Statement From Cardinal Dolan on Passing of American Rescue Plan Act

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“As a pastor I can testify first-hand about the difficulties of our people this past year caused by this terrible pandemic, as they struggle to pay their rent, to buy groceries, to keep the lights and the heat going, purchase medicine, pay even the modest tuition to attend one of our excellent Catholic schools. I am grateful to our priests, parishes, Catholic Charities, ArchCare, and schools for rising to the occasion to provide assistance.

I am also grateful to our government for passing the American Rescue Plan Act, an extraordinarily practical way to help the American people. People have the right to expect that their money, in the form of tax dollars, be used to help them during a period of extreme financial strain.

Senator Schumer, our hometown Senator, deserves special recognition as one who has come through again, as he has in the past, by recognizing the role of religious communities and the churches in the response of compassion and charity that we have experienced in this pandemic. He has helped ensure that our schools, charities, and health care can continue their vital ministries, and I thank him for fighting hard for that.

Our states, cities, and counties will also receive an influx of financial resources through this act, designed to help local communities, and I trust that they will see private, religious, and faith-based organizations as vehicles to help people in need. Certainly, Catholic Charities, the archdiocesan health-care apostolate ArchCare, and our Catholic schools stand ready to assist, and would be an excellent way to get help to people who need it most.

I share the same somber concern so eloquently expressed by Archbishop Gomez, president of the United States Catholic Conference, and my brother bishops, that this bill, meant to enhance and protect human life, will also make it possible for the destruction of human life through the use of taxpayer dollars to fund abortions by the omission of the longstanding, bi-partisan policy to prohibit taxpayer dollars from funding abortions domestically and internationally. May future relief efforts include this common-sense measure to protect life, not end it.”

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