Catholic Conference of Ohio
Thursday, July 18, 2024

Issues - Catholic Conference of Ohio

Protection of Children

 

Church Responses to Protect Children

USCCB Office of Child and Youth Protection

Archdiocese of Cincinnati

Diocese of Cleveland

Diocese of Columbus

Diocese of Steubenville

Diocese of Toledo

Diocese of Youngstown

Byzantine Eparchy of Parma

Romanian Catholic Diocese of St. George in Canton

Ukrainian Catholic Diocese of St. Josaphat in Parma

CCO Testified in Support of HB 295, the Innocence Act

The Catholic Conference of Ohio testified today in support of House Bill 295, the Innocence Act, which would prohibit an organization from failing to verify the age of a person attempting to access material that is obscene or harmful to juveniles, prohibit a person from using another person's likeness to create sexual images of the other person, and create a private right of action for each prohibited activity. The research on pornography is clear and unanimous: its effects are gravely injurious to young people. Not only will the Innocence Act treat minors online as it does in person, but this bill also responds to one of the most pressing needs of our time. Namely, the protection and elevation of human dignity. Click "Read more" to view the full testimony.

Ohio House and Senate Override Governor’s Veto to Enact HB 68

The Ohio Senate voted to override Governor DeWine’s veto of House Bill 68, the Save Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act which bans gender transition drugs and surgeries for minors and prohibits biological males from competing in female sports. HB 68 will soon become law after the Ohio House also voted to override the Governor’s veto earlier in January. The Catholic Conference of Ohio provided testimony in support of HB 68 in both the House and Senate, emphasizing that experience of gender incongruence among young people are serious and individuals must be met with compassion, charity, and personal accompaniment without resorting to medical interventions that harm a developing body. We are grateful to the Ohio House and Senate for prudently addressing these concerns through HB 68 and ensuring it becomes Ohio law.

Click "read more" for the full testimony.

CCO Testified in Support of Married Couples and SAFE Act Passes Out of the House

On Tuesday, CCO testified in support of House Bill 199 that would modify the tax credit offered to married couples filing in Ohio. Under the current tax code, married couples in Ohio often receive a tax penalty, as the couple pays more in taxes than they would if they filed taxes as unmarried individuals. HB 199 changes the computation of the non-refundable tax credit offered to married couples, so that marriage will no longer carry a tax burden. The Catholic Conference expressed that the expanded credit represents a step toward a society that privileges marriage and family life.

Also, House Bill 68, the Saving Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act, which would ban gender transition drugs and surgeries for minors and includes the Save Women’s Sports Act, passed out of the House Chamber on Wednesday with a 64-28 vote. The bill will now head to the Ohio Senate. The CCO testified in support of the legislation in April.

CCO Testifies in Support of Strong Foundations Act and EdChoice/Scholarship Funding

On Wednesday, May 3, the Catholic Conference of Ohio testified in support of HB7, the Strong Foundations Act which would support mothers and babies to address maternal and infant mortality and improve health and developmental outcomes. CCO stressed the importance of the family as the foundation of society and the Church’s commitment to solidarity with the marginalized which this bill upholds. Reference was also made to the Catholic Charities and programs like Walking with Moms in Need in which the Church accompanies and supports women, children, and families.  

Also, on Thursday, May 4, both CCO and Frank O’Linn, Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Cleveland, testified to support increased funding for scholarship programs at the Ohio Senate Education Committee hearing for House Bill 33 as the Senate considers its version of the budget. They also emphasized their support for universal school choice in SB11, which would expand eligibility for Educational Choice scholarships.

(Click Read More for Testimony Quotes) 

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

Over 2.5M background checks were conducted for clerics, employees, and volunteers in 2020

April marks Child Abuse Prevention Month. During Child Abuse Prevention Month, we are reminded of the call to be instruments of justice, working for the common good of all, which includes the protection of children. As Jesus entrusts to Peter the care of the flock, we are reminded that this responsibility belongs to everyone as a matter of charity and justice.

We are all part of a larger culture of protection and healing within the Church. As members of this culture, we value the prevention of abuse and the support of those who have been abused. Each one of us can play an important role in strengthening this culture. For example, we can better prevent abuse by ensuring that the signs of abuse are identified and reported. Noticing these warning signs, taking them seriously, and reporting them could prevent abuse in the future. Even when we witness inappropriate behavior or something that just doesn’t seem quite right, we must report our concerns through the appropriate channels.

2020 Annual Report

Findings and Recommendations on the Implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection released the 2020 Annual Report based on the audit findings of StoneBridge Business Partners, a specialty consulting firm headquartered in Rochester, New York, which provides forensic, internal, and compliance audit services to leading organization nation-wide. A survey on allegations conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) is also included as part of the report.  

This is the eighteenth such report since 2002 when the U.S. bishops established and adopted the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

Ohio Legislature Passes Two More Life-Affirming Bills

Telemedicine Abortion Ban; Further Protections for Survivors of Human Trafficking Go to Governor for Signature

SB 260, the Telemedicine Abortion Ban, passed the Ohio General Assembly. This legislation would prohibit the use of telemedicine for the purpose of providing abortion-inducing drugs and ensure that these drugs could only be provided in-person by the prescribing physician. Senator Stephen Huffman sponsored this legislation.

HB 431, includes the Protect Trafficked Minors Act. The amended bill passed both Houses. This legislation removes the arbitrary, two-tiered system of treating 16 and 17 year olds differently than other children who are survivors of human trafficking. Senator Teresa Fedor has been a long-time champion of this legislation.

Statement on Holy See’s Report on Theodore McCarrick Most Reverend José H. Gomez Archbishop of Los Angeles President, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

"I welcome the report of the Holy See’s investigation into its knowledge and decision-making regarding Theodore McCarrick during his long career as a priest, bishop, and cardinal. We are studying these findings, and we are grateful to our Holy Father Pope Francis for his pastoral concern for the family of God in the United States and his leadership in calling the Church to greater accountability and transparency in addressing issues of abuse and the mishandling of abuse claims at every level..."

2019 Annual Report

Findings and Recommendations on the Implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People

The report is based on the audit findings of StoneBridge Business Partners, a specialty consulting firm headquartered in Rochester, New York, which provides forensic, internal, and compliance audit services to leading organization nation-wide. A survey on allegations conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) is also included as part of the report.

This is the seventeenth such report since 2002 when the U.S. bishops established and adopted the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People

Governor DeWine Establishes the Ohio School Safety Center to Help Prevent School Violence

Executive Order creates a specialized division of Ohio Homeland Security devoted exclusively to the safety of Ohio’s students and schools

The Ohio School Safety Center will assist local schools and law enforcement in preventing, preparing for, and responding to threats and acts of violence, including self-harm, through a holistic, solutions-based approach to improving school safety.

Governor DeWine stated: “Given that schools are often targets of violence, school safety proposals are a prominent part of STRONG Ohio, my 17-point plan to reduce violence with dangerous weapons and increase mental health treatment.”  “Having one office where the staff solely focuses on keeping our students safe and our schools secure, will allow analysts to nimbly assess threats, proactively address potential issues, and expertly train and support school faculty in a more streamlined manner.”

 Click here for Resources on School Safety