Catholic Conference of Ohio
Friday, June 22, 2018

Issues - Catholic Conference of Ohio

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

Diocese of Youngstown Issues Statement on the Recent Immigration Raid at Fresh Mark

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."

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

Recent Ohio Deportation Raid Not Serving the Common Good of All

Ohio Bishops reiterate call for comprehensive, compassionate immigration reform

Ohio Bishops Daniel Thomas (Toledo) and Nelson Perez (Cleveland) issues letters of concern regarding the June 5, 2018 deportations raids in the Sandusky Ohio area.

In a recent statement ( April 2017),  the Ohio Bishops issued a joint statement encouraging legislative support for comprehensive and compassionate immigration reform  They wrote in part:

At both the state and national levels, our Church has long spoken out in favor of policies that ensure safety and compassionate treatment for immigrant and refugee persons and families in need. We continue to call upon Congress to address our broken immigration system through a comprehensive reform that improves security and creates more legal and transparent paths to immigration.  As for enforcement, we do not advocate for the breaking of laws.  Yet, we do urge for a more humane enforcement of these laws in a way that distinguishes between actual criminals and otherwise law-abiding, undocumented immigrant family members.  We believe immigration officials should prioritize removal to those who are real threats to public safety...
Ohio does not benefit from separating good families and traumatizing children in our schools who each day live in fear of finding that their mothers or fathers are no longer at home to greet them. In these instances, justice should be sought, but the punishment should be commensurate with serving the good of the family unit, which is the fundamental cell of all society.


Read Bishop Thomas statement
Read Bishop Perez statement

U.S. Bishops’ Migration Chairman Reacts to Policy Separating Families at U.S./Mexico Border: “Children are Not Instruments of Deterrence”

More Information on immigration

Payday Lending Reform Passes Ohio House

Advocacy Moves to the Senate

 

 HB 123 will help protect borrowers from excessive payday lending fees while allowing lenders to maintain reasonable cost-of-business fees.  The Catholic Conference of Ohio supports passage.

Under the bill:

• Payday lenders would be prevented from operating as credit service organizations or mortgage lenders or under Ohio’s Small Loan Act. 

• A limit on the annual interest rate would be set at 28 percent, plus allowing a monthly 5 percent fee up to $20.

• Monthly payments would be limited to 5 percent of a borrower’s gross monthly income.

 

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

USCCB Committee on Migration Chairman Endorses USA Act and Calls for Immediate Legislative Solution for Dreamers

The USA Act is a compromise bill that while not perfect, is one step our country can take in the direction of protecting Dreamers now. The border security measures in the USA Act, as currently written, are reasonable and do not include the building of the Wall.

The Catholic Bishops will not continue support for the USA Act if there are substantive changes or additions in interior enforcement, eradication of protection of unaccompanied children and asylum seekers and cuts to family-based immigration. The USA Act would protect and provide Dreamers with a path to citizenship as long as they satisfy residency, age and education, military or employment requirements. Additionally, H.R. 4796 augments border security with the use of new technology; and increases staffing resources for immigration courts to carry out their work.
 

Background Information 
USCCB Letter of Support

RSS

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