Catholic Conference of Ohio

Care for Creation Issue Topics - Catholic Conference of Ohio

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Religious Liberty

U.S. Bishop Chairmen Speak Out on U.S. Department of Justice Dismissal of a Case Involving Conscience Law

University of Vermont Medical Center (UVMC) nurse was forced to participate in an elective abortion against the nurse’s religious beliefs

Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee for Religious Liberty, and Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities, issued the following statement: 

“...The U.S. Department of Justice is acting in dereliction of its duty to enforce the plain meaning of federal law. It is hard to imagine a more horrific civil rights violation than being forced to take an innocent human life..."

Bishop Chairmen Welcome Supreme Court Decision Protecting Freedom to Serve

Refusal of Philadelphia to contract with Catholic Social Services for the provision of foster care services violates the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.

Three chairmen of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) responded to the decision by the Supreme Court of the United States, Fulton v. City of Philadelphia. The statement of Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development; Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chairman of the Committee for Religious Liberty; and Bishop David A. Konderla of Tulsa, chairman of the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage reads in part::

“Americans have long been a tolerant people who respect each other’s deepest differences. ... the Supreme Court unanimously upheld that tradition, reinvigorating the First Amendment’s promise that religious believers can bring the full vitality of their faith to their charitable service and to the public square. This is a victory for the common good and for thousands of children who rely on religious foster care and adoption agencies to find a loving home with a mother and father, which is their right..."

U.S. Bishops Committee Chairmen Issue Varying Responses to President Biden's Policy Changes

USCCB Chairmen have issued numerous statements regarding executive actions by the Biden Administration.  To date, statements have commended actions related to COVIDImmigration, Food and Housing, Racism, Peace, and Care for Creation. Serious concerns have been raised regarding policies and statements related to Abortion and Marriage and Family Life.

U.S. Bishops Urge Opposition to the Federal Equality Act

Act discriminates against people of faith and threatens unborn life

The Equality Act may be voted on in the U.S. Senate. Instead of respecting differences in beliefs about marriage and sexuality, the Equality Act would discriminate against people of faith. 

Background on the Equality Act
USCCB Statement Opposing the Equality Act
USCCB letter to Congress

Bishop Chairmen Urge the Supreme Court to Preserve the Right of Catholic Foster Care Agencies to Serve

Three bishop chairmen of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) have issued a statement on the oral arguments held before the Supreme Court of the United States in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia.

“...the Supreme Court heard arguments in a challenge to government exclusion of Catholics from providing foster care because we engage in this ministry as Catholics – that is, consistent with Church teaching on marriage and family. We pray the Court’s ruling will fulfill the First Amendment’s promise that religious believers may bring the full vitality of their faith to the public square, and will reject a hollowed-out pluralism that permits people of faith only to preach but not to practice.”

USCCB amicus brief

Bishops Praise Supreme Court Decisions Recognizing Religious Liberty (U.S. Supreme Court Part 3)

Religious Freedom upheld in two cases

The Supreme Court of the United States has issued its decision in the consolidated cases of Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru and St. James School v. Biel. These cases involved the right of Catholic schools, free of government interference, to choose teachers who will teach and model the Catholic faith. By a vote of 7-2, the Court ruled in favor of the schools.

In the Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania case, the Court affirmed that religious employers cannot be forced to provide contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs in their health care plans, if doing so would violate that organization's religious beliefs.

Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee for Religious Liberty, Bishop Michael C. Barber, S.J. of Oakland, chairman of the Committee on Catholic Education issued a joint statement on Guadalupe decision. Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski and Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities, issued a joint statment on the Little Sisters decision.

 

Law Briefs: Special Edition July 13, 2020 USCCB Legal Summary of the Cases

U.S. Supreme Court (Part 2)

Court rules that religious schools cannot be excluded from public benefits based upon religious status.

In Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, the justices held that the application of the Montana Constitution’s “no-aid” provision to a state program providing tuition assistance to parents who send their children to private schools discriminated against religious schools and the families whose children attend or hope to attend them in violation of the free exercise clause.

USCCB Chairmen write: “...The Court has rightly ruled that the U.S. Constitution does not permit states to discriminate against religion. This decision means that religious persons and organizations can, like everyone else, participate in government programs that are open to all. This is good news, not only for people of faith, but for our country. A strong civil society needs the full participation of religious institutions. By ensuring the rights of faith-based organizations’ freedom to serve, the Court is also promoting the common good..."

 

Bishops Deeply Concerned Over U.S. Supreme Court Decision Related To Religious Liberty

Ruling prohibits employment discrimination based on “sexual orientation” and “transgender” status

The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, provided a statement on the decision issued on June 15, 2020 by the Supreme Court of the United States – combining Bostock v. Clayton County, Ga., Altitude Express v. Zarda, and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. Equal Opportunity Employment Comm’n. The justices ruled that the prohibition on “sex” discrimination in employment in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 now prohibits discrimination based on “sexual orientation” and “transgender” status.

Catholic Bishops of Ohio Oppose Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) Non-Discrimination Legislation

Letter Sent to All House Members

Archbishop Schnurr, Chairman, Catholic Conference of OhioThe Catholic Bishops of Ohio sent a letter of opposition to HB 369.  They wrote:

 "The Catholic Conference of Ohio is opposed to HB 369. This legislation, pending in the House Civil Justice Committee, seeks to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Catholic Church stands against unjust discrimination. We encourage public policies that will address bullying and hate crimes. However, “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” (SOGI) non-discrimination legislation such as HB 369 would negate and inappropriately redefine reasonable laws that currently protect the rights of conscience and religious liberty. Of major concern is the possibility that certain actions our Church takes regarding behaviors we view as immoral will be perceived and litigated as discriminatory..." 

Supreme Court’s Blaine Amendment Case An Opportunity to End a Shameful Legacy

Addresses whether the Constitution allows states to discriminate against religion

The Supreme Court of the United States heard oral argument in the case of Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue. The case challenges a decision by the Montana Supreme Court to invalidate a tax credit scholarship program because families benefiting include those who choose to send their children to religiously-affiliated schools, a violation of the Montana state constitution’s “Blaine Amendment” of 1889 against aid to religious schools.  

Bishop George V. Murry, S.J., of Youngstown, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee for Religious Liberty, and Bishop Michael C. Barber, S.J., of Oakland, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Catholic Education, issued a statement arguing that religious persons and organizations should, like everyone else, be allowed to participate in government programs that are open to all

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