I'm 72 and was raised a Catholic in the 1940s and '50s when the church emphasized social justice. We were taught that it would be as difficult for the wealthy to get to heaven as for a camel to go through the eye of a needle.

We learned that the mark of a true Christian was to serve the needs of others. We did not discuss sex publicly, only in the confessional. We did not wash the feet of the wealthy. We revered the selfless saints of history who worked with the poor.

Today, as I near the last years of life, I'm ashamed to see our leaders cater to those who would increase the burden on the poor. What happened to the truly courageous Dorothy Days of our world?

Now I hear politicians talking about budget cuts and see my religious leaders so obsessed with sex that they ignore the terrible consequences of destroying the security blanket our society has worked for over the past 70 years.

Perhaps I, and others like me, would like to see a world that is not about me, but about the poorest among us. I would hope that our religious leaders would be leaders, not whiners who have decided that all that matters are issues of sex.