Catholic Conference of Ohio
Thursday, October 29, 2020

Issues - Catholic Conference of Ohio


At its core, environmental concerns are about the future of God's creation and the one human family. Such concerns are about protecting both the human environment and the natural environment. They are about stewardship of God's creation and our responsibility to those who come after us.
As stewards of God’s creation we can live more simply, using the earth’s resources wisely, reducing our consumption, working to eliminate pollution and reducing our carbon footprint. We encourage the Ohio General Assembly to continue pursuing reasonable and effective initiatives for energy conservation and the development of alternate renewable and clean-energy resources. We continue to promote a greater respect for the land, and sustainable agricultural practices.

Catholic Bishops of Ohio Statements on Care for Creation

Pope Francis' Encyclical

 Care for Creation Microsite

Laudato Si' Week Activities

Theme is "Everything is Connected"

Pope Francis encourages the celebration of Laudato Si’ Week from May 16-24.  These dates mark the fifth anniversary of the encyclical Laudato Si': On Care for our Common Home.  The theme of this nine-day global campaign is “Everything is Connected.”  The Catholic Climate Covenant, which helps US Catholics respond to the Church's call to care for creation and care for the poor, offers resources for parishes and families.

U. S. Bishops Approve Additions to Teaching Document on Political Responsibility

A short introductory letter and five short video scripts approved to supplement "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship"

An introductory letter  addressing current issues of the day and references to the teachings of Pope Francis was approved by USCCB to supplement  the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' existing document, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship. The letter affirms the "richness" that our faith brings to the public square, and addresses challenges that have become more pronounced:

"Pope Francis has continued to draw attention to important issues such as migration, xenophobia, racism, abortion, global conflict, and care for creation. In the United States and around the world, many challenges demand our attention.

The threat of abortion remains our preeminent priority because it directly attacks life itself, because it takes place within the sanctuary of the family, and because of the number of lives destroyed. At the same time, we cannot dismiss or ignore other serious threats to human life and dignity such as racism, the environmental crisis, poverty and the death penalty."

Introductory Letter

Introductory Letter References to Pope Francis' Apostolic Exhortation Rejoice and Be Glad #25, #101

Controversial Energy Bill Passed

Bill Subsidizes Nuclear Energy; Weakens Renewable Energy Standards

HB 6 is scheduled to take effect on October 22, 2019.  The bill provides subsidies to Ohio's two nuclear plants, as well as two coal powered plants.  It also phases out the state's renewable portfolio standards and energy efficiency standards by 2027. Cost reductions are also projected for Ohio rate payers.

The Catholic Conference of Ohio advocated for this legislation to maintain and strengthen Ohio’s commitment to renewable energy, and to address Ohio’s overly restrictive wind setback standards. Wind and solar are among the most viable and least risky clean energy sources today and in the future.

A ballot initiative is underway to repeal this legislation. Should enough signatures be procured, the issue would be placed on the November 2020 ballot.

Ohio House Considers State Budget: HB 166

Action expected by early May

HB 166: State Budget
House Budget Language
Governor's Proposal
LSC Analysis

Catholic Conference of Ohio Budget Backgrounders

Health and Human Services
Defend and Protect Human Life
Promote Care for Creation
Support Families Who Choose Catholic Schools

Catholic Conference of Ohio Page on the State Budget

Catholic Leaders Raise Concerns Over U.S. Withdrawal of Paris Agreement on Climate Change

USCCB, CRS, Catholic Climate Covenant among those voicing concerns

USCCB: Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on International Justice and Peace, stresses that, although the Paris agreement is not the only possible mechanism for addressing global carbon mitigation, the lack of a current viable alternative is a serious concern.

USCCB Statement

Catholic Relief Services (CRS): “As an international humanitarian organization, we are confronted with the realities of climate change every day and see the devastating impact on the lives of the people we serve,” said Bill O’Keefe, vice president for advocacy and government relations for CRS.  “People around the world – especially those who contribute least to global warming, will be worse off because of today’s decision.”

CRS Statement

Catholic Climate Covenant: We, the member organizations of Catholic Climate Covenant, are deeply disappointed by President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement and stop all future payments to the Green Climate Fund. We implore him to reconsider. The international agreement of 2015 demonstrates that all nations will be impacted by a warming world and that all nations have a corresponding responsibility to limit greenhouse gas pollution causing climate change. 

Catholic Climate Covenant Statement

Governor Vetoes Energy Mandates Legislation

Sub. HB 554 (Amstutz) revises the requirements for renewable energy, energy efficiency, and peak demand reduction and alters funding allocations under the Home Energy Assistance Program.

Ohio General Assembly Passes Controversial Energy Bill

HB 554 addresses new targets for usage of alternative energy

Catholic Conference of Ohio encouraged the enactment of legislation that pursues reasonable and effective standards for energy efficiency and alternative renewable and clean-energy resources.

HB 554 effectively makes the renewable energy requirements for 2017 and 2018 no longer true requirements, but keeps the benchmarks for those years (and the years that follow) at the levels in current law.

World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation

Pope Francis calls for prayer on September 1

The Holy Father encourages us to join him, and millions of other Christians around the world, to pray and “reaffirm [our] personal vocation to be stewards of creation, to thank God for the wonderful handiwork which he has entrusted to our care, and to implore his help for the protection of creation as well as his pardon for the sins committed against the world in which we live.”

Pope Francis described the world day of prayer as, “an opportunity to strengthen the common commitment to safeguard life, respecting the environment and nature.”

A prayer for our earth

All-powerful God, you are present in the whole universe and in the smallest of your creatures. You embrace with your tenderness all that exists. Pour out upon us the power of your love, that we may protect life and beauty. Fill us with peace, that we may live as brothers and sisters, harming no one.

O God of the poor, help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth, so precious in your eyes. Bring healing to our lives, that we may protect the world and not prey on it, that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction.

Touch the hearts of those who look only for gain at the expense of the poor and the earth. Teach us to discover the worth of each thing, to be filled with awe and contemplation, to recognize that we are profoundly united with every creature as we journey towards your infinite light.

We thank you for being with us each day.  Encourage us, we pray, in our struggle for justice, love and peace. 

Pope Francis, Laudato Si

Cardinal Turkson Addresses Laudato si'

Lead Encyclical Consultant Keynotes Statewide Ohio Dialogue

150 leaders from each of the Catholic dioceses throughout Ohio dialogued with Cardinal Turkson and panelists from the fields of government, agribusiness, energy and science regarding their views on the encyclical, On Care For Our Common Home

Ohio Bishops Raise Concerns over Proposed Alternative Energy Standards

Letter sent to Ohio elected officials. Bishops question the wisdom of Ohio's legislative recommendations to permanently freeze Ohio's alternative energy targets.  

Read the Letter


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