains
    the jewel in the Church’s crown. The left wing Maryknollers at the Maryknoll School of Theology(closed down in 1993) were liturgically traditional whilst undergoing inculturation among the people to whom they ministered and served. They were decades ahead of the Anglo-American church!
    ,Poor people are our fellow human beings, they hurt like us, they suffer from indignity, inhumanity,
    cruelty, like Jesus they are innocent and defenceless!