Catholic Conference of Ohio

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Contact your Member of Congress this August to Support Vulnerable Families!

Catholic Charities USA urges action on multiple issues

Members of Congress have returned home for the August recess and are ready to hear what issues are the top priorities for their constituents. It is a critical time to make our voices heard on the issues that matter to vulnerable people in need. This year is particularly important because members of Congress are in the midst of crafting landmark legislation that will fund many key programs that impact Catholic Charities and the people they serve in areas such as housing and homelessness, health care, hunger, poverty alleviation and others.

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U.S. Bishop Chairmen for Doctrine and for Pro-Life Address the Use of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 Vaccine

On March 2, Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Doctrine, and Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities, issued a statement on the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine recently approved for use in the United States. 

“...Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines raised concerns because an abortion-derived cell line was used for testing them, but not in their production.  The Johnson & Johnson vaccine, however, was developed, tested and is produced with abortion-derived cell lines raising additional moral concerns. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has judged that ‘when ethically irreproachable Covid-19 vaccines are not available … it is morally acceptable to receive Covid-19 vaccines that have used cell lines from aborted fetuses in their research and production process.’[1] However, if one can choose among equally safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, the vaccine with the least connection to abortion-derived cell lines should be chosen. Therefore, if one has the ability to choose a vaccine, Pfizer or Moderna’s vaccines should be chosen over Johnson & Johnson’s.  

“While we should continue to insist that pharmaceutical companies stop using abortion-derived cell lines, given the world-wide suffering that this pandemic is causing, we affirm again that being vaccinated can be an act of charity that serves the common good..”

Letter on Vaccines from the Ohio Bishops
 

Mercy Medical Center Is Now a Full Member of the Cleveland Clinic Health System

Cleveland Clinic names Timothy Crone, M.D., President of Cleveland Clinic Mercy Hospital

Mercy Medical Center is now a full member of the Cleveland Clinic health system, while maintaining its Catholic identity through sponsorship by the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine.

All services at the newly named Cleveland Clinic Mercy Hospital will proceed without interruption, including COVID-19 response. Patients will continue to see their same physicians and providers at their current locations. Mercy’s employees will continue delivering care, and all operations and appointments for inpatient and outpatient services will proceed as scheduled. All current insurance plans will continue to be accepted at the hospital.

Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith Addresses the Use of Anti-Covid-19 Vaccines

The Vatican's doctrinal office, with the approval of Pope Francis, issued a note Dec. 21 saying it can be "morally acceptable" for Catholics to take vaccines against the coronavirus.

"...when ethically irreproachable Covid-19 vaccines are not available (e.g. in countries where vaccines without ethical problems are not made available to physicians and patients, or where their distribution is more difficult due to special storage and transport conditions, or when various types of vaccines are distributed in the same country but health authorities do not allow citizens to choose the vaccine with which to be inoculated) it is morally acceptable to receive Covid-19 vaccines that have used cell lines from aborted fetuses in their research and production process..."

Ohio Bishops Issue Letter on Vaccines

Vaccines developed by Moderna and Pfizer to combat COVID-19 may be taken without moral reservations.

The Catholic Bishops in Ohio issued a letter to parishioners addressing questions and concerns being raised regarding the use of covid-19 vaccines. Of particular concern to many Catholics are various issues related to application of the Church’s moral teaching to the development, distribution, and reception of vaccines. The letter outlines the following principles:

  •  Any vaccine must be developed in a morally acceptable manner;
  • Catholics are obliged to advocate for vaccine development to be done in a morally acceptable manner throughout every stage; 
  • The vaccines developed by Moderna and Pfizer to combat COVID-19 may be taken without moral reservations;
  • Catholics are obliged to advocate for the just distribution of a vaccine so that those most vulnerable may have access. 

 Read also: USCCB Statement by the Chairmen of the Committee on Doctrine and the Committee on Pro-Life Activities United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

U.S. Bishop Chairmen for Pro-Life and Doctrine Address Ethical Concerns on the New COVID-19 Vaccines

Pfizer and Moderna vaccines justified; AstraZeneca vaccine more problematic

Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Doctrine, and Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities, issued a statement on the new COVID-19 vaccines. In their statement, the bishops address the moral concerns raised by the fact that the three vaccines that appear to be ready for distribution in the United States all have some connection to cell lines that originated with tissue taken from abortions.

Diocesan Information Regarding Responses to the Coronavirus

Public Masses/Liturgies Resume Throughout Ohio

Information by Diocese on Worship Guidelines, News, Resources, Volunteer Opportunities and Donation Opportunities related to the Coronavirus 

United States Conference of Bishops Issue Statements of Concern

Address Racism, Xenophobia, and the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on African American Communities

 In the midst of fear and anxiety being fueled by the COVID-19 virus, there have been increased reports of incidents of racism and xenophobia against Americans of Asian and Pacific Island heritage. On May 5, 2020, Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez of Philadelphia and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee for Cultural Diversity in the Church, Bishop Oscar A. Solis of Salt Lake City and chairman of the USCCB’s Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Island Affairs, and Bishop Shelton Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux and chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism issued a statement expressing their deep concern.

On May 4, 2020, Bishop Shelton J. Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux and chairman of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism, Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City and chairman of USCCB’s Domestic Justice and Human Development, Archbishop Nelson J. Perez of Philadelphia, and chairman of the Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church, and Bishop Joseph N. Perry, auxiliary bishop of Chicago, and chairman of Subcommittee on African American Affairs released a statement in response to the impact of the COVID-19 virus in African American communities.

Bishop Chairmen Issue Statement on Rationing Protocols by Health Care Professionals in Response to Covid-19

Recent news reports have highlighted policies and practices relating to rationing protocols in response to the COVID-19 virus, prompting a response by three committee chairmen of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Doctrine, Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development.

Principles and guidelines

Catholic Health Association of the United States
Catholic Medical Association
National Association of Catholic Nurses-USA
National Catholic Bioethics Center

Church Leaders Praise Lawmakers for Historic Emergency Legislation on Coronavirus Relief

Improvements Still Needed

 Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, praised members of Congress and the President for passing and signing into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).

Brian Corbin, executive vice president of member services at Catholic Charities USA, welcomed allocations in the CARES Act for a variety of social services, some of which are delivered by diocesan agencies.

According to Corbin, among the specific items being funded are an additional $15 billion for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, formerly known as food stamps; $8.8 billion for child nutrition assistance; $4 billion for emergency solutions grants to address homelessness; $5 billion for the Community Development Block Grant that often funds social services such as food programs; and $200 million for the emergency food and shelter program.

Archbishop Coakley also encouraged continued legislative responses.  "There are some areas where aid and relief can improve. We will continue to advocate for those most in need, for food security, for the homeless, for prisoners, for the sick who have large medical bills, for all Americans who are struggling to make ends meet, and for those who have lost friends and loved ones. It was disappointing that certain aid and relief was not extended to the undocumented, and extremely concerning that testing and access to health care coverage was denied to certain immigrants..."

Summary of Legislatve Changes in the CARES Act (National Conference of State Legislatures)

 

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