Catholic Conference of Ohio
Wednesday, August 23, 2017

News & Press - Catholic Conference of Ohio

House Budget Resolution Places Poor in Jeopardy Says U.S. Bishops Chairman

Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development expressed concern

“The USCCB is closely monitoring the budget and appropriations process in Congress and is analyzing the proposed House budget resolution in more detail.  It is clearly noted at the outset that the proposal assumes the harmful and unacceptable cuts to Medicaid from the American Health Care Act.  Additionally, steady increases to military spending in the resolution are made possible by cutting critical resources for those in need over time, including potentially from important programs like SNAP that provide essential nutrition to millions of people. The bipartisan approach to discretionary spending in recent years, while imperfect, reflected a more balanced compromise given competing priorities. 

A nation’s budget is a moral document.  Reducing deficits through cuts for human needs—while simultaneously attempting a tax cut, as this proposal does—will place millions of poor and vulnerable people in real jeopardy.  Congress should choose a better path, one that honors those struggling in our country.”

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Revised Senate Health Care Reform Bill Still “Unacceptable,” Says U.S. Bishops Chairman

Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the U.S. Bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development Responds

The USCCB is reviewing carefully the health care bill introduced by Senate leadership on July 13, 2017. On an initial read, we do not see enough improvement to change our assessment that the proposal is unacceptable. We recognize the incremental improvement in funding the fight against opioid addiction, for instance, but more is needed to honor our moral obligation to our brothers and sisters living in poverty and to ensure that essential protections for the unborn remain in the bill."

July 13, 2017 USCCB Statement by Bishop Dewane

Executions Scheduled to Begin Again on July 26

Conference Urging Calls To Governor

Ronald Phillips is scheduled for execution on July 26, 2017. It has been over three years since the last execution in Ohio. In the interim, Pope Francis, in his address to the U.S. Congress, affirmed the American Bishops in their call for an end to the use of the death penalty. In doing so, the Holy Father emphasized God’s compassionate love and mercy.

The Catholic Church believes that the death penalty is an unnecessary and systemically flawed form of punishment. We seek mercy for Mr. Phillip because we believe that spiritual conversion is possible and that all life, even that of the worst offender, has value and dignity.

 

 

 

 

Call Governor Kasich
614-466-3555
Urge him not to resume executions

House Does Not Override Governor Kasich's Veto of the Medicaid Enrollment Freeze

House leaves open their option to reconsider this provision through 2018

The Catholic Conference of Ohio commends House members for not overriding Governor Kasich's veto of the State budget provision that would  freeze enrollment in the Medicaid Expansion Program

The State Budget bill, approved by the Ohio GA,  proposed to freeze enrollment in the Medicaid Expansion Program starting July 1, 2018. Governor Kasich vetoed this provision.  The Ohio House met on Thursday, July 6, 2017 and opted not to bring up this provision for an override vote.

Because of our concern for the poor and vulnerable, the Catholic Conference of Ohio encouraged House members not to freeze enrollment in the Medicaid Expansion Program.

The Catholic Bishops of Ohio have consistently insisted that access to decent health care is a basic safeguard of human life and an affirmation of human dignity from conception until natural death. Medicaid serves the most vulnerable.  It is a vital safety net that offers health care coverage to Ohio's low-income children, parents, pregnant women, seniors, and people with disabilities, serious mental illness, and drug addiction. Our Catholic hospitals, nursing homes, mental health, and developmental disabilities programs effectively and responsibly utilize and depend on reimbursement from the Medicaid Expansion Program.

The House may decide to reconsider this provision anytime before December 31, 2018.

Ohio Bishops Oppose the Denial of Workers' Compensation to Undocumented Workers

Conference staff provides testimony urging provision to be removed from pending legislation.

Background:

The Ohio House recently passed Workers’ Compensation legislation (HB 27) that includes a provision prohibiting undocumented workers from receiving workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ Compensation is funded by employers as an insurance policy which provides medical and compensation benefits for work-related injuries, diseases and deaths.

Bishops Statement:

The Catholic Bishops of Ohio are opposed to the denial of workers’ compensation benefits to undocumented workers.

We have consistently called for meaningful immigration reform. In our April 2017 letter to Congress, we, again, called upon elected officials to address our country’s broken immigration system through a comprehensive reform that improves security and creates more legal and transparent paths to immigration.

We do not condone unauthorized entry into the United States.  Yet, once undocumented immigrants are here and working, their human dignity itself should guarantee basic compensation and protections for the work they provide.

In our Catholic teaching, work is first and foremost the very expression of the human person in the world and participation in God’s creation.  When someone engages in work for an employer, that person should receive just remuneration and just worker protections. Respecting a person’s human dignity should remain paramount. (Pope St. John Paul II, Laborem Exercens, nos. 6, 19, 23)

Workers’ compensation is an insurance policy that the employer pays in recognition of the worker’s labor. It provides medical and compensation benefits for work-related injuries, diseases and deaths. It should be available to all workers regardless of their legal status. Denying workers’ compensation to undocumented workers may result in more abuses by unscrupulous employers to this already often exploited population.

Bishops Statement (PDF)
Catholic Conference of Ohio Testimony
Links on Immigration Reform

U.S. Bishop Chairmen Provide Senate With Moral Principles For Health Care Reform

As the U.S. Senate begins to discuss health care reform, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida and Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin provided moral principles to help guide policymakers in their deliberations.

In a letter sent on June 1, the Chairmen of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops stressed the "grave obligations" that Senators have "when it comes to policy that affects health care." While commending the bill passed by the House of Representatives, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), for its protections for unborn children, the Bishops emphasized the "many serious flaws" in the AHCA, including unacceptable changes to Medicaid. 

Full Statement

Catholic Poverty–Response Organizations Issue Action Alerts regarding the Proposed Federal Budget

Catholic Charities USA and Catholic Relief Services concerned over proposed cuts to human services

Catholic Charities USA Action Alert

 

 

 

Catholic Relief Services Action Alert

Ohio Catholic Bishops Urge Support for HB 81 & SB 40

Prohibiting the Execution of Individuals with Severe Mental Illness

The death penalty is not the answer to the problem of violence committed by persons with severe mental illnesses. The better policy is access to appropriate mental health care.

Ohio Bishops Issue Letter of Concern regarding Changes to Immigration and Migration

Call for comprehensive reform, support for children and intact families, enforcement efforts that focus on threats to public safety, and maintaining programs for refugees

The Bishops call upon Congress to address our nation's broken immigration system through comprehensive reform that improves security and creates more legal and transparent paths to immigration. 

While not advocating for the breaking of laws, the Bishops urge a more humane enforcement of immigration laws that distinguishes between actual criminals and otherwise law-abiding, undocumented immigrant family members. 

In Ohio, the Catholic Church has a refugee resettlement network that resettled over 1000 refugees in 2016. Catholic parishes and diocesan offices also work in collaboration with other refugee resettlement programs in Ohio. These programs have safely and compassionately resettled refugees from all over the world, including a small number from Syria.  The refugee program is one of the most vetted processes for entry into the United States.  The Bishops do not oppose efforts to improve on the system, should there be a need.  However, the temporary shutdown of all refugee admissions, and the more than 60 percent reduction in the number of refugees who can be resettled, create a chilling effect on our ability to maintain programs and ongoing assistance. 

The Bishops also encourage Congress to pass the BRIDGE Act: S.128/H.R. 496. This Act will protect the dignity of DACA-eligible youth by ensuring that these individuals, who were brought to the United States as children and are contributing so much to our nation, can continue to live their lives free of the anxiety that they could be deported at any time.

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 

CONTACT INFORMATION

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