Browsing News Entries

Bishops’ Conference Domestic Committee Chairman Reacts to Gilroy, CA Shooting

WASHINGTON—Following the shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Gilroy, California, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, calls for support of the victims and for actions to end gun violence.  

The full statement is as follows:

“It is heartbreaking to learn yet again of a mass shooting that has taken innocent lives, and wounded many others, this time at a food festival in Gilroy, California. At the time of this writing, the reports are of twelve wounded, and three deceased, including a six-year-old boy as well as a thirteen-year-old girl. The Lord calls us to comfort those who mourn and to be peacemakers in a violent world. We pray, and we must, for the victims and their families. The Church should act in ways that heal and support all those affected by gun violence. It is disturbing that our society would seem to allow some to feel comfort in being violent. Our legislators must make changes to our gun policy to prevent the loss of life. As Americans, we must be honest with ourselves that we have a sickness, almost a plague, with the problem of gun violence. As Christians, we must look to the cross, repentant of the ways that have led us to this point and, with God’s grace, abandon such senseless, inhuman acts. Let us resolve to make the sacrifices necessary to end the violent killing that saturates our nation.”        
---

Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Frank J. Dewane, Diocese of Venice, Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development

###

Media Contact:
Miguel Guilarte
202-541-3200

 

 

Chairman of the Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development Issues Statement on the Death Penalty

WASHINGTON— Bishop Frank J. Dewane, Bishop of the Diocese of Venice and Chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development has issued a statement on the federal government’s decision to resume the use of the death penalty.

The full statement follows:

“In his address to Congress during his 2015 Apostolic visit to the United States, Pope Francis, echoing the views of his predecessors, called for ‘the global abolition of the death penalty.’ He further stated that, ‘[A] just and necessary punishment must never exclude the dimension of hope and the goal of rehabilitation.’ As the Catechism of the Catholic Church now provides, ‘The death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person.’

At their meeting in June, the Catholic Bishops of the United States voted overwhelmingly to update the Catechism for use by adults in the United States to reflect this position. This is consistent with comparable calls by the Bishops for over forty years, including in their 2005 statement, A Culture of Life and the Penalty of Death.

In light of these long held and strongly maintained positions, I am deeply concerned by the announcement of the United States Justice Department that it will once again turn, after many years, to the death penalty as a form of punishment. I urge instead that Federal officials take this teaching into consideration, as well as the evidence showing its unfair and biased application, and abandon the announced plans to implement the death penalty once more.”

---
Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Frank J. Dewane, Diocese of Venice, Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Congress, Pope Francis, death penalty, Catechism of Catholic Church

###
Media Contact:
Miguel Guilarte
202-541-3200

 

Chair of USCCB Committee on Migration Calls for Reversal of the Expansion of Expedited Removal, cites Family Separation and Lack of Due Process Among Concerns

WASHINGTON— On Tuesday, the Administration significantly expanded the use of a controversial fast-track removal or “expedited removal” process for migrants suspected of being undocumented and includes migrants who cannot prove to an immigration officer that they have resided in the United States continuously for two years or longer. This move by the Administration gives the Department of Homeland Security authority to remove migrants suspected of being undocumented from the United States while circumventing important due process protections. Most Reverend Joe S. Vásquez, Bishop of Austin, Texas, Chair of the of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Migration, issued the following statement:

“I call on the Department of Homeland Security to reverse its decision to expand its policy of expedited removal. This action is yet another escalation of this Administration’s enforcement-only immigration approach, and it will have terrible human consequences. The new policy will allow for the deportation of many more individuals without providing them an opportunity to seek legal counsel and have a hearing before an immigration judge.

Even those migrants who have long-standing ties to the U.S. and have been in the country for more than the requisite two years required under the new policy may now be subjected to expedited removal if they are unable to prove such to the satisfaction of an individual immigration officer.

The implementation of this new policy will have unjust and unacceptable results and lead to more widespread family separation, stoking fear in our communities.”

---
Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Joe S. Vásquez, Justice for Immigrants, Enforcement, immigration

###
Media Contact:
Mark Priceman
202-541-3064

 

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz steps down as Chair of Committee for Religious Liberty amidst cancer treatment; Bishop Robert J. McManus of Worcester to serve as Acting Chair of the Committee

WASHINGTON— Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has appointed Bishop Robert J. McManus to serve as Acting Chair of the USCCB’s Committee for Religious Liberty until the November 2019 General Assembly. The appointment was made following the resignation of Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, D.D., of Louisville, previous chair of the committee, after his diagnosis with urothelial carcinoma.

Cardinal DiNardo stated: “We are praying for Archbishop Kurtz, especially as he undergoes an intense treatment plan at Duke Cancer Institute over these next several weeks and months. I very much appreciate Bishop McManus’s agreeing to step into this chairmanship role and lead the important work of the Committee for Religious Liberty.”

Bishop McManus served as Chair of the Subcommittee on Health Care Issues from 2012 to 2018 and served as Chair of the Committee on Catholic Education from 2005 to 2008. He has served as a member of the Committee on Doctrine since 2001 and has previously served as a member of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities and the Committee on Budget and Finance.

Robert J. McManus was born July 5, 1951 in Providence, Rhode Island. He was ordained a priest on May 27, 1978, an Auxiliary Bishop of Providence on February 22, 1999, and was installed as Bishop of Worcester on May 14, 2004. Bishop McManus holds Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in philosophy from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and he holds a Master of Divinity from the Toronto School of Theology. He has also earned licentiate and doctoral degrees in sacred theology from The Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

---
Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, Bishop Robert J. McManus, Committee for Religious Liberty

###

Media Contact:
Miguel Guilarte
202-541-3200

 

Pope Francis Appoints the Most Reverend Mark Brennan as Bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston

WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has appointed the Most Reverend Mark Brennan as Bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston. The appointment was publicized in Washington, DC, on July 23, 2019 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States.

Bishop Brennan was born on February 6, 1947 in Boston, MA. He holds a bachelor of arts from Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, 1969; and pursued seminary studies at Christ the King Seminary in Albany, New York, 1969-1970. In 1972 he received a licentiate in sacred theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, 1972; he also pursued a graduate degree at the Gregorian, 1974. He was ordained a priest in the Archdiocese of Washington on May 15, 1976. Pope Francis appointed Bishop Brennan as auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Baltimore in December of 2016, and he was consecrated a bishop on January 19, 2017.

Assignments after ordination include: parochial vicar, Our Lady of Mercy Parish, Potomac, Maryland, 1976-1981, and Saint Pius X Parish, Bowie, Maryland, 1981-1985; parochial vicar, Saint Bartholomew Parish, Bethesda, Maryland, 1986-1988, pastoral care to Hispanic community, 1988-1989; director of vocations and priest programs, 1988-1998; pastor, Saint Thomas the Apostle parish, Washington, DC, 1998-2003, Saint Martin of Tours Parish, Gaithersburg, Maryland, 2003-2016. Other assignments include: member, priest council, 1978-1981, 2009-2015; member, College of Consultors, 1998-2001, 2011-2016; vicar forane, 2002-2005; advocate, Metropolitan Tribunal, 2006.

The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston is comprised of 24,282 square miles and has a total population of 1,844,128 of which 77,874 or 4 percent, are Catholic.  

---

Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Pope Francis, Bishop Mark Brennan, Archdiocese of Baltimore, Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston

###

Media Contact:

Miguel Guilarte
202-541-3200