Seeking to affirm and support parish commitment and creativity in social ministry while defending human life and dignity.
US Bishops Urge Legislative Support for Religious Freedom
- The First Amendment Defense Act (S. 2525) would bar the federal government from discriminating against individuals and organizations based upon their religious beliefs or moral convictions that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.
- The Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act (CWPIA) protects the religious liberties of child welfare service providers regarding the placement of children, including adoption and foster care agencies.
USCCB Committee on Migration Chairman Endorses USA Act and Calls for Immediate Legislative Solution for Dreamers
The chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Migration, Bishop Joe Vásquez, of Austin Texas, announced support for H.R. 4796, the “Uniting and Securing America” (USA) Act of 2018 as it is currently written. The USA Act is a bipartisan bill that offers a path to citizenship to Dreamers (young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children) and augments existing border security technology at the U.S./Mexico border.
Shared Hope, a leading expert on the issue of anti-trafficking legislation, education and service provision, is hosting a national 3-day conference in St. Paul, Minnesota, to equip, connect and inspire faith leaders and communities. The JuST Faith Summit will be held June 20-22 at Bethel University and will include nearly 50 plenary sessions and workshops with leading experts from across the nation, featuring a keynote address by Eric Metaxas, radio host and New York Times #1 bestselling author. For more information and to register, visit http://www.justconference.org/faith-summit/.
“Share the Journey” campaign to encounter Migrants and Refugees
Pope Francis has launched a two-year “Share the Journey” campaign aimed to encourage Catholics to learn about and encounter migrants and refugees, breaking down barriers of fear and building bridges. Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA), Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and the USCCB are part of a global network of organizations participating in the campaign. Visit the Share the Journey website to learn more and to see how you can be involved.
BISHOPS OF WISCONSIN RESPOND TO TERMINATION OF DACA
On Sept. 8, 2017, the Catholic Bishops of Wisconsin issued the following statement in response to the Administration’s announced termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program six months from now:
“The bishops of Wisconsin affirm their support for the continued protection of youth under the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Most of the nearly 8,000 DACA Wisconsinites, who are among almost 800,000 DACA young adults nationwide, know no other home than the U.S., having been brought here in their youth through no choice of their own. The DACA program allows these individuals to seek employment and education without fear of being forced to leave their family and home. DACA young adults are students in our schools and universities, leaders in our parishes, veterans of our military, and participants in our economy.
People of goodwill can disagree on whether it was prudent to institute the DACA policy. However, over the past five years, these young individuals have participated in the program and relied upon assurances provided by our nation’s government that they could live in security and would be treated with fairness.
We urge Members of Congress to find a legislative solution that protects DACA youth. We also urgently ask that Congress and President Donald Trump commit themselves to achieving permanent and comprehensive immigration reform. We affirm those of our lawmakers who have already expressed their desire to do so, and offer every encouragement to lawmakers of both parties to find a way forward in forging immigration policy that puts aside partisanship for the sake of the common good.
To our DACA youth, we want you to know that we admire your courage, tenacity, and commitment. We are grateful for all that you do for your families, churches, communities, and for this nation. We join our voices with yours and accompany you in these difficult times.”
Catholic Bishops’ Pro-Life Chairman Calls Senate Failure to Pass Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act “Appalling”
January 29, 2018
WASHINGTON—Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities called the Senate’s failure to pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act “appalling”. The bill proposes to ban abortions starting at 20 weeks after fertilization.
“The U.S. Senate’s failure to adopt the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, prohibiting abortions at 20 weeks post-fertilization, is appalling. Abortions performed in the second half of pregnancy usually involve brutally dismembering a defenseless unborn child, while also posing serious dangers to his or her mother. The Senate’s rejection of this common-sense legislation is radically out of step with most Americans. Opinion polls consistently show that a strong majority of the public opposes late-term abortions—including those who self-identify as ‘pro-choice’. Furthermore, the United States is currently one of only seven countries that allows abortions beyond 20-weeks. The other six are North Korea, China, Vietnam, Singapore, Canada and the Netherlands. The Senate must rethink its extreme stance on late-term abortions. I call upon the public to tell the Senate that this vote is absolutely unacceptable.”
USCCB Committee on Migration Letter to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan on H.R. 4760
January 26, 2018
Dear Speaker Ryan,
I write on behalf of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration (USCCB/COM) to urge Congress to put forth a common sense and just legislative solution for Dreamers, young people who were brought to the U.S. by their parents. We believe that any legislation must be: (1) bipartisan, (2) provide Dreamers with a path to citizenship, (3) provide a solution for the largest possible number of deserving young Dreamers, (4) uphold the sanctity of families, and (5) protect the vulnerable. Several bipartisan legislative proposals have either been introduced or are under development in both the House and the Senate that we believe meet these criteria. However, we believe that one measure that has received increasing attention in the House, H.R. 4760, the “Securing America’s Future Act of 2018,” fails to meet the above criteria, and we urge you to reject it as a vehicle for House floor consideration. That is, H.R. 4760 significantly undermines the family immigration system, does not provide an acceptable solution for Dreamers, and upends existing protections for asylum seekers and unaccompanied children.
Click here to read the full statement
U.S. Bishops and Justice for Immigrants
At this time of fear and uncertainty in our immigrant communities, a recommended resource is the website Justice for Immigrants. Visit it for current information on executive actions and other updates, as well as action alerts relative to immigration and the rights of immigrants, including those who are undocumented
The U.S. Catholic bishops’ Justice for Immigrants Campaign (JFI) is a coalition of Catholic organizations working to unite and mobilize a growing network of Catholic institutions, individuals, and other persons of goodwill in support of immigration reform.
The JFI campaign’s primary objectives are:
- To educate the public, especially the Catholic community, about Church teaching on migration and immigrants;
- To create political will for just and humane immigration reform; and
- Advocate for just and fair reforms in U.S. immigration and refugee laws and policies that reflect the principles enunciated by the bishops.U.S. Bishops Chair on Migration Responds to DHS Memoranda on Immigration enforcement and Border Security