National Lutheran News

Majority of ELCA bishops want federal budget process stopped

52 church leaders say poor and vulnerable will suffer unduly otherwise.

Fifty-two of the ELCA’s 65 synod bishops have written to the U.S. Congress, urging members to oppose attempts to move forward on budget reconciliation measures Con-gress is considering.

Saying they are “religious leaders seeking justice for millions of vulnerable and dispossessed people in our nation,” the leaders of most of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s geographical regions co-signed a letter delivered October 12.

The bishops said they represent diverse regions but speak with one voice about the “fundamental responsibility of the government, as an expression of the will of the people, to protect the least of its citizens and provide for the poorest in our society.”

The synod bishops’ letter follows a similar request from the Rev. Mark S. Hanson, ELCA presiding bishop. He joined with four other U.S. religious leaders September 13 urging Con-gress to stop the federal budget reconciliation pro-cess for 2006.

This year’s federal budget resolution binds Congress to reconcile or cut mandatory or “entitlement” programs by $35 billion.

A copy of the bishops’ letter to Congress is at http://www.ELCA.org/advocacy on the ELCA Web site.