Catholic Conference of Ohio
Wednesday, June 20, 2018

News & Press - Catholic Conference of Ohio

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.

 

Conference Urges Support for Ohio Legislation Further Protecting Victims of Human Trafficking

"Protect Trafficked Minors Act" Protects Victims Up to Age 18

HB 461, the Protect Trafficked Minors Act, sponsored by Representative Fedor (D - Toledo) and  Representative Galonski (D - Akron), would mirror Ohio law with federal law in cases involving the human trafficking of minors aged 16 and 17-years-old. This bill will increase the penalties for people who traffic 16 and 17-year-olds. Additionally, HB 461 will require a juvenile court to appoint a guardian ad litem for a minor child if the court has reason to believe that the crime charged is prostitution or human trafficking-related. The bill is pending in the House Criminal Justice Committee.

Conference Resources

 

Contact Your House Representative and urge support for the Protect Trafficked Minors Act, HB 461.

Ohio "Consensus" Legislation Introduced to Curb Gun Violence

Governor Kasich's Workgroup Recommendations Introduced in both House and Senate

HB 585, sponsored by Representative Henne (R - Clayton),  and SB 288 sponsored by Senator Eklund ( R - Munson Township) and Senator Kunze (R - Hilliard), are companion bills that reflect the recommendations made by Governor Kasich's responses to gun violence workgroup.  The Catholic Conference of Ohio staff participated in the workgroup.

 

Contact Your Representative and Senator.  Urge Support for HB 585 & SB 288.

 

Recommendations from the Workgroup

Catholic Bishops of Ohio Statement on the Workgroup Recommendations

U.S. Catholic Bishops’ Chairmen Deeply Disappointed by Congress’s Failure to Enact the Conscience Protection Act

Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, chair of the USCCB's Committee for Religious Liberty, reacted with deep disappointment to the news that a very modest but critical piece of legislation—the Conscience Protection Act—was not included in the 2018 appropriations bill just released by Congress.

Federal Court Blocks Down Syndrome Abortion Ban

Further Appeals Expected

Ohio's new Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act was blocked by U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Black over questions of constitutionality. The law would prohibit abortions after prenatal tests reveal Down syndrome in a fetus, or if there's "any other reason to believe" the fetus has the genetic condition. A person performing an abortion in such a case could face a fourth-degree felony charge, and physicians could lose their licenses. The woman seeking the abortion would not be held accountable.

Larry Keough, an Associate Director with the Catholic Conference of Ohio, and his wife Jackie testified in favor of this legislation.  The Conference is disappointed in this ruling.

Further Court Appeals are expected.

Catholic Conference Raises Questions Regarding Proposed Work Requirements for Persons on Medicaid

Ohio Seeking Federal Waiver Which Will Result In The Loss of Medicaid Health Coverage For Some Ohioans

In a letter sent to the Ohio Medicaid Director, the Catholic Conference of Ohio offered comments regarding an 1115 Demonstration Waiver Application. The proposed waiver considered by the Ohio Department of Medicaid establishes new work and community engagement requirements in order to qualify for Medicaid. As currently crafted, it is complicated and targets a population already at serious risk for health and welfare. It also undermines the physical and mental health and self-sufficiency of a population that has shown significant improvement since expanded access to Medicaid was made possible.

Ohio Bishops Issue Statement on Gun Violence

Encourage elected leaders to adopt prudent policies to help curb gun violence.

The Catholic Bishops of Ohio call upon Ohio’s elected leaders to adopt prudent policies to help curb gun violence. Now is the time for action. Now is the time to promote the culture of life.

We urge open and civil discourse that will result in the enactment of bipartisan reforms. We pray that Ohio’s leaders will set aside political agendas and achieve solutions that promote the common good and safety of all people. We believe just solutions can be found that will not violate the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

We commend state leaders who are actively seeking solutions to the pressing issue of gun violence. We applaud Governor Kasich for calling together persons with differing perspectives and for his leadership in seeking points of common agreement...

Governor Kasich's Recommendations

Governor Kasich Proposes "Consensus" Changes to Help Reduce Gun Violence

Catholic Conference of Ohio Applauds the Governor's Leadership in this Area

On March 1, 2018,  Governor John R. Kasich offered the Ohio General Assembly recommendations to help reduce gun violence.  A group of leaders from a variety of backgrounds and with a range of views came together to search for common ground on such policies.  The Catholic Conference of Ohio participated in this process. Through this process, the group reached unanimous agreement on several proposals.

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