Catholic Conference of Ohio
Tuesday, November 24, 2020

News & Press - Catholic Conference of Ohio

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 Praise Supreme Court Decisions Recognizing Religious Liberty (U.S. Supreme Court Part 3)

Religious Freedom upheld in two cases

The Supreme Court of the United States has issued its decision in the consolidated cases of Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru and St. James School v. Biel. These cases involved the right of Catholic schools, free of government interference, to choose teachers who will teach and model the Catholic faith. By a vote of 7-2, the Court ruled in favor of the schools.

In the Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania case, the Court affirmed that religious employers cannot be forced to provide contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs in their health care plans, if doing so would violate that organization's religious beliefs.

Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee for Religious Liberty, Bishop Michael C. Barber, S.J. of Oakland, chairman of the Committee on Catholic Education issued a joint statement on Guadalupe decision. Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski and Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities, issued a joint statment on the Little Sisters decision.

 

Law Briefs: Special Edition July 13, 2020 USCCB Legal Summary of the Cases

U.S. Supreme Court (Part 2)

Court rules that religious schools cannot be excluded from public benefits based upon religious status.

In Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, the justices held that the application of the Montana Constitution’s “no-aid” provision to a state program providing tuition assistance to parents who send their children to private schools discriminated against religious schools and the families whose children attend or hope to attend them in violation of the free exercise clause.

USCCB Chairmen write: “...The Court has rightly ruled that the U.S. Constitution does not permit states to discriminate against religion. This decision means that religious persons and organizations can, like everyone else, participate in government programs that are open to all. This is good news, not only for people of faith, but for our country. A strong civil society needs the full participation of religious institutions. By ensuring the rights of faith-based organizations’ freedom to serve, the Court is also promoting the common good..."

 

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.

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..." 

Supreme Court’s Blaine Amendment Case An Opportunity to End a Shameful Legacy

Addresses whether the Constitution allows states to discriminate against religion

The Supreme Court of the United States heard oral argument in the case of Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue. The case challenges a decision by the Montana Supreme Court to invalidate a tax credit scholarship program because families benefiting include those who choose to send their children to religiously-affiliated schools, a violation of the Montana state constitution’s “Blaine Amendment” of 1889 against aid to religious schools.  

Bishop George V. Murry, S.J., of Youngstown, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee for Religious Liberty, and Bishop Michael C. Barber, S.J., of Oakland, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Catholic Education, issued a statement arguing that religious persons and organizations should, like everyone else, be allowed to participate in government programs that are open to all

U.S. Bishops’ Religious Liberty Chairman Offers Reflection on Religious Freedom

Youngstown Bishop George Murry Promotes a "Culture of Religious Freedom"

“The establishment of a culture of religious freedom is always an ongoing task. A culture of religious freedom consists of respect for the dignity of others as they seek to live in accordance with the truth about God. All people can thrive in such a culture....A culture of freedom means that all people of faith and all religious groups are able to freely worship and participate in the life of our society, without fear of intimidation or coercion..."

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.”

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