Catholic Conference of Ohio
Saturday, June 15, 2024

News & Press - Catholic Conference of Ohio

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.

August Special Election

Voting on Issue 1 on August 8

A special election will take place in Ohio on August 8, 2023 to vote on Issue 1, which asks voters if Ohio should "Require that any proposed amendment to the Constitution of the State of Ohio receive the approval of at least 60 percent of eligible voters on the proposed amendment." 

The Bishops of Ohio do not have a position on Issue 1 as it does not have moral content. However, as "responsible citizenship is a virtue, and participation in political life is a moral obligation" (Faithful Citizenship, No. 13), the bishops urge Catholics in Ohio to register and vote in the special election.

Ohio Bishops Issue Letter on Abortion Ballot Initiative

The Catholic Bishops of Ohio have issued the following letter about the proposed amendment to Ohio's Constitution for the November 2023 ballot, which threatens life in its earliest stages. They strongly encourage Catholics and all people of good will in Ohio to work against including the proposed amendment for the November ballot and, if it appears on the ballot, vote against the amendment to prevent countless deaths of preborn, innocent children.

The Catholic Conference of Ohio will work with dioceses to coordinate a campaign to promote the dignity of life at every parish in Ohio. We will also collaborate with other Ohio organizations to defeat the amendment. More information and materials will become available as we mobilize to oppose the proposed amendment in the months ahead.

Click “Read more” to view the full letter.

CCO Response to Abortion Rights Ballot Initiative Language

With today’s announcement of groups proposing an amendment to change Ohio’s Constitution with language that eliminates already established protections for preborn children and women, the Catholic Church across Ohio resolves to inform all Catholics about its threat to the dignity of human life. The vague language in the proposed amendment places preborn children and women at risk of losing the safeguards on their health and wellbeing that Ohio has established through the legislative process over many years. While the Catholic Conference of Ohio collaborates with legislators of both parties and various organizations across Ohio to promote public policies that enhance support for women, children, and families, we will also now engage in a campaign to inform Catholics and work with statewide groups to ensure Ohioans understand the need to stop this attempt to rewrite Ohio’s Constitution.

Click "Read More" to download the press release.

November 2022 Election

Resources from the Conference and the State of Ohio

With the November 2022 election impending, the Conference encourages all Catholics to advocate on issues according to Catholic Social Teaching. We also encourage all citizens, including candidates and elected officials, to commit to Civilize It in their encounters and interactions. The USCCB campaign follows Pope Francis' call to seek a better kind of politics. See this Catholic Conference reflection sheet on choosing political candidates and additional election resources from the Conference here.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 8 and early voting began on October 12. Click here for information on the two proposed Constitutional Amendments on your Ohio ballot. For general voting information in Ohio, click here.

Pope Francis and USCCB Send Messages to President Biden

Prayers offered for wisdom, strength, unity

Pope Francis extended "cordial good wishes" to President Biden.  He wrote in part: "...At a time when the grave crises facing our human family call for farsighted and united responses, I pray that your decisions will be guided by a concern for building a society marked by authentic justice and freedom, together with unfailing respect for the rights and dignity of every person, especially the poor, the vulnerable and those who have no voice. I likewise ask God, the source of all wisdom and truth, to guide your efforts to foster understanding, reconciliation and peace within the United States and among the nations of the world in order to advance the universal common good..." 

Archbishop José H. Gomez, President of United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued a statement welcoming President Biden’s call for national healing and unity.  The statement refers to Mr. Biden’s piety and personal story, his moving witness to how his Catholic faith has brought him solace in times of darkness and tragedy, and his longstanding commitment to the Gospel’s priority for the poor as "hopeful and inspiring."

At the same time, the message raised the Church's deep concerns about many threats to human life and dignity in our society. "...I must point out that our new President has pledged to pursue certain policies that would advance moral evils and threaten human life and dignity, most seriously in the areas of abortion, contraception, marriage, and gender. Of deep concern is the liberty of the Church and the freedom of believers to live according to their consciences. Our commitments on issues of human sexuality and the family, as with our commitments in every other area — such as abolishing the death penalty or seeking a health care system and economy that truly serves the human person — are guided by Christ’s great commandment to love and to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters, especially the most vulnerable..."


U.S. Bishop Chairman Urges Peace Following Reports Warning of Plans for Additional Violence at State Capitols and U.S. Capitol

. . . the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. (Gal 5:22-23).

Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, issued a statement urging peace. 

“...Please look into your heart.  Look at the images of the events on January 6. Look at the messages that accompanied them on social media.   Look at the symbols of racial hatred in the crowd.  If you supported this, or are considering further actions in the coming week, ask: is what I intend the fruit of the Holy Spirit?  Are my intentions expressions of love for others, including those I may consider enemies?  Are they reflections of joy? Will they lead to peace? Do they exhibit patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control?  The violence of January 6, and the many voices that urged it on, including some political leaders, were the opposite of these things..."

U.S. Bishops’ President Condemns Violent Protests and Prays for Safety as Chaos Threatens U.S. Capitol

WASHINGTON —Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), issued the following statement in response to today’s violence in the United States Capitol:

“I join people of good will in condemning the violence today at the United States Capitol. This is not who we are as Americans. I am praying for members of Congress and Capitol staff and for the police and all those working to restore order and public safety. 

“The peaceful transition of power is one of the hallmarks of this great nation. In this troubling moment, we must recommit ourselves to the values and principles of our democracy and come together as one nation under God. I entrust all of us to the heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary. May she guide us in the ways of peace, and obtain for us wisdom and the grace of a true patriotism and love of country.”

President of U.S. Bishops’ Conference Issues Statement on 2020 Presidential Election

Catholics have a special duty to be peacemakers, to promote fraternity and mutual trust, and to pray for a renewed spirit of true patriotism in our country

Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement congratulating President-elect Biden.  He also called upon  Catholics to respect the free expression of opinions and treat one another with charity and civility, even as we might disagree deeply in our debates on matters of law and public policy.



Ohio Bishops Offer "Reflections on Choosing Political Candidates"

Updated handout offers reflection questions and references based upon the USCCB "Faithful Citizenship" Document

This Catholic Conference of Ohio educational/bulletin insert offers reflections on:

Promoting the Sacredness of Human Life;
Applying a Consistent Moral Framework;
Making Decisions based upon Prudential Discernment; 
Serving as Models of Civil Dialogue

USCCB document: Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship

2020 Election Novena Resources

Civilize It is a non-partisan call to focus on the dignity of all people, even when we disagree, and to put faith in action by bearing witness to a better way forward