Catholic Conference of Ohio
Friday, July 20, 2018

Issues - Catholic Conference of Ohio

News

New Diocesan Directors Named for Social Concerns

 

 

 

Diocese of Youngstown has named Stephen Carattini Director for Social Concerns

Diocese of Columbus has named Jerry Freewalt Director of the Office for Social Concerns

Diocese of Cleveland has named Diane Zbasnik Director for the Social Action Office at Catholic Charities

Diocese of Cleveland has named Cary Dabney Director for the Office of Ministry to African-American Catholics

Archdiocese of Cincinnati has named Sara Seligmann Regional Director for Catholic Social Action

Ohio House Passes Pastor Protection Act

Provides the State with Clarity and Intent

Rep. Nino Vitale (R-Sidney), the sponsor of HB 36, said it aims to relieve the tension between the religious beliefs of some and the decision of the courts to uphold same-sex marriage, rather than see a flurry of lawsuits on the issue. Vitale said the bill states ministers and religious societies are not required to solemnize marriages or allow the use of their facilities for marriages that do not conform to their sincerely held religious beliefs.  The chamber also voted to attach an amendment from Rep. Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati) stating that, in the event of a conflict with the state's general public accommodation law, HB 36 would take precedence. The bill passed 59-29.

Catholic Conference of Ohio Testimony on HB 36

Watch the House floor debate here

Catholic Church Leaders Decry the Family Separation Taking Place Within Immigration Policies and Practices

Most Reverend Daniel Schnurr's letter to priests and deacons (Archbishop of Cincinnati) encouraging them to address the government's taking and detaining 2,300 migrant children who crossed into the United States.

A second immigration raid in Ohio raises concern for innocent children and families and reflects the need for just immigration reform. Click here for the statement of the Youngstown diocese.

Bishop Nelson Perez, Diocese of Cleveland, press interview on immigration policy. "Separating parents from their children is a moral issue."

Archbishop Schnurr's press coverage on immigration

USCCB's Office of Migration and Refugee Services concerns over pending immigration legislation

Pope Francis raises concerns over U.S. immigration policy that separates children

Ohio Bishops statements regarding immigration-related issues

Catholic Conference of Ohio Adds Voice to Legislative Action Addressing Gun Violence

Coalition representing Ohio medical professionals, clergy, teachers, school counselors, law enforcement and mental health advocates urge passage of HB 585 and SB 288

This joint letter to Ohio legislative leaders reflects the need for urgency in passing constructive legislation addressing gun violence.

"Within this past month alone, Americans have grieved for those killed or injured in three school massacres and our nation continues to average more than one shooting at a school per week. This issue is not going away and we cannot continue to bury our heads in the sand and pretend that this violence won’t happen here – because it has. And it will again.

We urge the Ohio General Assembly to take action the package of sensible reforms contained in HB 585 and SB 288 – reforms developed by a bipartisan group representing both sides of the issue. We believe these bills and their common sense reforms would have the support necessary for passage, if only they can be brought to the floor for a vote."

Click here for the full letter

USCCB President Issues Statement of Concern Regarding Recent Immigration Policies

Changes Regarding Immigrant Asylum and Family Separation Causing Irreparable Harm And Trauma

Daniel Cardinal DiNardo issued the following statement during the USCCB Spring General Meeting addressing recent immigration policy changes that are harmful to immigrants.

"At its core, asylum is an instrument to preserve the right to life. The Attorney General's recent decision elicits deep concern because it potentially strips asylum from many women who lack adequate protection. These vulnerable women will now face return to the extreme dangers of domestic violence in their home country. This decision negates decades of precedents that have provided protection to women fleeing domestic violence. Unless overturned, the decision will erode the capacity of asylum to save lives, particularly in cases that involve asylum seekers who are persecuted by private actors. We urge courts and policymakers to respect and enhance, not erode, the potential of our asylum system to preserve and protect the right to life.

Additionally, I join Bishop Joe Vásquez, Chairman of USCCB's Committee on Migration, in condemning the continued use of family separation at the U.S./Mexico border as an implementation of the Administration's zero-tolerance policy. Our government has the discretion in our laws to ensure that young children are not separated from their parents and exposed to irreparable harm and trauma. Families are the foundational element of our society and they must be able to stay together. While protecting our borders is important, we can and must do better as a government, and as a society, to find other ways to ensure that safety. Separating babies from their mothers is not the answer and is immoral."

Additional information on Immigration and Migration

Pope Francis Names the Most Reverend Milan Lach, SJ, as Bishop of the Ruthenian Eparchy of Parma

WELCOME BISHOP LACH !

Pope Francis has appointed as Bishop of the Ruthenian Eparchy of Parma, the Most Reverend Milan Lach, SJ, who up until now served as apostolic administrator of the Eparchy. The Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Parma is the Catholic eparchy governing most Ruthenian Catholics in the mid-western United States. It is headquartered in Parma, Ohio.

Bishop Lach, 44, was born in Kežmarok, Slovakia. In 1992, he was admitted to the Greek-catholic seminary in Prešov and in 1995 entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus in Trnava, Slovakia. He continued his studies at Trnava University and also studied at the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome, where he obtained a master's degree from the Eastern Church Sciences and later, a doctorate degree. In 2009, he began working at the Center of Spirituality East – West of Michal Lacko in Košice, Slovakia.

He was ordained a deacon of the Society of Jesus on November 11, 2000, and was ordained a priest on July 1, 2001. He was appointed the auxiliary bishop of Prešov and titular bishop of Ostracine on April 19, 2013. He was ordained as auxiliary bishop of Prešov and titular bishop of Ostracine, June 1, 2013.  On June 24, 2017, Pope Francis named Bishop Lach as apostolic administrator of the sede vacante (vacant see) of the Epharcy of Parma for the Ruthenians.

More Information

Primary Election Resources

Ohio Bishops Support Passage of Issue 1: Congressional Redistricting

There is one statewide issue on the May 8, 2018 ballot. Issue 1 is a constitutional amendment creating a bipartisan, public process for drawing Ohio congressional Districts. A  somewhat similar amendment addressing redistricting for Ohio legislative districts passed in 2015.

As in 2015, the Catholic Conference of Ohio has taken a supportive position on this issue.

"We appreciate that this issue was well debated in the Ohio General Assembly and that it was placed on the ballot with strong bipartisan support.

Legislative districts should be fairly established, facilitate active citizen participation, assure effective accountability and accessibility to both voters and elected officials, and ensure the common good of all in society. Issue 1 provides a prudentially viable process for achieving these goals."

Prayers Requested for Bishop Murry, S.J.

Bishop of the Youngstown Diocese Undergoing Treatment for Acute Leukemia

The Most Reverend George V. Murry, S.J., bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Youngstown has been diagnosed with a form of acute leukemia.  He was admitted to the Cleveland Clinic on Sunday, April 29, 2018.  He will undergo intensive chemotherapy for the next four weeks.

The Doctors at the Cleveland Clinic have stated that there are to be no visitors.  Please keep Bishop Murry in your prayers.


A Blessing Prayer for Those Who Are Sick

All praise and glory is yours, Lord our God, for you have called us to serve you in love.
Bless Bishop Murry, so that he may bear this illness in union with your Son's obedient suffering.
Restore him to health, and lead him to glory.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen. 

Excerpts from the English translation of Pastoral Care of the Sick: Rites of Anointing and Viaticum © 1982, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc.
All rights reserved.

Ohio Supreme Court's Ruling Requiring Abortion Clinics To Have A Transfer Agreement With A Hospital Remains

Court Announced that it would not revisit previous decision

The Ohio Supreme Court denied a request from a Northwest Ohio abortion clinic to reconsider a ruling that backed the state's decision to deny it a license to operate.  The ruling arose from the Ohio Department of Health's determination that the Capital Care Network of Toledo clinic lacked a suitable transfer agreement. Lawmakers in 2013 enacted requirements for such transfer agreements and barred public hospitals from maintaining them with clinics. The University of Toledo Medical Center subsequently declined to renew its agreement with the clinic. ODH determined an agreement Capital Care later signed with a Michigan hospital wasn't suitable because the hospital was too far away to provide emergency treatment.

The Ohio Department of Health is encouraged to continue with proceedings to close the Capital Care Network of Toledo's abortion clinic.

Ohio Right to Life Statement

Governor Kasich Issues Executive Order To Improve Criminal Background Checks

Aim is to better ensure that dangerous people are less like to purchase guns

The reliability of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) is dependent upon the information submitted by reporting agencies, such as clerks of court and local law enforcement agencies. Getting this required information into the system in a timely fashion makes it less likely that a prohibited individual is able to purchase a firearm.

The order reconvenes a 2015 working group composed of the Office of Criminal Justice Service (OCJS) of the Ohio Department of Public Safety, the Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation, and Ohio Supreme Court and charges them with assessing the current level of compliance across the state, as well as requiring the OCJS to issue a report on to the current status of the reporting of NICS data and any barriers that exist to achieving comprehensive reporting.

In addition, Ohio will publish a reporting compliance manual for local governments and elected officials who have responsibility for imputing data into NICS, and make recommendations on how to overcome remaining compliance barriers.

Finally, the Governor has requested that the Ohio Auditor of State immediately begin to include compliance with NICS reporting in any annual or biennial audit of local public offices and make those finding available on the Auditor’s website.

Executive Order

Catholic Conference of Ohio's Response to the Order

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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.

Amen