U.S. Bishops Back Bill for Those With Disabilities

WASHINGTON, D.C., SEPT. 24, 2006 (Zenit.org).- The U.S. bishops have joined the Catholic Health Association and the National Catholic Partnership on Disability to support congressional legislation to provide community-living supports for the elderly and people with disabilities.

The groups voiced their support in a recent letter to Senators Arlen Specter and Tom Harkin and Representatives John Shimkus and Danny Davis. They thanked the leaders for introducing the Medicaid Community-Based Attendant Services and Supports Act of 2005 and stressed its importance.

“Our faith calls us to work for the full inclusion of all persons with disabilities in society and in the Church,” the letter said.

If the legislation becomes law, “more people with disabilities will be able to move from institutional care to lives of independence in their communities,” the letter added. “The legislation will give them the choices and control over their lives they deserve. It will also increase the ability of people with disabilities to fulfill the duty we all share, to contribute to the common good through work, service and participation in the community.”

Signers of the letter included Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn, chairman of the episcopal conference’s Domestic Policy Committee.