Catholic Conference of Ohio
Thursday, July 18, 2024

Issues - Catholic Conference of Ohio

CCO Commends Governor DeWine for Proposed Significant Investments in Children and Families

The Governor Released His Executive Budget on January 31, 2023

The Catholic Conference of Ohio commends Governor DeWine for proposing significant investments in Ohio’s children and families through his Executive Budget. The budget proposes a $2,500 per child state tax deduction. For several years, the CCO and USCCB have advocated for a child tax credit on the state and national levels. Further, Governor DeWine’s proposal eliminates the state sales tax for vital infant supplies, such as diapers, strollers, and car seats. In education, the budget calls for expanding Ohio’s EdChoice scholarship program to families at or below 400% of the federal poverty level. If enacted, more Ohio families can access the school of their choice, including Catholic schools. The budget also provides funding for school safety resource officers and increases past budget line items for public and private school students. Other measures that the CCO supports include the expansion of Ohio’s Bold Beginning Initiative and incentives to create more affordable housing options.

With these proposals, the Governor’s budget affirms the Catholic Church’s teaching that the family must be supported and strengthened through just public policies. The Catholic Conference of Ohio looks forward to advocating for these proposals in the months ahead, along with other measures that assist families with children in Catholic schools and programs that help poor and vulnerable Ohioans. 

Most Reverend Milan Lach Appointed as Auxiliary Bishop of the Eparchy of Bratislava in Slovakia

Most Reverend Kurt Burnette Named Apostolic Administrator of the Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Parma

Bishop Lach was installed in 2018 in the Catholic Eparchy of Parma and has served on the Catholic Conference of Ohio's Board of Directors since his installation. We're grateful for his ministry in Ohio and wish him the best in the Eparchy of Bratislava.  

The Catholic Conference of Ohio welcomes the Most Reverend Kurt Burnette as the Apostolic Administrator of the Eparchy of Parma. Bishop Burnette was also appointed as the Apostolic Administrator of the Holy Protection of Mary of Phoenix. 

Brian Hickey Named Executive Director for the Catholic Conference of Ohio

Hickey will begin his new position on January 3, 2023

The Board of Directors of the Catholic Conference of Ohio is pleased to announce the appointment of Brian Hickey as the Conference’s new Executive Director, effective Jan. 3, 2023.

Click below to read the entire press release. 

CCO Testifies on Bills to Enhance the Ability of Charitable Pharmacies to Provide Medication to Uninsured and Underinsured Ohioans and Promote Religious Freedom of Higher Ed Students

Last week, the Catholic Conference Ohio testified in support of two bills. HB 558 would enhance the ability of charitable pharmacies, hospitals, and nonprofit clinics to serve those needing expensive, life-saving medication. The CCO cited the tremendous work of St. Vincent de Paul Charitable Pharmacies in their efforts to help many low-income Ohioans and how this bill will allow them and other agencies the ability to receive and distribute expensive medication. HB 353 requires each state institution of higher education to adopt a policy providing students with religious accommodations. CCO's testimony emphasized that an essential duty of government is to protect the religious liberty of its citizens.   

CCO Testifies on Bills to Protect Religious Gatherings and Promote Eastern European Immigrants

During the first week of Ohio’s lame duck period, the time after a general election and before a new General Assembly, the Catholic Conference of Ohio testified in support of two bills. HB 504 would specifically address penalties for disturbing a religious gathering. The bill was introduced in response to protestors disrupting the Diocese of Columbus’ Respect Life Mass and several gatherings of Ohio’s Jewish community. See the CCO’s testimony in support of HB 504 here. The Conference also testified in support of SB 46, which would create an office and commission on Eastern European affairs. The testimony noted the Church’s call to promote and integrate immigrants, and the vibrancy Ohioans of Eastern European origin bring to our Catholic churches.

CCO Testifies on Bills to Protect Religious Gatherings and Promote Eastern European Immigrants

During the first week of Ohio’s lame duck period, the time after a general election and before a new General Assembly, the Catholic Conference of Ohio testified in support of two bills. HB 504 would specifically address penalties for disturbing a religious gathering. The bill was introduced in response to protestors disrupting the Diocese of Columbus’ Respect Life Mass and several gatherings of Ohio’s Jewish community. The Conference also testified in support of SB 46, which would create an office and commission on Eastern European affairs. The testimony noted the Church’s call to promote and integrate immigrants, and the vibrancy Ohioans of Eastern European origin bring to our Catholic churches.

Catholic Campaign for Human Development and World Day of the Poor

The Sixth World Day of the Poor Coincides with Annual CCHD Collection

On the weekend of November 12-13, Catholics across the United States have the opportunity to honor the World Day of the Poor and help their neighbors who struggle against poverty by giving to the annual special collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD). Coinciding with the annual observation of World Day of the Poor (November 13), established by Pope Francis in 2017, CCHD responds to the call to accompany our brothers and sisters experiencing poverty: “Where the poor are concerned, it is not talk that matters; what matters is rolling up our sleeves and putting our faith into practice through a direct involvement, one that cannot be delegated.” See Pope Francis' message for World Day of the Poor here.

Each of Ohio's six dioceses has a CCHD coordinator. You can find their contact information here

See the USCCB's complete statement for this year's CCHD collection and World Day of the Poor here.

Call for "Radical Solidarity" and Action Supporting Women and Families

Policy Recommendations for the Church's Vision of an Authentically Life-Affirming Society

Several of the USCCB's Bishop Chairmen released a letter to Congress with policy recommendations that cohere with the Church’s vision for an authentically life-affirming society that prioritizes the well-being of families. They wrote in part, “There are serious cultural, social, economic, and spiritual challenges that face women, families, and children today. These are challenges that concern the common good. Ensuring that no children grow up in poverty, that parents have time away from work to care for them, that families are formed and remain intact, that the healthcare necessary for healthy moms and children is affordable, that workplace policies respect pregnant and nursing mothers, that child care is affordable and high quality but also not forced on families by financial pressures, that no children are hungry or homeless, that toxic chemicals do not cause babies to have birth defects or cancer, that immigrant families be treated in accord with their inviolable dignity – all of these goals require the cooperation of all and the exclusion of none. Goals like these cannot be achieved by individual efforts alone and will necessarily require collaborative work on the part of our government leaders.”

The Catholic Conference of Ohio continues policy advocacy on the state level to help make Ohio more life-affirming, especially for women and families. We’re grateful to Governor DeWine for his recent proposals to enhance Ohio’s Bold Beginning Initiative, which would make Ohio more welcoming and hospitable to women and children. We look forward to further promoting the Church’s vision for all people to flourish and contribute to the common good throughout Ohio.

See the full letter HERE.

CCO Fall Newsletter

Check out the latest news from the CCO and subscribe now

Check out the most recent Catholic Conference of Ohio newsletter by clicking "read more" below. Subscribe to receive our newsletter through email here. We look forward to sending newsletters and advocacy alerts to you through our new advocacy platform.

November 2022 Election

Resources from the Conference and the State of Ohio

With the November 2022 election impending, the Conference encourages all Catholics to advocate on issues according to Catholic Social Teaching. We also encourage all citizens, including candidates and elected officials, to commit to Civilize It in their encounters and interactions. The USCCB campaign follows Pope Francis' call to seek a better kind of politics. See this Catholic Conference reflection sheet on choosing political candidates and additional election resources from the Conference here.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 8 and early voting began on October 12. Click here for information on the two proposed Constitutional Amendments on your Ohio ballot. For general voting information in Ohio, click here.