Catholic Conference of Ohio The official representative of the Catholic Church in public matters affecting the Church and the general welfare of the citizens of Ohio.

Thursday, July 7, 2022

Latest News

Conference Applauds Launch of OhioRISE Program for Youth with Complex Behavioral Health Needs

The Catholic Conference of Ohio applauds Governor Mike DeWine and the Ohio Department of Medicaid for the launch of OhioRISE (Ohio Resilience through Integrated Systems and Excellence), a new specialized managed care program for children and youth with the most complex behavioral health needs. OhioRISE will address gaps in care and coordination for families forced to navigate complex, often siloed systems on their own. In heartbreaking circumstances, these gaps have resulted in some families relinquishing custody of their children to access needed behavioral healthcare services. It is estimated OhioRISE will serve 50,000 children and youth by the end of the first year.

Governor DeWine’s Press Release | Learn more about OhioRISE

Conference Statement on Ohio's Heartbeat Law

The Catholic Conference of Ohio is grateful a federal court lifted the injunction on Ohio's Heartbeat Law. Now, unborn children are legally protected from abortion at the moment a heartbeat is detected. We urge the Ohio General Assembly to pass further protections for all unborn children and consider transformative family policies that help parents and children flourish in Ohio. As the Ohio Bishops wrote on Friday, our commitment to protecting and promoting life includes providing resources and accompanying women during and after pregnancy through our numerous social service agencies and parishes. Let us not tire of forming a culture of life in both personal encounters and public policy that reflect God’s immeasurable love for each human life from conception to natural death.  

The Ohio Catholic Bishops’ Response to the Recent Supreme Court Decision

The Catholic Commitment to Life and to Walking with Women in Need

The Catholic Bishops of Ohio are encouraged by the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. This is a positive step toward a desperately needed conversion to a culture of life in our country, one that respects the inherent dignity and sacredness of every human being from conception to natural death. This decision enables the possibility of the State of Ohio to fully protect the lives of preborn children. The Catholic Church in Ohio – including its dioceses, eparchies, parishes, and social service ministries – remains committed to serving women in crisis pregnancies, both before and after delivery, with both material resources and personal accompaniment so that they can flourish and contribute to the common good.

Supreme Court Rules That Maine Cannot Discriminate Against Religious Schools Because They Teach Religion

The Supreme Court of the United States issued its decision in the case of Carson v. Makin, which challenged a decision by the First Circuit to allow the State of Maine to exclude religious schools from a tuition assistance benefit on the basis that those schools include religion as part of their instruction. By vote of 6-3, the Court ruled in favor of the petitioners. Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee for Religious Liberty, and Bishop Thomas A. Daly of Spokane, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Catholic Education, issued a statement in the response to the Court’s ruling.

U.S. Bishops’ Migration Chairman Expresses Solidarity with Dreamers on DACA’s Anniversary

Today marks ten years since the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was created through executive action. DACA allows certain undocumented immigrants who entered the United States as children—commonly referred to as “Dreamers”—to remain in the country, subject to several requirements. DACA does not provide legal status, nor does it create a pathway to citizenship, but it does temporarily protect recipients from removal and make them eligible for work authorization, among other benefits. DACA was declared unlawful by a federal district court in July 2021, halting new applications and threatening protection for current beneficiaries of the program.

Pleads for Peace as Attacks on Pro-Life Organizations Mount

Cardinal Dolan and Archbishop Lori issued a statement through the USCCB

In response to ongoing attacks on Catholic churches and pro-life pregnancy centers, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Religious Liberty and Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities issued the following statement:

“The Catholic Church has a long history of service to those who are most vulnerable, including both mother and child, and remains the largest private provider of social services in the United States. From religious communities to pregnancy care centers, from refugee resettlement services to foster care and adoption agencies, and from maternity homes to parish-based ministries, the Church consistently bears witness in word and deed to the beauty and dignity of every human life. 

Bishop Chairmen Call for Congressional Action to Address Gun Violence

After multiple mass shootings in recent weeks, four bishop chairmen joined in a letter to Congress expressing their grief over these incomprehensible tragedies. Their letter calls on members of Congress to, “unite in our humanity to stop the massacres of innocent lives.”   

Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco, chairman of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life, and Youth, Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Bishop Thomas A. Daly of Spokane, chairman of the Committee on Catholic Education, wrote: 

“We urge all members of Congress to reflect on the compassion all of you undoubtedly feel in light of these tragic events and be moved to action because of it. There is something deeply wrong with a culture where these acts of violence are increasingly common. There must be dialogue followed by concrete action to bring about a broader social renewal that addresses all aspects of the crisis, including mental health, the state of families, the valuation of life, the influence of entertainment and gaming industries, bullying, and the availability of firearms. Among the many steps toward addressing this endemic of violence is the passage of reasonable gun control measures. In this, we implore you to join the Holy Father who, in his continued expression of grief over the tragedy in Texas, declared, ‘It is time to say ‘no more’ to the indiscriminate trafficking of weapons.’” 

Statement of USCCB on School Shooting in Uvalde, Texas

In response to the news of the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas reported this afternoon, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) offered the following statement from its spokesperson, Chieko Noguchi, director of public affairs.

“There have been too many school shootings, too much killing of the innocent. Our Catholic faith calls us to pray for those who have died and to bind the wounds of others, and we join our prayers along with the community in Uvalde and Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller. As we do so, each of us also needs to search our souls for ways that we can do more to understand this epidemic of evil and violence and implore our elected officials to help us take action.”

Laudato Si' Week is May 22 to 29

Educate, reflect, pray and act on our relationship with Creation and the Creator.

Laudato Si’ Week 2022, is being held May 22-29, marking the seventh anniversary of Pope Francis’ landmark encyclical on creation care. This global celebration will unite Catholics to listen and respond together to the cry of creation, rejoice in the progress we have made in bringing Laudato Si’ to life, and intensify our efforts through the dynamic Laudato Si’ Action Platform, walking the “Synodal” path. Sponsored by the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and promoted by the Laudato Si' Movement in collaboration with around 150 Catholic organizations. During this week we seek to educate, dialogue, promote and act for our sister Mother Earth: our Common Home, joining the canticle of Saint Francis of Assisi: "Praise be to you, oh, my Lord, in all your creatures!" (“Laudato Si, o mio Signore, per tutte le creature”) which is the title of Pope Francis’ Encyclical “Laudato Si”: for an ecological conversion.

Conference testifies in support of the Human Life Protect Act

HB598 supports the dignity and worth of human life from conception to natural death

Catholic Conference of Ohio Executive Director Jerry Freewalt testified in support of HB 598, the Human Life Protection Act. This legislation would help Ohio further a culture of life and a community of care that allows each person to flourish no matter their circumstance or stage of development. With representatives from other pro-life organizations, medical, and legal professionals proponents of the legislation offered their support for a bill that would ensure that every child, at every moment of existence, receives love and the protection of the law. 

Use our Action Alerts to get involved and let your elected officials know that you support life from conception to natural death.

Read statements, take actions, pray and download educational materials from the USCCB

"My friends, we cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of every human life." 
Pope Francis, June 2020

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

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