Catholic Conference of Ohio
Thursday, February 21, 2019

News & Press - Catholic Conference of Ohio

Governor DeWine Announces a Halt on State Executions

Calls for a new lethal injection protocol that that will overcome any court challenges

Gov. Mike DeWine announced that he is halting executions until the state devises a new lethal injection protocol that overcomes any court challenges. He did not issue a formal stay of all executions but said “As long as the status quo remains, where we don’t have a protocol that has been found to be OK, we certainly cannot have any executions in Ohio. That would not be right, at least in my opinion.”

He directed prison officials to come up with a new protocol, which will likely face legal challenge in federal court.

Dayton Daily News Report
Cleveland.com News Report

Catholic Teaching on the Death Penalty

 

Catholic Conference of Ohio Urges Support for Ohio's Heartbeat Legislation

Conference and many others testify in support of SB 23

The Catholic Conference of Ohio supports passage of SB 23, the Heartbeat bill. This version of the bill generally prohibits a person from aborting an unborn child whose fetal heartbeat has been detected (usually around 10 weeks). The bill also establishes the Joint Legislative Committee on Adoption Promotion and Support. The bill is pending in the Senate Health and Human Services and Medicaid Committee.

The Catholic Church teaches that every child, at every moment of existence, deserves love and the protection of the law. We do not believe any person or government has the right to take the life of an innocent human being.

The Heartbeat bill will challenge the current legal precedents to abortion. With new changes in the United States Supreme Court, it is our sincere hope that this legislation will withstand constitutional challenge and be implemented in order to save lives.

Sponsor Testimony by State Senator Kristina D. Roegner

February 19, 2019 Proponent Testimony on SB 23

Catholic Conference Action Alert

U.S. Bishops’ Chairmen Condemn Decision Preventing Muslim Man from Receiving Appropriate Spiritual Care at Execution

On February 7, 2019, the State of Alabama executed Domineque Ray, a Muslim man whose request to have an imam present at his execution was denied by the U.S. Supreme Court by a vote of 5-4. Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Chairman of the USCCB Committee for Religious Liberty, and Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, have issued a statement, which reads:

“The execution of Domineque Ray deeply troubles us. The death penalty itself is an affront to human dignity, and the Church has long called for its abolition in the United States and around the world. Mr. Ray bore the further indignity of being refused spiritual care in his last moments of life, in violation of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Alabama law. This unjust treatment is disturbing to people of all faiths, whether Muslim, Christian, Jewish, or otherwise. People deserve to be accompanied in death by someone who shares their faith. It is especially important that we respect this right for religious minorities. As Pope Francis said during his recent trip to the United Arab Emirates, ‘What we are called to do as believers is to commit ourselves to the equal dignity of all.’ Let us make this commitment today.”

President of U.S. Bishops’ and Chairman of Bishop’s Committee on Migration Respond to President’s Order to Fund Construction of Border Wall

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration, issued the following joint statement:

“We are deeply concerned about the President’s action to fund the construction of a wall along the U.S./Mexico border, which circumvents the clear intent of Congress to limit funding of a wall. We oppose the use of these funds to further the construction of the wall. The wall first and foremost is a symbol of division and animosity between two friendly countries. We remain steadfast and resolute in the vision articulated by Pope Francis that at this time we need to be building bridges and not walls."

Catholic Conference of Ohio Urges Support for the "Protect Trafficked Minors Act": SB 13

Bill will help protect children up to age 18 from human traffickers

The Catholic Conference of Ohio supports passage of SB 13, the "Protect Trafficked Minors Act". This bill will help protect minors up to age 18 years old from being “trafficked”. Currently, only children up to age 16 years old are fully protected under Ohio law. The bill is pending in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The Catholic Conference of Ohio believes it is important for Ohio to continue strengthening protections for victims of human trafficking. SB 13 provides yet another series of helpful changes. Such changes will help ensure that minors up to age 18 will have a greater degree of protection under Ohio law.

Sponsor Testimony from Senator Teresa Fedor

Catholic Conference of Ohio Action Alert

Most Reverend Robert J. Brennan, Rockville Centre auxiliary bishop appointed to lead Diocese of Columbus

Installation set for March 29, 2019

  • Posted: Jan. 31, 2019
  • Categories: Welcome

Pope Francis named Most Reverend Robert J. Brennan, an auxiliary bishop in the Diocese of Rockville Centre, New York, as the 12th bishop of the diocese of Columbus. Bishop-designate Brennan will replace Bishop Campbell, who reached the mandatory retirement age for bishops when he turned 75 last August. 

“It makes me incredibly happy to walk this journey with you, to lead the Church of Columbus, to serve as your Pastor,” Bishop Brennan said in a statement.  “I look forward to walking the journey with you as your pastor sharing the ‘Joy of the Gospel’ and the ‘Splendor of Truth.’  And if we can laugh, and sing, and raise our voices in praise of God along the way, then all the better.  I am already praying fervently for the Church of Columbus every day.  May I humbly ask your prayers for me." 

Bishop Campbell will continue to lead the Columbus diocese until the new bishop is installed on Friday, March 29, at St. Joseph Cathedral. 

Human Trafficking Awareness Day February 28, 2019

Ohio Statehouse

The 10th Annual Human Trafficking Awareness Day at the Ohio Statehouse brings together advocates from around the state with one mission: ending human trafficking. This year's focus will be on the opioid crisis, and how it impacts and elevates the risk of human trafficking in Ohio.

Featuring a keynote address from Erik L. Bauer, an attorney from Tacoma, Washington who, in a nationwide precedent setting case ended immunity for Backpage.com on behalf of two 7th grade clients and one 9th grade client being sold on the webpage to as many as 20 adult sex customers per day, the 10th Annual Human Trafficking Awareness Day is an opportunity to learn from and share best practices with Ohio's leaders on the issue.

2019 Human Trafficking Report: Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force

Governor DeWine Delays Execution Due to Concerns Over Execution Drugs

Warren "Keith" Henness' February Date Moved to September 12, 2019

Governor DeWine has delayed the scheduled February 13, 2019 execution of Keith Henness. He has directed the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction to assess Ohio’s current options for execution drugs and examine possible alternative drugs.

Federal Magistrate Judge Michael R. Merz last week deemed Ohio’s three-drug execution protocol akin to fatal “waterboarding.” But the judge did not rule Ohio's method of execution unconstitutional because of a 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision. The majority in the 5-4 ruling declared if Death Row inmates claim that the government’s methods of killing them are cruel, they must propose an alternative for their own execution that is “available, feasible and can be readily implemented.”

The Catholic Church teaches, in the light of the Gospel, that the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person, and she works with determination for its abolition worldwide.” Catechism of the Catholic Church #2267

U.S. Bishops Receive Letter from Pope Francis As They Gather for Spiritual Retreat

Letter Addresses Issues of Accountability, Healing and Reconciliation

The U.S. Bishops have received a letter from Pope Francis as they gather in northern Illinois at Mundelein Seminary from January 2 - 8, 2019. The weeklong retreat is taking place at the invitation of Pope Francis who has asked all bishops in the United States to pause in prayer as the Church seeks to respond to the signs of the times.

Church Leaders Welcome Passage of the FIRST STEP Act Through Congress

The First Step Act is a true first step towards long-term criminal justice system reform.

The FIRST STEP Act provides meaningful reform to our nation’s mandatory minimum sentences and “three-strike” policies. This reform provides a more just and equitable criminal justice system. In addition, the Act provides valuable incentives for prisoners to participate in vocational and rehabilitative programs helping to prepare them for reintegration into society. The Act also reauthorizes the Second Chance Act which provides access to meaningful local and faith-based programs that help returning citizens contribute to their communities and families.

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