Catholic Conference of Ohio
Thursday, March 4, 2021

News & Press - Catholic Conference of Ohio

U.S. Bishops Urge Letters of Concern Regarding House Passed American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

Act contains many positive provisions but could allow funding of abortions domestically and internationally.

The USCCB is imploring the Senate to fix the problem in the House passed American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 that could allow funding of abortions domestically and internationally. 

 The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued a letter to Congress. The letter supports additional COVID relief to help those in need stating that "the American Rescue Plan Act contains many positive provisions that are consistent with the USCCB’s priorities for additional COVID relief.  Unfortunately, in contrast to the previous COVID relief bills, the American Rescue Plan Act provides billions of dollars for health care services through various funding streams that are not subject to Hyde Amendment or Helms Amendment protections."  The Hyde Amendment is a legislative provision barring the use of federal funds to pay for abortion except to save the life of the woman, or if the pregnancy arises from incest or rape. The Helms Amendment has prohibited any US foreign aid from being used for the performance of abortion as a method of family planning.

U.S. Bishops Urge Opposition to the Federal Equality Act

Act discriminates against people of faith and threatens unborn life

Everyone deserves to be treated with respect and dignity. The Equality Act, which is being voted on in the U.S. House of Representatives soon, in many ways does the opposite and needs to be opposed. Instead of respecting differences in beliefs about marriage and sexuality, the Equality Act would discriminate against people of faith. 

Urge Ohio legislators to address pro life protections and efforts to reduce gun violence

The 133rd Ohio General Assembly will end on December 31, 2020.  Many bills are under consideration in this lame-duck session. Among the many issues are bills aimed to protection unborn children and address gun violence.  The Conference has issued the following action alert.

Urge Senators Portman and Brown to prioritize the poor and vulnerable in the next COVID-19 relief package

Final days of negotiations on a COVID-19 relief bill

Families and individuals are facing immediate hardships: rent is due, food prices are rising, layoffs continue, access to healthcare is being lost, and those who are most vulnerable in the criminal justice system are not being adequately protected from the coronavirus. As followers of Christ, we are called to create a society where the needs of the poor and vulnerable are always considered first. Tell your Senators to act now to support those who are poor and vulnerable during this pandemic.
 

Stop the Federal Executions

The federal government has resumed federal executions for the first time in 17 years

The federal government has resumed federal executions for the first time in 17 years.  As Pope Francis has made clear, the death penalty is inadmissible as an affront to the Gospel and the dignity of human life. 
 
The Catholic bishops have expressed their opposition to the death penalty for decades. 

Please join in raising your voice against these executions.  Tell Attorney General Barr to stop the executions because they undermine human dignity!

Bishop Chairmen Call for Better Police Formation and Accountability

Letter sent to all members of the U.S. Congress regarding police accountability and reform

 Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development; Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of Washington, chairman of the Committee on Migration; and Bishop Shelton J. Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux, chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism, have sent a letter to all members of the U.S. Congress to offer reflections and principles for police accountability and reform.

"...Law enforcement officers perform a great and needed service; they serve to promote justice and the common good in society. But it is clear that there have been too many failures in serving everyone, with tragic consequences. There must be better practices for formation and accountability for police, certainly in the use of lethal force, but also in patterns of discrimination and prejudice, so that real accountability can happen before more lives are lost..."

"...Several policy proposals currently before you appear to take steps in the right direction. These include collection of data on use-of-force, training towards de-escalation, work to end racial profiling, doing away with chokeholds, using body cameras, greater accountability and means of redress regarding those who exercise public authority, and a commission to study the issue further and make additional recommendations. It is clear that long term commitment is needed to prevent further tragedies, especially greater accountability in bad uses of force as well as greater emphasis on promoting the common good of all..."

Bishops Welcome U.S. Supreme Court Decision On DACA

Decision Prevents Trump Administration from terminating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program

 Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles and president of the USCCB and Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of Washington and chairman of the USCCB’ Committee on Migration issued a statement that welcomed the decision to continue DACA, urged the Administration to reconsider terminating the program, called upon Congress to pass immigration reform, and reiterated the Church's love and concern for DACA families.

 

Ohio Senate Committee Passes Death Penalty Limitation Bill

HB 136 Bans Executions of Seriously Mentally Ill Persons

On June 3, 2020 the Ohio Senate Judiciary Committee passed HB 136 that prohibits the death penalty for persons with severe mental illness.  The bill now goes before the full Senate.

The Catholic Conference of Ohio strongly supports passage of this legislation.

Persons are encouraged to contact their Senator asking for their support.

 

Care for the Poor and Vulnerable Urged in Further Consideration of COVID-19 Relief Legislation

U.S. Bishops send numerous letters to Congress

 Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, wrote:

"...As Congress turns once more to considering additional relief related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the focus should be on those most in need—the poor, the vulnerable, and people on the margins—to offer them some hope and assistance in desperate circumstances. Since early April, some of my brother bishops and I have sent five letters to express this touchstone principle to Congress and its various committees..."

Bishops Urge FDA to Develop Ethical Vaccine for COVID-19

Encourages FDA to incentivize pharmaceutical companies to use only ethical cell lines or processes for producing vaccines

Four bishop chairmen of committees for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) have urged Dr. Stephen M. Hahn, Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), to ensure that vaccines for the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) are developed ethically and are free from any connection to the exploitation of abortion.

"...It is critically important that Americans have access to a vaccine that is produced ethically: no American should be forced to choose between being vaccinated against this potentially deadly virus and violating his or her conscience. Fortunately, there is no need to use ethically problematic cell lines to produce a COVID vaccine, or any vaccine, as other cell lines or processes that do not involve cells from abortions are available and are regularly being used to produce other vaccines..."

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