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Press Release: NETWORK Responds to President Obama’s Speech on Income Inequality and Shrinking Economic Mobility

FOR RELEASE: December 4, 2013
CONTACT: Stephanie Niedringhaus, 202-347-9797 x224,

Washington DC: NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, today issued the following statement:

NETWORK applauds President Obama’s powerful speech earlier today about our country’s rising income gap and shrinking economic mobility. He stated that inequality and lack of opportunity are “dangerous” for our nation, and that addressing these issues is "the defining challenge of our time." We agree.

Sister Simone Campbell, NETWORK’s executive director, commented: “Extreme wealth inequality undermines our nation’s health and morale, our communities, and even democracy itself. In short, it tears at the very fabric of who we are. We applaud courageous elected officials willing to address this crisis, and that of shrinking opportunities. We thank President Obama for his speech today, which clearly identified a number of issues needing urgent attention while offering concrete ways to address them.”

It is particularly moving that the president’s remarks came less than a week after Pope Francis told the world that the “dignity of each human person and the pursuit of the common good are concerns which ought to shape all economic policies.” This reminder reinforced what NETWORK has consistently maintained – that economic policies and federal budget decisions measure the moral priorities of our nation. Decisions harming the common good are immoral and counter to the values of our nation.

We agree with the president that we should focus on growing our economy by strengthening our workforce through fair wages, education and other means. We also agree that we must fully support programs that help workers who have b