Catholic Conference of Ohio
Saturday, February 4, 2023

Issues - Catholic Conference of Ohio

Economic Justice

"The development of economic activity and growth in production are meant to provide for the needs of human beings. Economic life is not meant solely to multiply goods produced and increase profit or power; it is ordered first of all to the service of persons, of the whole man, and of the entire human community. Economic activity, conducted according to its own proper methods, is to be exercised within the limits of the moral order, in keeping with social justice so as to correspond to God's plan for man." 
(Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2426).

Catholic Social Doctrine teaches that a just economy is one that serves the human person. Questions of fair wages, fair taxation, fair treatment of workers and fair business practices are important public policy debates. 

State Budget:

The State Budget is an expression of moral priorities. This budget should adequately fund health and safety, education and human services, economic development and environmental security. The needs of the poor and vulnerable should be a high priority.

The Catholic Conference of Ohio supports tax policies that fairly raise adequate revenues, and mitigate the impact on persons with fixed and low incomes. We believe wages should be adequate for workers to provide for themselves and their families with dignity.

Tax Reform:

Taxation is both an economic and moral issue. We believe there are important questions to be answered.

  • Does Ohio’s tax structure adequately protect the poor, vulnerable children, seniors and the disabled?
  • Are Ohio’s tax policies sufficiently progressive, intentionally designed to collect more from those with a greater ability to pay?
  • Is Ohio’s tax code fair to all taxpayers?
  • Do our tax policies serve the common good of Ohioans?

The Ohio Bishops support tax reform that is fair, raises adequate revenues, is progressive, and mitigates the impact on persons with fixed and low incomes.



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.   

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.

Labor Day Statement 2022

Statement Focuses on Promoting the Welfare of Working Families

The USCCB recently issued their annual reflection on the world of work and the importance of upholding the dignity of all laborers. In the reflection, Archbishop Coakley reiterated support for improved public policy to support working families, such as expanding the Child Tax Credit and passing the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. Join us in Ohio by advocating for state policies that are pro-women, pro-family, and pro-worker. This unique time calls us to witness emphatically for authentic, life-affirming social policies. 

Read the full statement HERE.

CCO Speaks with The Pillar about Potential Post-Roe World

Jerry Freewalt and Brian Hickey spoke about life-affirming advocacy in Ohio

Jerry Freewalt, Executive Director, and Brian Hickey, Associate Director on Social Concerns, were quoted in an article published by The Pillar examining what State Catholic Conferences are advocating for with the potential of a reversal of Roe v. Wade. The article explores the agenda of Ohio as well as California, New York, Colorado, and Iowa.

This advocacy aims to be rooted in evangelization, by witness to a vision of the human person, born and unborn, created in the “image of God.” 

Action Alert: Support Families and the Environment

Ask Congress to Expand the Child Tax Credit and Invest in the Climate

According to Catholic teaching, the family is "the most basic form of human community," and therefore is "intimately linked" to the long-term future of our nation. The Child Tax Credit is an economic and social policy that supports the strength and stability of family life. Last year, more than 36 million families received a monthly payment through the expanded Child Tax Credit program to help make ends meet. Join us in asking Congress to continue the Child Tax Credit so that our economic and social policies reflect our desire to promote the family.

The call from Pope Francis to address the cry of the earth through sustainable climate investment requires our action. Join us in supporting tax incentives to support existing and emerging technologies in clean energy, resilience investments focused on protecting low-income and minority communities, and incentives to decarbonize the economy. 

See more information and contact your federal officials HERE. The Catholic Conference of Ohio advocates for more support for Ohio families and policies to promote care for our common home. 

January is Poverty Awareness Month

During Poverty Awareness Month, we are called to take up the challenge to live in solidarity with the poor. Over 13% of Ohioans live in poverty, slightly above the national average. We thank our Catholic Charities agencies, healthcare services, and parish ministries across Ohio for their tireless work to reach out to those suffering from poverty, especially during the ongoing pandemic. Learn more about the Church’s response to poverty and our promotion of integral human development here.

In Labor Day Statement, Bishop Chairman Echoes Pope Francis' Call to Build Economy without Exclusion

Call to build consensus around human dignity and the common good.

For Labor Day, Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, released a statement observing that there are both encouraging signs of economic recovery and ongoing hardships related to COVID-19.  Archbishop Coakley echoes Pope Francis’ call from the encyclical, Fratelli Tuttito rise out of this crisis with an economy that expresses universal fraternity...

U.S. Bishops’ Chairman Grateful to Senate for Passing Infrastructure Bill, Signals Need for Additional Action

Package affects those on the margins of society and protects God’s creation

Following passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act in the U.S. Senate, Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the U.S. Conference of the Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, issued a statement of support. 

"...We are pleased that the legislation reflects an integral ecology, with historic investments in public transit, rail, bridges, and clean drinking water, and emphases on climate change mitigation, carbon capture and climate resilience. It is also very good to see expanded broadband internet access and the creation of new jobs..."

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.

Send Message

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)