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U.S. Bishops’ Religious Liberty Chairman Asks Senate Judiciary Committee to End Religious Tests on Nominees

WASHINGTON–Today, ahead of the U.S. Senate’s consideration of nominees for the federal judiciary in the coming weeks, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, chairman of the USCCB Committee for Religious Liberty, sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee asking senators not to impose a religious test for public office. The letter states, in part, as follows:

“In recent months, multiple nominees to the federal judiciary have been interrogated about their membership in the Knights of Columbus, with the implication that participation in the largest Catholic fraternal organization in the country – a respected organization that has accomplished so much good for over a century – could be disqualifying. Not only are religious tests unconstitutional and unjust, they are an attack on all people of faith and those with no faith at all. Religious tests tell not only Catholics, but all Americans, that they cannot both serve their country and live out their convictions.”

Archbishop Kurtz concluded, “I implore you: end these discriminatory questions and refrain from further imposing religious tests on judicial nominees.”

The full letter can be found here: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/upload/Abp-Kurtz-Letter-to-Senate-No-Religious-Test-for-Judicial-Nominees-February-2019.pdf

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Keywords: Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, USCCB, Senate Judiciary Committee, judicial nominees, religious tests, religious liberty, religious freedom, Knights of Columbus

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200

“This Legislation is Evil, Pure and Simple,” Says Chairman of U.S. Bishops’ Pro-Life Activities Committee; Calls All Catholics to Fight with Renewed Vigor for Unborn  

WASHINGTON—Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, KS and Chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities has issued the following statement in response to several states moving forward with legislation that would permit a baby to be aborted at nine months.

Archbishop Naumann’s full statement follows:

“Abortion has always been built on a lie. Today, the lie is switching from 'abortion is a choice' to 'abortion is healthcare.' A law recently passed in New York not only legalizes abortion essentially for any reason through all nine months of pregnancy but removes any protection for children born alive after abortion. A similar bill was proposed in Virginia along with several other states, all in the name of women’s health. 

This legislation is evil, pure and simple. And it shocks the conscience to see such evil legislation greeted with raucous cheers and standing ovations. Most grieving to our Lord of Life is that those who advocate for abortion put their eternal souls in jeopardy.  

It is sickeningly dishonest to claim that women’s lives or health depend on intentionally killing their children. This is especially true for late-term abortion, which always involves the purposeful destruction of a child which could have been born alive, with much less risk to the mother, had they both received real healthcare.  

Now is the time for all Catholics—bishops, priests, and laity—to fight for the unborn with renewed vigor. We must educate family, friends, legislators, and fellow citizens about how it is never necessary to intentionally kill unborn children in order to save their mothers. Local action is especially important. Though ending Roe v. Wade is a central goal of the pro-life movement, if the decision were overturned, only eleven states would immediately ban abortion; the other thirty-nine states would still allow it.  

I urge Catholics, and thoughtful Americans of all religions or none at all to advocate for local change. Sign up for your State Catholic Conference or diocesan pro-life advocacy network, which can help you communicate to elected officials. Or seek out state and local pro-life groups, including parish respect life groups, that are making a difference at the state level.  

Though we live in very dark days, we know that the Lord has already triumphed over death. But we must use this time on earth to be His hands and feet. This means each of us rededicating ourselves to prayer, and fighting for the most vulnerable among us, especially unborn children and their mothers.”  

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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, Committee on Pro-Life Activities, abortion, nine months, New York, Virginia, conscience, late-term abortion, purposeful destruction, legislators, local action, Roe v. Wade, bishops, priests, laity, State Catholic Conferences, pro-life advocacy, elected officials, pro-life groups, parish respect life groups, individual states, dark days, death, unborn children, mothers

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200

 

 

 

USCCB Chairmen Renew Support for Inclusion Act to Protect Freedom of Faith-Based Foster Care and Adoption Providers

Religious freedom is important for all, including child welfare providers
Inclusion Act protects religious freedom and excludes no one
A birth mother’s choice in adoption is important and deserves protection

 
WASHINGTON—Three chairmen of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) are offering their strong support for the bipartisan Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act of 2019. The Act would prevent the federal government, and any state receiving federal funds for child welfare services, from taking adverse action against a provider that declines to conduct its services in a manner that would violate its religious or moral principles.  
 
"Our first and most cherished freedom, religious liberty, is to be enjoyed by all Americans, including child welfare providers who serve the needs of children," wrote Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development; Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, chairman of the Committee for Religious Liberty; and Bishop James D. Conley of Lincoln, chairman of the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage; in letters of support to Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) in the U.S. House of Representatives, and Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) in the U.S. Senate, who introduced the bipartisan bill.
 
Some faith-based child welfare providers, including in Massachusetts, Illinois, California, Philadelphia, New York, and the District of Columbia, have been excluded from carrying out adoption and foster care services because the providers act on their belief that children deserve to be placed with a married mother and father. The chairmen said, "The Inclusion Act would remedy this unjust discrimination by enabling all providers to serve the needs of parents and children in a manner consistent with the providers' religious beliefs and moral convictions."
 
Stressing that the Inclusion Act respects the importance of a birth mother’s choice, the chairmen remarked, "Women and men who want to place their children for adoption ought to be able to choose from a diversity of adoption agencies, including those that share the parents' religious beliefs and moral convictions."
 
The letters of support are available online at http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/marriage-and-family/marriage/promotion-and-defense-of-marriage/upload/CWPIA-Endorsement-Letter-2019-to-Rep-Kelly.pdf and http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/marriage-and-family/marriage/promotion-and-defense-of-marriage/upload/CWPIA-Endorsement-Letter-2019-to-Sen-Enzi.pdf


A backgrounder on the Inclusion Act is available at http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/marriage-and-family/marriage/promotion-and-defense-of-marriage/upload/CWPIA-Backgrounder-2019.pdf
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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, federal court, marriage, adoptions, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, Bishop James Conley, Bishop Frank Dewane, Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, Committee for Religious Liberty, Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act, religious freedom, religious liberty, House of Representatives, Senate, Congress
 
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MEDIA CONTACT:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 

U.S. Bishops’ Chairman on Pro-Life Activities Calls All People of Good Will to Stand Up and Protect Unborn and Born Infants

WASHINGTON—Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, KS and Chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities has issued the following statement in response to the introduction of a bill in the Virginia legislature that would allow a baby to be aborted at nine months. Although the bill was defeated there, a similar bill was passed by the New York legislature and signed into law by its Governor.

Archbishop Naumann’s full statement follows:
 
“A Virginia lawmaker has introduced a bill which would allow a baby to be aborted at nine months, even if the mother is just about to give birth. This legislation shocks the conscience and is made more egregious by the Governor of Virginia suggesting the permissibility of denying care to infants born alive during the abortion. This senseless disrespect for new human life is horrifying. We join the bishops of Virginia in urging all people of good will to stand up to protect unborn and born infants from legislation that would permit their gruesome deaths.”
 
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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, Committee on Pro-Life Activities, Virginia legislation, Governor of Virginia, abortion, birth, human life, protection of unborn, Governor of New York
 
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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 

Pope Francis Accepts Resignation of Bishop Frederick Campbell of Columbus; Names Bishop Robert Brennan of Rockville Centre As Successor

WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Frederick Campbell, 75, from the pastoral governance of the Diocese of Columbus, Ohio and has named Bishop Robert Brennan to succeed him. Bishop Brennan is an Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre.

The resignation and appointment was publicized in Washington, January 31, 2019 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Bishop Robert Brennan, 56, was born on June 7, 1962 in the Bronx, New York. He attended St. John’s University in Queens, NY, where he earned his undergraduate degree in Math. He earned his Masters of Divinity from the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington, NY.

He was ordained to the priesthood on May 27, 1989 for the Diocese of Rockville Centre. Bishop Brennan was named Honorary Prelate to His Holiness Pope Saint John Paul II with the title of monsignor on May 27, 1996. He was consecrated as an auxiliary for the Diocese of Rockville Centre on July 25, 2012.

Other assignments included: priest of Church of Saint Patrick; Secretary to the Bishop for the late Bishop John R. McGann, the late Bishop James T. McHugh, and Bishop William Murphy; vicar general and moderator of the curia, pastor of the Church of Saint Mary of the Isle, member of the Board of Directors for Catholic Heath Services of Long Island, member of the Bishop’s Advisory Committee for Catholic Education, chaplain for the Catholic Lawyers Guild of Nassau County.

Bishop Campbell was ordained a priest in 1980. He served as an auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis from 1999 to 2004, and then as the eleventh bishop of the Diocese of Columbus since 2004.

The Diocese of Columbus is comprised of 29,282 square miles in the state of Ohio and has a total population of 2,447,972 of which 252,103 or 10.3 percent, are Catholic.

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Pope Francis, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio, Most Rev. Bishop Frederick Campbell, Columbus, Most Rev. Robert Brennan, Rockville Centre

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 

El Presidente de la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de Estados Unidos hace un llamado a la oración tras el tornado en Cuba que dejó un saldo de muertos y heridos

WASHINGTON— El Cardenal Daniel N. DiNardo, Arzobispo de Galveston-Houston y Presidente de la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de Estados Unidos, emitió un comunicado en relación al tornado que azotó La Habana, capital de Cuba, y provincias cercanas el domingo. El fenómeno natural ha dejado al menos cuatro muertos y varias decenas de heridos.

A continuación, el comunicado del Cardenal DiNardo:

"En nombre de mis hermanos obispos en los Estados Unidos, expreso nuestra profunda tristeza por la noticia de un devastador tornado en Cuba que ya se ha cobrado la vida de cuatro personas y dejado más de 170 heridos. Este desastre ha causado grandes daños en La Habana y ha afectado además las provincias de Pinar del Río, Artemisa y Mayabeque. Muchos estadounidenses saben perfectamente la devastación que pueden causar los tornados. En solidaridad, les pido que oremos por las víctimas y sus familias, para que puedan encontrar consuelo y alivio en su fe y entre sus semejantes. Como hijos de la misma madre, invoquemos la protección de Nuestra Señora de la Caridad del Cobre, Patrona de Cuba, para que su abrazo maternal fortalezca al pueblo cubano para salir de este desastre con su resistencia y fuerza acostumbradas".

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Palabras clave: Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de Estados Unidos, USCCB, Cardenal Daniel N. DiNardo, La Habana, Cuba, tornado, Pinar del Río, Artemisa, Mayabeque, Nuestra Señora de la Caridad del Cobre, oración, alivio.

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Contactos de prensa:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

Miguel Guilarte
202-541-3202

 

President of U.S. Bishops Conference Calls for Prayers After Deadly Tornado in Cuba

WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has issued the following statement regarding a tornado that hit the Cuban capital of Havana and surrounding provinces on Sunday. The tornado has left at least four people dead and dozens more injured.

Cardinal DiNardo’s full statement follows:

“On behalf of my brother bishops in the United States, I express our profound sadness at the news of a devastating tornado yesterday in Cuba having already taken the lives of four people and injuring over 170. This disaster has caused major damage in Havana and affected the wider provinces of Pinar del Río, Artemisa, and Mayabeque. Many Americans know full well the devastation that tornadoes can inflict. In solidarity, I ask that we pray for the victims and their families, that they may find solace and comfort in their faith and in one another.

As children of the same mother, let us invoke the protection of Our Lady of Charity del Cobre, Patroness of Cuba, that her maternal embrace may fortify the Cuban people’s resolve to emerge from this disaster with their customary resilience and strength.”

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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Havana, Cuba, tornado, Pinar del Río, Artemisa, Mayabeque, Our Lady of Charity del Cobre, prayer, comfort

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 

President of U.S. Catholic Bishops’ Conference with Chairman of Bishops’ International Justice Committee Condemn Philippine Cathedral Bombings as “Act of Terrorism”

WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston and President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Timothy P. Broglio, Archbishop for the Military Services USA and Chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, have issued the following statement in response to the January 27 bombings in and around the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on the Philippine island of Sulu in Jolo, Philippines.  

The full statement follows:

“The Catholic bishops of the Philippines have condemned these attacks as ‘an act of terrorism’ and asked Christians to pray for the victims and ‘join hands with all peace-loving Muslim and indigenous people against violent extremism.’ The bombings, which occurred as people attended Mass, have been condemned by Cardinal Orlando Quevedo and Archbishop Angelito Lampon as being the ‘action of evil people with utter disregard for the sacredness of human life.’

The bishops of the United States stand in solidarity and prayer with these victims and join the bishops of the Philippines in condemning such senseless acts of violence. We invite Catholics and all men and women of good will to do the same.”
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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo. Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio, Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, Committee on International Justice and Peace, Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Sulu in Jolo, Philippines, terrorism, violent extremism, Cardinal Orlando Quevedo, Archbishop Angelito Lampon, United States, solidarity, prayers

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 

U.S. Bishops’ Domestic Chairman Reacts to Bipartisan Carbon Pricing Bill

WASHINGTON—After the introduction of the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2019 (EICDA) yesterday, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, welcomed the legislation as an important step forward in addressing climate change.  

The full statement follows:  

“This bipartisan bill is a hopeful sign that more and more, climate change is beginning to be seen as a crucial moral issue; one that concerns all people. If enacted, this proposal is expected to result in significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. At a time when the dangerous effects of climate change are becoming increasingly apparent, the need for legislative solutions like this is more urgent than ever.

Fundamentally, this bill is about ensuring that the full spectrum of costs associated with greenhouse gas emissions—economic, social, and environmental—are accounted for. Failing to consider the health and well-being of people, including future generations and the planet, means that ‘businesses profit by calculating and paying only a fraction of the costs involved’ (Laudato Si’, no. 195). This proposed legislation is one possible remedy to addressing these imbalances.

While it is well-known that putting a price on carbon will increase energy prices, a phenomenon that can have a disproportionate impact on the poor, it is encouraging that initial analyses suggest that low-income individuals will overwhelmingly benefit from this policy. Additional in-depth and independent analysis is still needed to fully understand the potential impacts on poor and vulnerable persons, families and their communities. Supplemental support for these households may be needed to further alleviate potential financial burdens. Climate change can only ever be adequately addressed if it is done with an eye towards ‘the least of these.’”


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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Frank J. Dewane, Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (EICDA), climate change, carbon pricing, greenhouse gas emissions, environment, Laudato Si’


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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 

World Day for Consecrated Life Celebrates the Diversity and Beauty of Consecrated Vocations

WASHINGTON – The Catholic Church will hold its annual celebration of the World Day for Consecrated Life on February 2, 2019. This celebration is a special time for individual parishes and the greater Church to celebrate the beauty of the consecrated vocation, highlight its various forms, and reflect on the unique Christ-centered witness that consecrated men and women bring to the Church and the surrounding community.

Instituted by St. Pope John Paul II in 1997, World Day for Consecrated Life will be formally recognized during a Mass offered by Pope Francis at the Vatican on February 2, 2019. The day is celebrated in conjunction with the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, also known as Candlemas Day, which commemorates through the blessing and lighting of candles that Christ is the light of the world. In the same way, consecrated persons, by belonging exclusively to Christ, act as the true hands and feet of Jesus by bringing his love and the light of the Gospel to all those they encounter in their life and work.

Each form of consecrated life is distinct and inspired by the Holy Spirit to serve the Church through a particular charism. Discerning consecrated life involves a process of identifying the unique way in which Christ is calling a person to love. Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., Chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations offered encouraging words for those discerning a vocation to consecrated life: “Oftentimes, those discerning a vocation search for the perfect community. The Lord, who created every heart, knows of the way he is calling each person to serve him. Trust that he will lead you to the vocation that is perfect for you.”

The Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) is retained each year by the Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations to conduct a survey of those solemnly professed in the United States in the past year. This year’s CARA Study identified 240 men and women religious who professed perpetual vows in 2018. Of these 240 religious, 162 responded with 92 sisters and nuns and 70 brothers and priests participating in the study. Some of the major findings are:

  • On average, responding religious report that they were 19 years old when they first considered a vocation to religious life, but half were 18 or younger when they first did so.
  • Eucharistic Adoration, retreats, and the rosary are the most common types of formative prayer experiences, reported by two-thirds of religious of the Profession Class of 2018. Nearly six in ten reported participating in spiritual direction.
  • Of those surveyed, 23% of respondents earned a graduate degree before entering their religious institute. More than 71% entered their religious institute with at least a bachelor’s degree (65% for women and 79% for men).
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The entire CARA survey, Prayers of the Faithful, and a bulletin quote for World Day for Consecrated Life, as well as information about the different forms of consecrated life and the work of the Secretariat on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations is available at http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/vocations/consecrated-life/index.cfm
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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, World Day for Consecrated Life, Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, Feast, Presentation of the Lord, Candlemas Day, Charism, Clergy, Consecrated Life, Vocations, Religious, Consecrated Hermits, Consecrated Virgins, sisters, brothers, Profession Class of 2018, Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA), Eucharistic Adoration, rosary, retreats, priest, nuns, Catholic education, vocations, St. Pope John Paul II, Pope Francis.


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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200