Catholic Conference of Ohio
Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Issues - Catholic Conference of Ohio

Marriage & Family Life

God established the family as the basic cell of human society. Marriage ought to be protected as a lifelong commitment between a man and a woman and our laws should reflect this principle. Policies related to the definition of marriage, taxes, the workplace, divorce, and welfare should be designed to help families stay together and to reward responsibility and sacrifice for children.

For Your Marriage Resources developed in conjunction with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' National Pastoral Initiative on Marriage

Marriage: Unique for a Reason is an initiative of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for the Defense of Marriage

Marriage: Love And Life in the Divine Plan United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Pastoral Letter on Marriage, November 17, 2009

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 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.

Strive for Five Challenge

Ohioans encouraged to reach out to five people each day

The challenge is simple: find five people in your life and check-in with them every day for the next 30-days.

Ohio's Strive for Five Challenge is a new, statewide awareness campaign to help individuals and families cope with feelings of stress, anxiety, and isolation by connecting with others.

You are encouraged to reach out, connect, and comfort each other while we all work our way through the COVID-19 crisis and social distancing. Peer-to-peer support has great power in helping to calm anxiety and fear. By reaching out via phone, text, email, or even a hand-written note, you can help.

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..." 

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

Bishop Chairmen Commend Administration Action to Prevent Government Discrimination Against Faith-based Adoption, Foster Care, and Social Service Providers

Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Bishop James D. Conley of Lincoln, Chairman of the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, and Bishop Robert J. McManus of Worcester, Chairman of the Committee for Religious Liberty, have issued a statement commending a proposed rule change that will help ensure faith-based social service providers will not be excluded from certain federally-funded programs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

USCCB Chairmen Issue Statement on Supreme Court Cases on Redefinition of “Sex” in Civil Rights Law

Bishop chairmen of three committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) commented on three recent cases argued before the Supreme Court. These cases present the question whether the prohibition on employment discrimination based on “sex” in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 includes “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” discrimination, respectively.

“Words matter; and ‘sex’ should not be redefined to include sexual inclinations or conduct, nor to promulgate the view that sexual identity is solely a social construct rather than a natural or biological fact. The Supreme Court affirmed that sex is an ‘immutable characteristic’ in the course of establishing constitutional protections for women against sex discrimination in the 1970s. Such protection is no less essential today....Redefining ‘sex’ in law would not only be an interpretive leap away from the language and intent of Title VII, it would attempt to redefine a fundamental element of humanity that is the basis of the family, and would threaten religious liberty.”

NFP Awareness Week - July 21–27, 2019

“Love, Naturally!” is the theme

“Love, Naturally!” is the theme of this year’s Natural Family Planning Awareness Week, a national educational campaign of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to celebrate God’s design for married love and the gift of life and to raise awareness of Natural Family Planning (NFP) methods. “NFP,” as the U.S. bishops have written, is supportive of Catholic beliefs about married love because it “respects the God-given power to love a new human life into being” (see, U.S. Bishops, Married Love and the Gift of Life). 

U.S. Bishops’ Chairmen Reaffirm Authentic Human Dignity and Rights in Letter to Congress Opposing Equality Act

Three chairmen of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) have written in public opposition to the Equality Act (H.R. 5 / S. 788), which was introduced in Congress on March 13, 2019. The Act would add the new terms “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the definition of “sex” in federal civil rights laws, which has wide-reaching impacts on health care, women and girls’ legal protections, charitable services to needful populations, schools, personal privacy, athletics, free speech, religious liberties, and potentially parental rights.

Ohio House Passes Pastor Protection Act

Provides the State with Clarity and Intent

Rep. Nino Vitale (R-Sidney), the sponsor of HB 36, said it aims to relieve the tension between the religious beliefs of some and the decision of the courts to uphold same-sex marriage, rather than see a flurry of lawsuits on the issue. Vitale said the bill states ministers and religious societies are not required to solemnize marriages or allow the use of their facilities for marriages that do not conform to their sincerely held religious beliefs.  The chamber also voted to attach an amendment from Rep. Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati) stating that, in the event of a conflict with the state's general public accommodation law, HB 36 would take precedence. The bill passed 59-29.

Catholic Conference of Ohio Testimony on HB 36

Watch the House floor debate here

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