Catholic Conference of Ohio
Saturday, March 24, 2018

Issues - Catholic Conference of Ohio

Voice Your Support for Refugees

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Migration Urge Support for Refugees and Resettlement Efforts

Despite the continued global need, the number of refugees resettled by the United States has plummeted this year. For Fiscal Year (FY) 2018, our country set an annual goal to admit 45,000 refugees, the lowest target in the history of the refugee program. In addition to this low resettlement target, it is deeply concerning that at the halfway point of FY18, the U.S. has resettled a mere 9,616 refugees. At this rate, the program is not even on pace to reach 20,000 refugees, half of the year's low refugee admissions target.

Please sign-on to a Catholic partners letter to the Department of Homeland Security and Department of State, expressing your support for refugees and robust refugee resettlement.  CLICK HERE


Ohio Parole Board Recommends Clemency for William Montgomery

Contacting Governor is Urged

The  Ohio Parole Board recommended that Gov. John Kasich show mercy toward William T. Montgomery by a vote of 6-4. Mr. Montgomery is scheduled for execution on April 11, 2018. 

The Catholic Bishops of Ohio have sent a letter urging Governor Kasich to commute Mr. Montgomery's sentence to life without parole.

Link to Ohioans to Stop Executions regarding case documents and background materials


Federal Court Blocks Down Syndrome Abortion Ban

Further Appeals Expected

Ohio's new Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act was blocked by U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Black over questions of constitutionality. The law would prohibit abortions after prenatal tests reveal Down syndrome in a fetus, or if there's "any other reason to believe" the fetus has the genetic condition. A person performing an abortion in such a case could face a fourth-degree felony charge, and physicians could lose their licenses. The woman seeking the abortion would not be held accountable.

Larry Keough, an Associate Director with the Catholic Conference of Ohio, and his wife Jackie testified in favor of this legislation.  The Conference is disappointed in this ruling.

Further Court Appeals are expected.

Catholic Conference Raises Questions Regarding Proposed Work Requirements for Persons on Medicaid

Ohio Seeking Federal Waiver Which Will Result In The Loss of Medicaid Health Coverage For Some Ohioans

In a letter sent to the Ohio Medicaid Director, the Catholic Conference of Ohio offered comments regarding an 1115 Demonstration Waiver Application. The proposed waiver considered by the Ohio Department of Medicaid establishes new work and community engagement requirements in order to qualify for Medicaid. As currently crafted, it is complicated and targets a population already at serious risk for health and welfare. It also undermines the physical and mental health and self-sufficiency of a population that has shown significant improvement since expanded access to Medicaid was made possible.

Ohio Bishops Issue Statement on Gun Violence

Encourage elected leaders to adopt prudent policies to help curb gun violence.

The Catholic Bishops of Ohio call upon Ohio’s elected leaders to adopt prudent policies to help curb gun violence. Now is the time for action. Now is the time to promote the culture of life.

We urge open and civil discourse that will result in the enactment of bipartisan reforms. We pray that Ohio’s leaders will set aside political agendas and achieve solutions that promote the common good and safety of all people. We believe just solutions can be found that will not violate the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

We commend state leaders who are actively seeking solutions to the pressing issue of gun violence. We applaud Governor Kasich for calling together persons with differing perspectives and for his leadership in seeking points of common agreement...

Governor Kasich's Recommendations

Governor Kasich Proposes "Consensus" Changes to Help Reduce Gun Violence

Catholic Conference of Ohio Applauds the Governor's Leadership in this Area

On March 1, 2018,  Governor John R. Kasich offered the Ohio General Assembly recommendations to help reduce gun violence.  A group of leaders from a variety of backgrounds and with a range of views came together to search for common ground on such policies.  The Catholic Conference of Ohio participated in this process. Through this process, the group reached unanimous agreement on several proposals.

Urge Lawmakers to Work Together for an Immediate Solution for Dreamers

U.S. Bishops Justice for Immigrants Project Issues Call to Action

The fate of nearly 1.8 million Dreamers remains uncertain as Congress has yet to reach a bipartisan deal to protect these youth. On January 22nd, Congress passed a short-term spending bill that will fund the government through February 8th, ending the government shutdown. The bill did not include protections for Dreamers, however, parties have agreed to continue negotiations and work towards a fix.

Unfortunately, every day that passes without a solution is a day where DACA youth fall out of status and lose their ability to go to school, serve in the military, and work legally.

Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and the Whole World

Pope Francis Invites All to Participate on Friday, February 23, 2018

Pope Francis has launched a special Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace for war-torn nations, in particular for the Democratic Republic of Congo and for South Sudan that are suffering protracted conflict, and he has invited all men and women, regardless of their religious denomination, to join.

National Call-in-Day to Congress Monday, February 26, 2018

U.S. Church Leaders Urge Action to Secure Legislative Protection for Dreamers

The U.S. Senate failed to achieve the 60 votes needed to move forward with debate on legislation to provide relief to Dreamers. Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, USCCB President; Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, USCCB Vice President; and Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration, together issued the following statement:

“We are deeply disappointed that the Senate was not able to come together in a bipartisan manner to secure legislative protection for the Dreamers. With the March 5th deadline looming, we ask once again that Members of Congress show the leadership necessary to find a just and humane solution for these young people, who daily face mounting anxiety and uncertainty.

“We are also announcing a National Catholic Call-In Day to Protect Dreamers. This coming weekend, we will be asking the faithful across the nation to call their Members of Congress next Monday, February 26, to protect Dreamers from deportation, to provide them a path to citizenship, and to avoid any damage to existing protections for families and unaccompanied minors in the process.

“Our faith compels us to stand with the vulnerable, including our immigrant brothers and sisters. We have done so continually, but we must show our support and solidarity now in a special way. Now is the time for action.”

Call-in Information

Call for Prayer and Healing

Pope Francis & Bishop Conference President Reactions to Shooting at Florida High School

Following the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, called for prayer and healing.

The full statement is as follows:
"We are deeply saddened by the shootings in Broward County, Florida, and by the needless and tragic loss of life. May the mercy of God comfort the grieving families and sustain the wounded in their healing. Catholics and many other Christians have begun the journey of Lent today. I encourage us to unite our prayers and sacrifices for the healing and consolation of all those who have been affected by violence in these last weeks and for a conversion of heart, that our communities and nation will be marked by peace. I pray also for unity in seeking to build toward a society with fewer tragedies caused by senseless gun violence. Our hope is in the Lord, as he promised after his resurrection, 'behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age' (Mt. 28:20)."

The Holy Father’s condolences

The following is the telegram of condolences sent on behalf of the Holy Father. ​


The Most Reverend Thomas Gerard Wenski Archbishop of Miami His Holiness Pope Francis was deeply saddened to learn of the tragic shooting that took place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. Assuring all those affected by this devastating attack of his spiritual closeness, he prays that Almighty God may grant eternal rest to the dead and healing and consolation to the wounded and those who grieve. With the hope that such senseless acts of violence may cease, Pope Francis invokes upon all of you the divine blessings of peace and strength.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin
Secretary of State


Prayer for an End to Human Trafficking

Oh God, we didn't see them.

But you did-

The hundreds and thousands of human beings trafficked each year to join the millions who are trapped in modern-day slavery.

Under terrible conditions, they work in factories, plow fields, harvest crops, work quarries, fill brothels, clean homes, and haul water.

Many are children with tiny fingers for weaving rugs and small shoulders for bearing rifles.

Their labor is forced, their bodies beaten, their faces hidden from those who don't really want to see them.

But you see them all, God of the poor.

You hear their cry and you answer by opening our eyes, and breaking our hearts and loosening our tongues to insist:

No mas. No more.