EWTN Catholic Q&A
Question from Kat on 02-21-2014:

Is it a sin to steal . . . IF you are poor? Please give me your, or the church's definition of poor. And I put this question in pro-life because my sister claims it IS a pro-LIFE question - the LIFE of an older individual needs to be protected, too!

Answer by Judie Brown on 02-26-2014:

Dear Kat

Stealing is a sin for every human being who understands that to steal is to offend God. The financial need of the person aside.

Now for an ethical response to poverty which is the services of the Church designed to rescue the poor with food, clothing or whatever is needed. Asking for assistance from the Church is never a sin. Christ fed five thousand with two loaves and five fish; the Church now has that role.

Judie Brown