Catholic Conference of Ohio
Saturday, March 25, 2017

News & Press - Catholic Conference of Ohio

Ohio Opportunity Scholarship Program Seeks to Expand Parental Choice

SB 85 seeks to help low and middle income families send their children to the school of their choice

 SB 85: the Opportunity Scholarship Program is a game changer.  It combines the current Ed Choice Scholarships and the Cleveland Scholarship into a new income-based program that allows full and partial scholarships to families earning up to 400 percent of poverty.  An important benefit of this program is the increased opportunity it will provide for many low and middle income families to send their children to the school of their choice.

2017 School Choice Rally

Tuesday, May 2, 2017 – 11 AM – Statehouse

Catholic school administrators, teachers, students and their parents are invited to the May 2 School Choice Rally at the Statehouse in Columbus. 

This is an opportunity to show your elected leaders that school choice is an essential social justice issue for parents to have the freedom, without financial burden, to choose  schools that are best suited for their children.  

Presently, there are five school choice programs in Ohio. SB 85 was introduced earlier this month that would reform and expand school choice opportunities for Ohio’s families.

 Click here to sign up today for more information!

Catholic Conference of Ohio's Education Associate Testifies on Budget Bill

Larry Keough offers input on issues impacting Catholic Students and Schools

The Conference calls for increased support for the auxiliary services and administrative cost reimbursement programs, as well as scholarship programs.

In Ohio there are 376 Catholic schools enrolling more than 118,000 students. Catholic and other chartered nonpublic schools save the taxpayers of Ohio millions of dollars in educational costs that the state would pay if these students were attending public schools.

USCCB Chairmen Call On Congress To Consider Moral Criteria During Debates On Health Care Policy

The Bishops called on Congress to ensure coverage for those who now rely upon it after the passage of the Affordable Care Act, and expressed concern about any structural changes to the social safety net that could impact access to health care for millions.

In a letter from March 8, 2017, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities, Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration, urged Congress: to respect life by preventing the use of federal funds to facilitate abortion or purchase health care plans that provide abortion; to honor conscience rights; and to ensure access for all people to comprehensive, quality health care that is truly affordable.

“A repeal of key provisions of the Affordable Care Act ought not be undertaken without the concurrent passage of a replacement plan that ensures access to adequate health care for the millions of people who now rely upon it for their wellbeing."

Any modification of the Medicaid system as part of health care reform should prioritize improvement and access to quality care over cost savings."

 

New Executive Order On Refugees Still Leaves Many Innocent Lives At Risk

Catholic leaders remain concerned

The Most Reverend Joe S. Vásquez, Bishop of Austin and Chair of the USCCB Committee on Migration, says that President Trump's latest Executive Order still puts vulnerable populations around the world at risk. In a statement issued after the announcement of the travel suspension, Bishop Vásquez says that while we seek to maintain our values and safety, we must also exercise compassion in assisting and continuing to welcome the stranger. 

Phone-In Fridays

Voice Your Support for Immigrants and Refugees during Lent

In addition to fasting and prayer during this Lenten season, please join us in voicing support for vulnerable immigrants and refugees. You can do so by calling the offices of your Members of Congress during JFI’s weekly Phone-In Fridays, an advocacy event which we are undertaking this liturgical season. Every Friday between now and April 14th, please call your federal lawmakers and urge them to cosponsor legislation that supports immigrants and refugees seeking protection and safety in the U.S.

Please Support the BRIDGE ACT and DACA Youth

The BRIDGE (Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy) Act, S.128/H.R. 496, was recently introduced in Congress as a bipartisan effort to sustain the temporary relief from deportation and employment eligibility offered to youth through the Department of Homeland Security's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Under the BRIDGE Act, young people who came to the United States as children would maintain their eligibility to work and live in the U.S. without the fear of deportation and family separation so long as they meet certain requirements, such as showing a commitment to education or honorable service in our military and having no history of serious crime.

There are more than 750,000 young people who have received and benefitted from DACA. These youth entered the U.S. as children and know America as their only home. They are contributors to our economy, veterans of our military, academic standouts in our universities, and leaders in our parishes and communities. As Catholics, we have long supported DACA youth and their families as we believe in protecting the dignity of every human being, especially that of our children. 

Ask your Senators and Representative to support and co-sponsor the BRIDGE ACT 

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Urge President Trump to Sign Executive Order Respecting Religious Freedom

Religious freedom in America has suffered years of unprecedented erosion.  President Trump can correct some of this within the executive branch.  He can restore the federal government's respect for the religious freedom of individuals and organizations by signing an Executive Order that establishes a government-wide initiative to respect religious freedom.

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Catholic Conference of Ohio reaffirms support for the Ohio Pastors Protection Act

HB 36 provides clarity and intent to existing laws

The Catholic Conference of Ohio, as the official representative for the Ohio Catholic Bishops in public matters affecting the Church and the general welfare of Ohioans, often speaks out and testifies on legislative bills.

HB 36 allows ministers not to solemnize marriages contrary to beliefs.  It helps clarify existing provisions that protect religious liberties.

"The Catholic Church has a longstanding teaching on the sacredness of marriage, and specific requirements regarding the ceremony.  While we will defend the premise that the recent Supreme Court decision did not change our ability to practice such teachings within our church structures, we feel it is important to have Ohio pursue legislation that provides the State with clarity and intent, lest there be uncertainties and legal challenges to this First Amendment Right."   

Full testimony

Let Lawmakers Know Your Support for Immigrants and Refugees

USCCB's Justice for Immigrants Issues Action Alert

Background: 
President Donald Trump has issued an Executive Order that has devastating impacts on refugee resettlement in the United States. The Executive Order:

  • Halts the entire refugee admissions program for 120 days to determine additional security vetting procedures;
  • Cuts the number of refugees admitted in FY 2017 from 110,000 to 50,000;
  • Suspends resettlement of refugees from Syria;
  • Suspends the issuance of visas to individuals from countries of concern, including Syria, Iraq, Iran and other countries.

The U.S. refugee resettlement program is a life-saving program for the most vulnerable of the world's refugees. Welcoming people fleeing violence and conflict in various regions of the world is part of our identity as Catholics. We seek to protect the vulnerable and recognize the human dignity of all. Moreover, when the United States through its resettlement program shares responsibility with refugee host countries, it helps the refugees, supports the countries, and helps to enhance peace, security, and stability to sensitive regions in the world. Today, with more than 65 million people forcibly displaced from their homes, the need for the U.S. to show leadership in welcoming refugees and provide freedom from persecution is more urgent than ever.

Refugees who come through the program go through a rigorous, extensive vetting process. The Executive Order halts the arrival of refugees for at least 120 days, including those who have already gone through up to two years of vetting. This will affect some families already in transit. Standing up for refugees and for the life-saving resettlement program is consistent with our values as Americans and as Catholics.

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