Catholic Conference of Ohio
Monday, October 2, 2023

Issues - Catholic Conference of Ohio

Pope Francis Appoints Bishop Jeffrey Monforton as Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit; Appoints Bishop Paul Bradley as Apostolic Administrator of Steubenville

Pope Francis has appointed Most Reverend Jeffrey M. Monforton as Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit, transferring him from the Diocese of Steubenville and assigning him the Titular See of Centuria. The Holy See has also appointed Most Reverend Paul J. Bradley, bishop emeritus of Kalamazoo, as the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Steubenville.

The Catholic Conference of Ohio is grateful for Bishop Monforton's leadership of the CCO for the past 11 years and welcomes Bishop Bradley. 

Mass for Life - October 6 at 9am

Followed by Ohio March for Life

Join the Catholic Conference of Ohio for the Mass for Life:
Friday, October 6 at 9:00am
St. Joseph Cathedral, Downtown Columbus
Celebrated by Bishop Earl Fernandes

The Ohio March for Life starts at 11am right down the street at the Ohio Statehouse. Damascus Worship will kick off with a pre-rally concert at 10am. Speakers include: Bishop Earl Fernandes, Senator Kristina Roegner, Representative Melanie Miller, and more. 

Tom Rhatican joins CCO

New Associate Director, Education

Tom Rhatican has joined CCO as the Associate Director for Education to advocate for our Catholic schools and all families seeking a Catholic education. He will work collaboratively with Diocesan school superintendents and principals, elected officials, education professionals, and other advocacy groups to improve opportunities for all children to pursue a quality education, find the Lord, and encourage one another in their faith. He is a retired Army Aviation officer and attorney. Tom began his career in private practice and worked for many years in senior legislative and executive branch roles in Wisconsin. 

CCO on 2023 November Ballot Issues 1 and 2

The Catholic Conference of Ohio firmly opposes Issue 1, which would enshrine the “right” to abortion in the Ohio Constitution. This extreme amendment endangers the health and safety of women, threatens parental rights, and allows for abortion through all nine months of pregnancy.

The Catholic Church has always advocated for and acted to protect the most vulnerable in society, including the indigent, migrants, and preborn children in the womb. We will continue to do so by explaining the harms Issue 1 poses to women, parents, and babies with Catholics and all people of goodwill across Ohio and encourage a no vote on this egregious proposal. Ohioans deserve just laws which provide expansive resources and accompaniment to mothers and young families, not proposals like Issue 1 which does nothing to support women.

The Catholic Conference of Ohio also opposes Issue 2 to legalize recreational marijuana in Ohio.

Click "Read more" to view CCO resources to defeat Issue 1.

Supporting Ohio Women in Need

CCO was grateful that the approved budget (HB 33) included a number of items which we advocated for to invest in pregnant women, children, and other vulnerable Ohioans.

See How the Catholic Church in Ohio Supports Women in Need to learn more about the Catholic ministries that help women, children, and families in Ohio and the CCO's advocacy for structural support for women in need. 

Click "Read More" to view and download the flyer. 

2023 “People of Life” Awards

Recognizing the Work of Champions of Pro-Life Cause

Three champions of the pro-life cause were honored on July 17 at the 2023 People of Life awards during the annual Diocesan Pro-Life Leadership Conference in Toledo, Ohio. This year's honorees are Margaret H. (Peggy) Hartshorn, Ph.D. (from Columbus, Ohio), Aurora Tinajero, and Dr. Kathryn Moseley. Approximately 80 diocesan Catholic pro-life leaders and guests attended the private awards dinner, including Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Arlington, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities. Also in attendance was Bishop Daniel E. Thomas of Toledo, and Bishop Earl K. Fernandes of Columbus.

The People of Life award recognizes Catholics who have answered the call outlined by Saint John Paul II in The Gospel of Life (Evangelium vitae, 1995) by dedicating themselves to pro-life activities and promoting respect for the dignity of the human person. It is bestowed in honor of their significant and longtime contributions to the culture of life.

School Choice Expansion

Ohio's Educational Choice (EdChoice) Scholarship Program, advocated for by CCO, is now available to ALL Ohioans after Governor DeWine signed the State budget into law on July 3! Students can use an EdChoice Scholarship at one of Ohio's hundreds of Catholic or other eligible schools. 

Click "Read More" for details on how to Apply Today!


CCO Statement on the FY24-25 State Budget

Executive Director of the Catholic Conference of Ohio, Brian Hickey, issued the following statement commending the expansion of school choice and increased support of pregnant women, children, and other vulnerable Ohioans in the FY24-25 State Budget.

“Ohio's FY24-25 State Budget puts parents and children first in their educational decisions by providing the largest expansion of school choice in Ohio's history. For decades, the Catholic Church in Ohio and nationwide has consistently advocated for public policy that enables children of all backgrounds, no matter their income or zip code, to meaningfully access a school of their choice. The Catholic Conference of Ohio thanks Governor Mike DeWine, Senate President Matt Huffman, and Speaker Jason Stephens for their leadership in allowing every student to receive an EdChoice Scholarship for use at one of Ohio's hundreds of Catholic or other eligible schools.

Additionally, the CCO is grateful for budget items that invest in pregnant women, children, and other vulnerable Ohioans. These include expanding the eligibility of the Ohio Works First cash assistance for a woman's entire pregnancy, eliminating sales tax for baby products, an essential provision to stabilize non-profit senior affordable housing, and a boost in pay for direct-care professionals. We look forward to supporting more policies that express closer solidarity with mothers, families, and vulnerable Ohioans, furthering a culture of life and civilization of love."

Click "Read more" for additional details.

CCO Advocates for Prioritizing Families and Women and Children in Need in HB33

CCO Executive Director, Brian Hickey, sent a letter to members of the HB33 FY24-25 operating budget conference committee advocating for the rights of parents to choose the educational option that best fits their children and for addressing the needs of pregnant women, seniors, and children. Click “Read more” to view the full letter. 

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.