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USCCB President and Domestic Justice Chairman Call for Prayer and Unity in Response to Deadly Charlottesville Attack

WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Bishop Frank Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, are calling on all people of goodwill to join in prayer and unity today in response to yesterday's violent protest and deadly attack in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

Full statement follows:

 "As we learn more about the horrible events of yesterday, our prayer turns today, on the Lord's Day, to the people of Charlottesville who offered a counter example to the hate marching in the streets. Let us unite ourselves in the spirit of hope offered by the clergy, people of faith, and all people of good will who peacefully defended their city and country. 

We stand against the evil of racism, white supremacy and neo-nazism. We stand with our sisters and brothers united in the sacrifice of Jesus, by which love's victory over every form of evil is assured.  At Mass, let us offer a special prayer of gratitude for the brave souls who sought to protect us from the violent ideology displayed yesterday. Let us especially remember those who lost their lives.  Let us join their witness and stand against every form of oppression."

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Bishop Frank Dewane, Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Charlottesville attack, racism, white supremacy, neo-nazism, violent ideology, witness, peace, good will.  

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200


President of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Calls for Calm Amid Violent Protests in Charlottesville

WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, of Galveston-Houston, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued the following statement in response to the violent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia that has left three dead and at least 19 injured.

Cardinal DiNardo's full statement follows:

"On behalf of the bishops of the United States, I join leaders from around the nation in condemning the violence and hatred that have now led to one death and multiple injuries in Charlottesville, Virginia. We offer our prayers for the family and loved ones of the person who was killed and for all those who have been injured. We join our voices to all those calling for calm.

The abhorrent acts of hatred on display in Charlottesville are an attack on the unity of our nation and therefore summon us all to fervent prayer and peaceful action. The bishops stand with all who are oppressed by evil ideology and entrust all who suffer to the prayers of St.Peter Claver as we approach his feast day. We also stand ready to work with all people of goodwill for an end to racial violence and for the building of peace in our communities.

Last year a Task Force of our Bishops Conference under Archbishop Wilton Gregory proposed prayers and resources to work for unity and harmony in our country and in our Church. I am encouraging the bishops to continue that work especially as the Feast of St. Peter Claver approaches."

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Charlottesville attack, national unity. Evil ideology, St. Peter Claver, racial violence, peace, Archbishop Wilton Gregory, unity, harmony, country.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

Nearly $1.4 million in funding approved for Church in Africa, Including Pastoral Care for Migrants and Youth Summer Vocations Camp

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Subcommittee on the Church in Africa approved 54 grants totaling nearly $1.4 million in funding to support dioceses and pastoral projects across the African continent.

Projects approved to receive funding include:

  • In Angola, the Episcopal Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People (CEPAMI) is a commission under the Episcopal Conference of Angola and São Tomé that promotes the pastoral care of migrant communities. CEPAMI will provide training to about 40 leaders over two weeks. With this training, leaders will be able to assist, guide and organize the pastoral work for migrant communities in the 19 dioceses of Angola.

  • In West Africa, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Liberia will organize a summer camp for 100 youth from each of the three dioceses located in that country. Many of the youth are from poor families and have few resources. The country itself has suffered greatly from a 14 year civil war and the Ebola outbreak. This camp will provide a place for the children to stay, pray, receive basic catechism lessons and play together.

"Our brothers and sisters on the African continent often face challenges different from what we know in the United States, but we are united by the same faith," said Cardinal Joseph Tobin, CSsR, of Newark, chairman of the Subcommittee on the Church in Africa. "The generosity of Catholics in the United States to the Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa has supported these communities as they grow and strengthen their faith in the wake of wars, migration, and disease."

Additional areas of funding include seminarian and religious formation, evangelization, family ministries and lay leadership training.

The Subcommittee on the Church in Africa oversees the Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa as part of the USCCB Committee on National Collections. It allocates revenue received from the Solidarity Fund, which is a voluntary collection, as pastoral grants to episcopal conferences and their regional associations in Africa. To learn more about the work of the Subcommittee visit www.usccb.org/africa.

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Cardinal Joseph Tobin, Subcommittee on the Church in Africa, grants, training, pastoral care, Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa

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MEDIA CONTACT
Norma Montenegro Flynn
O: 202-541-3200

Pope Names Bishop Emmanuel Challita as Bishop of Chaldean Eparchy in San Diego; and Bishop Frank Kalabat of Detroit as Apostolic Administrator of Eparchy in Toronto, Canada

WASHINGTON— Pope Francis has named Bishop Emmanuel Challita of the Chaldean Catholic Eparchy of Mar Addai of Toronto, Canada, as Bishop of the Chaldean Eparchy of Saint Peter the Apostle in San Diego. The pontiff also named Bishop Frank Kalabat of the Chaldean Eparchy of St. Thomas the Apostle, Detroit, as the apostolic administrator of the Eparchy of Mar Addai of Toronto.

The appointments were publicized in Washington, August 9, by Msgr. Walter Erbì, Chargé d' Affaires, at the Apostolic Nunciature to the United States.

Emmanuel Challita was born in Fishkabour-Zakho, Iraq, in 1956. He holds a doctorate in biblical theology from the Pontifical Urbanian University in Rome. He was ordained a priest of the Chaldean Catholic Eparchy of Saint Thomas the Apostle in 1984 and was ordained and installed as Bishop of Mar Addai on February 6, 2015.

Frank Kalabat was born in Kuwait in 1970, and moved to the United States in 1989. He began seminary studies at St. Francis De Sales Center in San Diego, California, and pursued theological studies at Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit. He was ordained a priest in 1995, and was ordained and installed as Bishop of the Chaldean Eparchy of St. Thomas the Apostle on June 14, 2014.

There are an estimated 38,000 Catholics in the Eparchy of Mar Addai of Toronto.

There are an estimated 65,150 Catholics in the Chaldean Eparchy of Saint Peter. The jurisdiction extends to the western states of the United States.

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Keywords: bishop appointment, Pope Francis, Bishop Emmanuel Challita, Chaldean Catholic, Eparchy of Mar Addai, Toronto, Bishop Frank Kalabat, Eparchy of St. Thomas the Apostle, Detroit, Chaldean, Eparchy of Saint Peter the Apostle

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Norma Montenegro Flynn
O: 202-541-3200

Pope Names Priest as New Auxiliary Bishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia

WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has named Father Andriy Rabiy as auxiliary bishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia. Father Rabiy, 41, currently serves as vicar general of the archeparchy and as pastor of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Parish in Reading, Pennsylvania.

The appointment was publicized in Washington, August 8, by Msgr. Walter Erbì, Chargé d' Affaires, at the Apostolic Nunciature to the United States.

Andriy Rabiy was born October 1, 1975 in Lviv, Ukraine. He pursued seminary studies at St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Seminary in Washington, D.C., and was ordained a priest in 2001.

Bishop-elect Rabiy holds a bachelor degree in philosophy (1999) and a licentiate in Canon Law (2008) from Catholic University of America; and a master of divinity degree (2002), from the Dominican House of Studies, in Washington D.C.

After ordination, Bishop-elect Rabiy held pastoral assignments at St. Michael the Archangel parish, Hillsborough, New Jersey, and at the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 2002-2005. Other assignments after ordination include: pastor of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Parish in Reading, 2008-present; coordinator, Sexual Abuse Prevention and Youth Protection Office, 2008-2015; member, Administrative Board, Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, 2008-present; vicar general, 2009-present; vice-chancellor, 2009-present; member, Archeparchial College of Consultors, 2009-present; member, Archeparchial Presbyteral Council, 2011-present.

The Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia includes the District of Columbia, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and parts of eastern Pennsylvania. It has a total Catholic population of 13,051. Archbishop Stefan Sokora has been the archbishop since 2001. The archeparchy currently has another auxiliary bishop, Bishop John Bura.

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Keywords: bishop appointment, Pope Francis, bishop-elect, Andriy Rabiy, auxiliary, Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia, Archbishop Stefan Sokora, Bishop John Bura

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Norma Montenegro Flynn
O: 202-541-3200

New Bishop of Syro-Malankara Eparchy of St. Mary Queen of Peace of the U.S. and Canada is Named; First Bishop of New Eparchy in Parassala, India also Named

WASHINGTON—The Synod of Major Archbishops of the Syro-Malankara Church has erected the Eparchy of Parassala, India, and with the assent of Pope Francis, elected as the first bishop of this new eparchy, the Most Reverend Thomas Mar Eusebius Naickamparambil. Up until now, Bishop Eusebius has been bishop of the Syro-Malankara Eparchy of Saint Mary Queen of Peace of the United States and Canada.

The Holy Father has also given assent to the nomination of the Most Reverend Philipose Mar Stephanos Thattathil, up until now auxiliary bishop of Tiruvalla, India, as the next bishop of the Syro-Malankara Eparchy of Saint Mary Queen of Peace of the United States and Canada.

The appointments were publicized in Washington, August 5, by Msgr. Walter Erbi, Chargé d'Affaires at the Apostolic Nunciature in the United States.

Bishop Philipose Mar Stephanos was born May 9, 1952 in Pathanamthitta, India and was ordained to the priesthood on April 27, 1979. He was appointed auxiliary bishop of Tiruvalla on January 25, 2010 and installed on February 9, 2010.

Bishop Eusebius was born June 6, 1961 and ordained a priest, December 29, 1986. He was ordained a bishop on September 21, 2010 at Saint Mary's Cathedral, Trivandrum and was installed as the first bishop of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Apostolic Exarchate in the USA. He was later appointed as the first bishop of the then newly established Eparchy of St. Mary Queen of Peace for the Syro-Malaknara faithful in USA and Canada on December 18, 2015 and was installed as its bishop, January 23, 2016.

The Syro-Malankara Eparchy of Saint Mary Queen of Peace is based in Elmont, New York and has around 11,500 members with 16 parishes in the United States and Canada.

The Syro-Malankara Catholic Church is centered in southern Indian and has about 500,000 faithful. Parassala is located in the southern-most part of this region.

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Keywords: Pope Francis, Most Reverend Thomas Mar Eusebius Naickamparambil, Most Reverend Philipose Mar Stephanos Thattathil, Monsignor Walter Erbi, Chargé d' Affaires, Apostolic Nunciature, Syro-Malankara Eparchy of Saint Mary, Queen of Peace, Syro-Malaknara Faithful, United States, Canada, Parassala, India.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200


RAISE Act Will Weaken Family Bonds and Impact Nation’s Ability to Respond to Those in Crisis says U.S. Catholic Bishops Chairman

WASHINGTON—The Most Reverend Joe S. Vásquez, Bishop of Austin and Chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Migration, says that the newly proposed RAISE Act would cause our nation to turn its back on those setting out to build better lives, weaken family bonds and impact the nation's ability to respond to those in crisis.  Bishop Vásquez's full statement follows:  

"I express strong opposition to the RAISE Act, which was introduced today in the U.S. Senate by Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and David Perdue (R-GA). Had this discriminatory legislation been in place generations ago, many of the very people who built and defended this nation would have been excluded.

The United States supports families and should not throw up obstacles to their unity. Unfortunately, the RAISE Act would have our nation turn its back on this long and storied tradition of welcoming families setting out to build a better life.

The RAISE Act would permanently cap the number of refugees allowed safe passage, thereby denying our country the necessary flexibility to respond to humanitarian crisis. As a Church, we believe the stronger the bonds of family, the greater a person's chance of succeeding in life. The RAISE Act imposes a definition of family that would weaken those bonds.

I urge the Senate to reject this measure and implore Congress and the President to work together in a bipartisan fashion to enact into law comprehensive immigration reform. I believe that such reform must recognize the many contributions that immigrants of all backgrounds have made to our nation, and must protect the lives and dignity of all, including the most vulnerable."

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, RAISE Act, Bishop, U.S. Senate, Senator Tom Cotton (RAR), David Perdue (R-GA), legislation, families, refugees, safe passage, humanitarian crisis, Congress, President, comprehensive immigration reform, bipartisanship, immigrants, human dignity.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200


Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America Awards nearly $6 Million in Grants to Projects Including Pro-Life Centers, Hurricane Matthew Affected Areas

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America awarded nearly $4 million in funding in the form of 244 grants to support the pastoral work of the Church in Latin America and the Caribbean, and nearly $2 million in funding for continued reconstruction in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. The grants were approved at the Subcommittee's meeting on June 12 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Projects that received funding include:

·         Argentina, GRAVIDA—Centro de Asistencia a la Vida Naciente: This network of diocesan centers in Argentina works to promote, care for, and defend life from the moment of conception and promotes the dignity of parenting. These centers are located in 21 dioceses across the country and care for pregnant women at risk of having an abortion as well as with men to help them understand the value of fatherhood. The centers provide education and formation about the dignity of human life and conduct solidarity and awareness campaigns.

·         Haiti, Catechetical Formation: This project will provide formation for 400 pastoral agents from four parishes that were impacted by Hurricane Matthew. The formation will be centered around the theme of the Christian family, and will take place over the course of three days. Seminars, workshops and group discussions will be facilitated, along with opportunities for prayer and daily Mass.

In addition, the first grant to help rebuild churches on the western part of Haiti after Hurricane Matthew was approved. More of these requests will be considered at future meetings of the Subcommittee.

"I am continually inspired by all of those who support the Collection for the Church in Latin America," said Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, auxiliary bishop of Seattle and chairman of the Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America. "The generosity of Catholics across the United States makes a difference in the lives of countless people in Latin America and the Caribbean. This generosity reflects the love and compassion of God. I can see this especially in the response we received to help the victims of Hurricane Matthew. With that help, we not only fund pastoral projects, but help rebuild churches in some dioceses of Haiti."

Other areas of funding include lay leadership training, seminarian and religious formation, prison ministry, and youth ministry. Grants are funded by the annual Collection for the Church in Latin America, taken in many dioceses across the U.S. on the fourth Sunday in January. The grants to Haiti are funded by the Special Collection for Haiti, which occurred after the 2010 earthquake. These reconstruction efforts are managed through the Partnership for Church Reconstruction in Haiti (PROCHE).

The Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America oversees the collection and an annual grant program as part of the USCCB Committee on National Collections. It allocates revenue received from the Collection for the Church in Latin America as grants across Latin America and the Caribbean.  More information about the Collection for the Church in Latin America and the many grants it funds, as well as resources to promote it across the country, can be found at www.usccb.org/latin-america.

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Keywords: Latin America, youth, clergy, lay formation, Collection for the Church in Latin America, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, catechesis, grants, Bishop Eusebio Elizondo

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Norma Montenegro Flynn
O: 202-541-3200

U.S. Bishops Chairman Responds to Defeat of GOP "Skinny Repeal” Bill

WASHINGTON—In response to last night's Senate vote on the "skinny repeal" bill, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the U.S. Bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, has issued the following statement:

"Despite the Senate's decision not to pass legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act last night, the task of reforming the healthcare system still remains. The current healthcare system is not financially sustainable, lacks full Hyde protections and conscience rights, and is inaccessible to many immigrants. Inaction will result in harm for too many people.

A moment has opened for Congress, and indeed all Americans, to set aside party and personal political interest and pursue the common good of our nation and its people, especially the most vulnerable. In order to be just, any bill for consideration must:

  • Protect the Medicaid program from changes that would harm millions of struggling Americans.

  • Protect the safety net from any other changes that harm the poor, immigrants, or any others at the margins.

  • Address the real probability of collapsing insurance markets and the corresponding loss of genuine affordability for those with limited means. 

  • Provide full Hyde Amendment provisions and much-needed conscience protections.

Any final agreement that respects human life and dignity, honors conscience rights, and ensures that everyone can access health care that is comprehensive, high quality, and truly affordable deserves the support of all of us.

The greatness of our country is not measured by the well-being of the powerful but how we have cared for the 'least of these.'  Congress can and should pass health care legislation that lives up to that greatness."

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Frank J. Dewane, Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, "skinny repeal" bill, Hyde Amendment, safety net, Medicaid, poor, immigrants, conscience rights, access, affordability, common good.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200


U.S. Bishops Provide Aid to Education Center in Albania and Support for Those Affected by the War in Eastern Ukraine

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Subcommittee on Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe approved over $4.8 million in funding for 206 projects in 22 countries in Central and Eastern Europe.

Projects approved for funding include:

·         The Don Bosco Center for Education in Albania, founded 21 years ago, provides cultural, social, and academic resources to over 1,000 children from poor and disadvantaged backgrounds. The center provides stability and aid to the rapidly growing population of people from rural areas moving into the city to find work. The center also offers elementary, middle and high school education and has a vocational training center, a youth center, and a day care center. The grant will assist with necessary updates to the building to welcome more children and provide a safe environment for them.

·         A grant to support seven priests, five hieromonks, and eight religious sisters that serve the parishes near the war zone in Eastern Ukraine. The armed conflict periodically reaches into that region making it a dangerous place to live. The priests and religious have remained there to offer pastoral and humanitarian aid to those in need. This grant will provide food, medicine and transportation costs to support the priests and sisters as they offer pastoral care and humanitarian aid to the tens of thousands of internally displaced persons in the region.

"As a family of faith, we stand with those who work tirelessly to build the Church in Central and Eastern Europe, who continue to face the challenge of overcoming decades of political and religious oppression," said Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago, chairman of the USCCB Subcommittee on Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe, "We look to those living in this region as an example of hope and perseverance and continue to support their efforts to renew their communities."

Other projects approved by the subcommittee include scholarships, church construction, outreach to the poor, and evangelization programs. Grants approved by the subcommittee support the Church in countries that were oppressed by communist rule.

Grants are funded by the annual Collection for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe. The national date for this collection is Ash Wednesday, although dioceses may take it up on different days. The Subcommittee on Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe oversees the collection and an annual grant program as part of the USCCB Committee on National Collections. More information about the collection and who it supports can be found at www.usccb.org/ccee.

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Committee on National Collections,

Collection for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe, Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, Eastern Europe, Albania, Ukraine, Don Bosco Center, youth, evangelization, pastoral care, humanitarian

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Norma Montenegro Flynn
O: 202-541-3200