Catholic Conference of Ohio The official voice of the Catholic Church in Ohio on matters of public policy and government relations.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Latest News

CCO Testifies in Support of House's Budget Bill

Advocating for Catholic Schools

The Catholic Conference of Ohio testified this week on HB33, affirming the Governor’s proposal to expand the threshold for a family to receive an Ed Choice Income-Based Scholarship to 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. As a long-standing champion for school choice and advocate for the largest system of nonpublic schools in Ohio with 374 Catholic schools and over 109,000 students, CCO stressed the need to address issues in school transportation as well as necessary increases to auxiliary service funds, nonpublic administrative cost reimbursement, funding levels in the categories of disabilities, and tax credit for giving to scholarship granting organizations.

CCO Testifies on Bills to Support Religious Freedom in Schools and Breastfeeding Mothers

The Catholic Conference of Ohio testified in support of two bills this week. SB49 would require each K-12 public school to adopt a policy providing students, teachers, and staff up to three days of religious expression leave per academic year. CCO supported the bill and affirmed the religious liberty to allow Catholic students and public-school staff across Ohio the ability to observe Holy Days as excused absences. HB34 would excuse breastfeeding mothers from jury service. In support of the bill, CCO commented on the Catholic Church’s commitment to promoting and acting on a vision of society that stands with mothers during and after pregnancy through personal accompaniment and pro-family public policies.

Ohio Bishops Issue Letter on Abortion Ballot Initiative

The Catholic Bishops of Ohio have issued the following letter about the proposed amendment to Ohio's Constitution for the November 2023 ballot, which threatens life in its earliest stages. They strongly encourage Catholics and all people of good will in Ohio to work against including the proposed amendment for the November ballot and, if it appears on the ballot, vote against the amendment to prevent countless deaths of preborn, innocent children.

The Catholic Conference of Ohio will work with dioceses to coordinate a campaign to promote the dignity of life at every parish in Ohio. We will also collaborate with other Ohio organizations to defeat the amendment. More information and materials will become available as we mobilize to oppose the proposed amendment in the months ahead.

Click “Read more” to view the full letter.

Support School Choice for all Ohio Families

Ask your Ohio Senator to Support SB 11

The Catholic Conference of Ohio supports SB 11 (Enact the Parental Education Freedom Act), which would allow every student in the state of Ohio the opportunity to receive an EdChoice Scholarship. For decades, the Catholic Conference of Ohio and the Catholic Church nationwide have led advocacy for expanding school choice to allow more students of all backgrounds and income levels to attend Catholic schools. We must uphold public policies that strengthen the family as the central social institution of society.

Click below to take action and ask your Ohio Senator to support SB 11 and expand EdChoice Scholarships to all Ohio students.

Take Action

CCO Response to Abortion Rights Ballot Initiative Language

With today’s announcement of groups proposing an amendment to change Ohio’s Constitution with language that eliminates already established protections for preborn children and women, the Catholic Church across Ohio resolves to inform all Catholics about its threat to the dignity of human life. The vague language in the proposed amendment places preborn children and women at risk of losing the safeguards on their health and wellbeing that Ohio has established through the legislative process over many years. While the Catholic Conference of Ohio collaborates with legislators of both parties and various organizations across Ohio to promote public policies that enhance support for women, children, and families, we will also now engage in a campaign to inform Catholics and work with statewide groups to ensure Ohioans understand the need to stop this attempt to rewrite Ohio’s Constitution.

Click "Read More" to download the press release.

Michelle Duffey Joins the Catholic Conference of Ohio as Associate Director for Communications and Outreach

The Catholic Conference of Ohio is excited to announce the hiring of Michelle Duffey as Associate Director for Communications and Outreach, starting February 16, 2023. Michelle holds 15 years of marketing and communication experience, working in both corporate and non-profit settings. After working for Cardinal Health, Inc. for over a decade, she followed her passion to share the faith and served as the Director of Communication for the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry (NFCYM) and the Director of Mission Advancement for the John Paul II Project. Michelle holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Master of Business Administration in Marketing, both from the University of Toledo. She loves to go on pilgrimages and volunteers as a catechist for Catechesis of the Good Shepherd at St. Patrick Church in Columbus. Contact Michelle via email at [email protected]

CCO Commends Governor DeWine for Proposed Significant Investments in Children and Families

The Governor Released His Executive Budget on January 31, 2023

The Catholic Conference of Ohio commends Governor DeWine for proposing significant investments in Ohio’s children and families through his Executive Budget. The budget proposes a $2,500 per child state tax deduction. For several years, the CCO and USCCB have advocated for a child tax credit on the state and national levels. Further, Governor DeWine’s proposal eliminates the state sales tax for vital infant supplies, such as diapers, strollers, and car seats. In education, the budget calls for expanding Ohio’s EdChoice scholarship program to families at or below 400% of the federal poverty level. If enacted, more Ohio families can access the school of their choice, including Catholic schools. The budget also provides funding for school safety resource officers and increases past budget line items for public and private school students. Other measures that the CCO supports include the expansion of Ohio’s Bold Beginning Initiative and incentives to create more affordable housing options.

With these proposals, the Governor’s budget affirms the Catholic Church’s teaching that the family must be supported and strengthened through just public policies. The Catholic Conference of Ohio looks forward to advocating for these proposals in the months ahead, along with other measures that assist families with children in Catholic schools and programs that help poor and vulnerable Ohioans. 

Most Reverend Milan Lach Appointed as Auxiliary Bishop of the Eparchy of Bratislava in Slovakia

Most Reverend Kurt Burnette Named Apostolic Administrator of the Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Parma

Bishop Lach was installed in 2018 in the Catholic Eparchy of Parma and has served on the Catholic Conference of Ohio's Board of Directors since his installation. We're grateful for his ministry in Ohio and wish him the best in the Eparchy of Bratislava.  

The Catholic Conference of Ohio welcomes the Most Reverend Kurt Burnette as the Apostolic Administrator of the Eparchy of Parma. Bishop Burnette was also appointed as the Apostolic Administrator of the Holy Protection of Mary of Phoenix. 

Brian Hickey Named Executive Director for the Catholic Conference of Ohio

Hickey will begin his new position on January 3, 2023

The Board of Directors of the Catholic Conference of Ohio is pleased to announce the appointment of Brian Hickey as the Conference’s new Executive Director, effective Jan. 3, 2023.

Click below to read the entire press release. 

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The Catholic Conference of Ohio is developing a new advocacy alert and newsletter system to help keep you up to date with the latest happenings at the Ohio Statehouse. This system allows you to write legislators, and keep up with news and policy information provided by the Conference. All we need to get you started is your email and zip code. 

Click on read more to sign up today.

Catholic Conference of Ohio
Informational Flyer (Updated 8/21)

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