Catholic Conference of Ohio
Monday, February 26, 2024

Issues - Catholic Conference of Ohio

Postpartum Medicaid Coverage expanded up to a Full Year

The Conference commends the General Assembly and DeWine Administration

With approval from federal agencies, Medicaid coverage for postpartum mothers in Ohio increases from 60 days to a full year – the maximum allowable by federal law. The Conference commends the General Assembly and the DeWine Administration for enacting this measure in the current state budget under HB 110. According to Catholic Social Teaching, legislation and budget priorities promoting a preferential option for the poor and vulnerable, including mothers and babies, is essential for a flourishing society. The Catholic Conference of Ohio continues advocacy for initiatives that allow all Ohioans to thrive and contribute to the common good, regardless of their income level or stage of life.

Rev. Michael Woost installed as Auxiliary Bishop of Cleveland

The Conference joyfully welcomes the new Auxiliary Bishop of Cleveland

On August 4th, 2022 Rev. Michael Woost was ordained and installed as Auxillary Bishop of the Diocese of Cleveland. A native of Cleveland, Bishop Woost graduated from St. Ignatius High School and attended Borromeo and Saint Mary Seminaries. He was ordained to the priesthood for service in the Diocese of Cleveland in 1984. After ordination, he was assigned as parochial vicar at Immaculate Conception Parish in Madison, where he served until being appointed to the diocesan Vocation Office, where he co-directed from 1988-1995.  Bishop Woost then began graduate studies at the Catholic University of America.  After earning a licentiate in sacred theology in 2000, he joined the faculty at Saint Mary Seminary and Graduate School of theology, where he still teaches sacramental-liturgical theology. The Catholic Conference of Ohio joyfully welcomes Bishop Woost as the Auxillary Bishop of Cleveland. 

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Conference Applauds Launch of OhioRISE Program for Youth with Complex Behavioral Health Needs

The Catholic Conference of Ohio applauds Governor Mike DeWine and the Ohio Department of Medicaid for the launch of OhioRISE (Ohio Resilience through Integrated Systems and Excellence), a new specialized managed care program for children and youth with the most complex behavioral health needs. OhioRISE will address gaps in care and coordination for families forced to navigate complex, often siloed systems on their own. In heartbreaking circumstances, these gaps have resulted in some families relinquishing custody of their children to access needed behavioral healthcare services. It is estimated OhioRISE will serve 50,000 children and youth by the end of the first year.

Governor DeWine’s Press Release | Learn more about OhioRISE

Conference Statement on Ohio's Heartbeat Law

The Catholic Conference of Ohio is grateful a federal court lifted the injunction on Ohio's Heartbeat Law. Now, unborn children are legally protected from abortion at the moment a heartbeat is detected. We urge the Ohio General Assembly to pass further protections for all unborn children and consider transformative family policies that help parents and children flourish in Ohio. As the Ohio Bishops wrote on Friday, our commitment to protecting and promoting life includes providing resources and accompanying women during and after pregnancy through our numerous social service agencies and parishes. Let us not tire of forming a culture of life in both personal encounters and public policy that reflect God’s immeasurable love for each human life from conception to natural death.  

The Ohio Catholic Bishops’ Response to the Recent Supreme Court Decision

The Catholic Commitment to Life and to Walking with Women in Need

The Catholic Bishops of Ohio are encouraged by the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. This is a positive step toward a desperately needed conversion to a culture of life in our country, one that respects the inherent dignity and sacredness of every human being from conception to natural death. This decision enables the possibility of the State of Ohio to fully protect the lives of preborn children. The Catholic Church in Ohio – including its dioceses, eparchies, parishes, and social service ministries – remains committed to serving women in crisis pregnancies, both before and after delivery, with both material resources and personal accompaniment so that they can flourish and contribute to the common good.

Supreme Court Rules That Maine Cannot Discriminate Against Religious Schools Because They Teach Religion

The Supreme Court of the United States issued its decision in the case of Carson v. Makin, which challenged a decision by the First Circuit to allow the State of Maine to exclude religious schools from a tuition assistance benefit on the basis that those schools include religion as part of their instruction. By vote of 6-3, the Court ruled in favor of the petitioners. Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee for Religious Liberty, and Bishop Thomas A. Daly of Spokane, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Catholic Education, issued a statement in the response to the Court’s ruling.

U.S. Bishops’ Migration Chairman Expresses Solidarity with Dreamers on DACA’s Anniversary

Today marks ten years since the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was created through executive action. DACA allows certain undocumented immigrants who entered the United States as children—commonly referred to as “Dreamers”—to remain in the country, subject to several requirements. DACA does not provide legal status, nor does it create a pathway to citizenship, but it does temporarily protect recipients from removal and make them eligible for work authorization, among other benefits. DACA was declared unlawful by a federal district court in July 2021, halting new applications and threatening protection for current beneficiaries of the program.

Pleads for Peace as Attacks on Pro-Life Organizations Mount

Cardinal Dolan and Archbishop Lori issued a statement through the USCCB

In response to ongoing attacks on Catholic churches and pro-life pregnancy centers, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Religious Liberty and Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities issued the following statement:

“The Catholic Church has a long history of service to those who are most vulnerable, including both mother and child, and remains the largest private provider of social services in the United States. From religious communities to pregnancy care centers, from refugee resettlement services to foster care and adoption agencies, and from maternity homes to parish-based ministries, the Church consistently bears witness in word and deed to the beauty and dignity of every human life. 

Bishop Chairmen Call for Congressional Action to Address Gun Violence

After multiple mass shootings in recent weeks, four bishop chairmen joined in a letter to Congress expressing their grief over these incomprehensible tragedies. Their letter calls on members of Congress to, “unite in our humanity to stop the massacres of innocent lives.”   

Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco, chairman of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life, and Youth, Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Bishop Thomas A. Daly of Spokane, chairman of the Committee on Catholic Education, wrote: 

“We urge all members of Congress to reflect on the compassion all of you undoubtedly feel in light of these tragic events and be moved to action because of it. There is something deeply wrong with a culture where these acts of violence are increasingly common. There must be dialogue followed by concrete action to bring about a broader social renewal that addresses all aspects of the crisis, including mental health, the state of families, the valuation of life, the influence of entertainment and gaming industries, bullying, and the availability of firearms. Among the many steps toward addressing this endemic of violence is the passage of reasonable gun control measures. In this, we implore you to join the Holy Father who, in his continued expression of grief over the tragedy in Texas, declared, ‘It is time to say ‘no more’ to the indiscriminate trafficking of weapons.’”