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.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Latest News

Ohio Senate Passes Payday Lending Reform

Substitute bill will go to the House for concurrence on July 24

Substitute HB 123 passed the Senate by a vote of 21-9.  The Catholic Conference of Ohio joined with other faith communities in calling for the reform of Ohio’s payday lending practices.  Substitute House Bill 123 provides consumer protections consistent with the intent of Ohio’s 2008 Payday Reform Act. This bill 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 lending models that provide fair and helpful loans for persons in need. In the teachings of our faith, we have many warnings about usury and exploitation of people.  Lending practices that, intentionally or unintentionally, take unfair advantage of one’s desperate circumstances are unjust. Catholic Social Teaching demands respect for the dignity of persons, preferential concern for the poor and vulnerable, and the pursuit of the common good.  These principles coupled with our teaching on economic justice animate our questioning of current payday lending practices.

Release from Ohioans for Payday Loan Reform

Watch the Senate floor debate

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 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.

 

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Drug Awareness Program

Start Talking! is a website with resources to give parents, guardians, educators and community leaders the tools to start the conversation with Ohio’s youth about the importance of living healthy, drug-free lives.

Resource Guide: Drug Use Prevention Ohio Attorney General June 2018


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