Articles related to USCCB
The US Conference of Catholic Bishops Administrative Committee has issued a pastoral reflection today in solidarity with those who have been forced to flee their homes due to violence, conflict or fear in their native lands. In the statement, the bishops encourage each of us to do what we can to accompany migrants and refugees who seek a better life in the United States...
In a letter sent to the US House of Representatives, Bishop Frank J Dewane of Venice, Florida notes that, while the recently introduced American Health Care Act (AHCA) commendably contains key provisions in defense of life, the proposed legislation also creates "grave challenges for poor and vulnerable people that must be addressed" by Congress before passage.
As Congress prepares to discuss possible changes to the Affordable Care Act, the chairmen of four United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committees called on lawmakers to consider important moral criteria, especially pertaining to the most vulnerable among us, including the unborn and those experiencing deep poverty. The Bishops of the United States have consistently advocated for
On behalf of the Bishops and people of the Catholic Church, as the Chairman of the Bishops' Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, I want to express our deep sympathy, solidarity, and support to our Jewish brothers and sisters who have experienced once again a surge of anti-Semitic actions in the United States. I wish to offer our deepest concern, as well as our unequivocal rejection of these hateful actions. The Catholic Church stands in love with the Jewish community in the current
More than 20 Bishops along the border of Texas and Northern Mexico have issued a joint statement emphasizing the need for us to listen to the cry of our migrant brothers and sisters. The bishops issued the statement while participating in the biannual Tex-Mex Border Bishops meeting this week. The meetings included priests, religious and layperson as well as invited representatives from other border dioceses in the United States and Mexico. The bi-annual meetings have taken place for more than 30 years.
The chairmen of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committees on Migration, Religious Liberty and International Justice and Peace, along with the board of Catholic Relief Services issued a joint statement expressing solidarity with Christians and all those who suffer in the Middle East. Our Christian brothers and sisters in the Middle East need our solidarity, and the Middle East needs our Christian brothers and sisters. A concern for our Christian brethren is inclusive and does not exclude. A concern for all the peoples of the region who suffer violence and persecution, both minorities and
US bishops have welcomed an appeal court's decision to overturn President Trump's Muslim travel ban. On February 9, 2017, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a unanimous decision upholding a lower court's temporary restraining order (TRO) blocking the implementation of several key provisions of Executive Order 13769. The TRO was put in place by the US District Court for the Western District of Washington on 3 February. The provisions that that have temporarily been blocked by the TRO include: a 120 day halt of the US refugee resettlement
Cardinal Daniel N DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and Archbishop José H Gomez of Los Angeles, vice president of the USCCB, have issued the following joint statement regarding the recent executive order on the new refugee policy announced by President Trump this past Friday. President Trump's executive order suspends the entry of refugees into the United States for 120 days. The order also indefinitely stops the admission of Syrian refugees and for 90 days, bars individuals from seven predominantly Muslim countries.
On Friday President Donald Trump issued an Executive Order addressing the US refugee admissions program and migration to the United States, generally. The order virtually shuts down the refugee admissions program for 120 days, reduces the number of refugees to be admitted to the United States this year from 110,000 to 50,000 individuals, and indefinitely suspends the resettlement of Syrian refugees. In addition, it prioritizes religious minorities suffering from religious persecution, thereby deprioritizing all other persons fleeing persecution;
..."I am disheartened that the President has prioritized building a wall on our border with Mexico. This action will put immigrant lives needlessly in harm's way. Construction of such a wall will only make migrants, especially vulnerable women and children, more susceptible to traffickers and smugglers. Additionally, the construction of such a wall destabilizes the many vibrant and beautifully interconnected communities that live peacefully along the border. Instead of building walls, at this time, my brother bishops and I will continue to follow the example of Pope Francis.
As Congress discusses a repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act, the Chair of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Bishop Frank J Dewane of Venice, is urging members of the House and Senate to provide a replacement plan concurrently so that millions of Americans will continue to have access to vital health care. In a letter sent to members of the US House of Representatives and US Senate on January 18, 2017, Bishop Dewane wrote that repealing the ACA should not be undertaken without simultaneous passage of a replacement plan
Since the time of the founding fathers, our country has been blessed with citizens who have had the courage to rise above the challenges of their day and call their fellow citizens forward in the unending task of building an ever more just nation. Today, we celebrate such a citizen, Martin Luther King, Jr. His inspiration guides us as we seek to build peace in our communities under the recent strain of division and violence. Recently, USCCB's Task Force for Peace in Our Communities has examined and reported on how the bishops of the United States may improve their own contribution to this ongoing national effort.
Cardinal Daniel N DiNardo, President of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has issued the following statement for National Migration Week. The theme of the week this year draws attention to Pope Francis' call to create a culture of encounter. Today, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles played a taped video message from Pope Francis at the end of a Mass as part of National Migration Week celebrations....In the days and weeks ahead, there will be intense debate over immigration reform and refugee policy. Ultimately, the question is this: Will our nation treat all migrants and refugees, regardless
Less than two weeks before the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump, who has pledged to introduce a range of policies to stop many migrants entering the country and to deport those already there, the Catholic Church in the United States celebrates Nation Migration Week, which takes place from 8-14 January. The following is a joint statement from Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, Vice President of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops about th Week.
The Catholic Church in the United States is preparing to celebrate National Migration Week in which American Catholics reflect on the circumstances confronting migrants, including immigrants, refugees, children, and victims and survivors of human trafficking. The theme for this year's Week draws attention to Pope Francis' call to create a culture of encounter, and in doing so to look beyond our own needs and wants to those of others around us. In the homily given at his first Pentecost as Pope, he emphasised the importance of encounter in the Christian faith: "For me this word is very important.
A Day of Prayer with a focus on the plight of refugees and migrants will take place across the United States on December 12, 2016, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. "It will be a time to place before a merciful God the hopes, fears, and needs of all those families who have come to the US seeking a better life," the Bishops say in a statement. "As Christmas approaches and especially on this feast of Our Lady, we are reminded of how our saviour Jesus Christ was not born in the comfort of his own home,
Pope Francis has sent a video-message to the General Assembly of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) who are meeting from 14 - 17 November 2016....Throughout its history, the Church in your country has welcomed and integrated new waves of immigrants. In the rich variety of their languages and cultural traditions, they have shaped the changing face of the American Church... Our great challenge is to create a culture of encounter, which encourages individuals and groups to share the richness of their traditions and experiences, to break down walls and to
Incoming US president Donald Trump has now confirmed plans to deport three million migrants. Two days before this announcement, Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, auxiliary bishop of Seattle, and chairman of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on Migration, issued a statement congratulating Trump on his election and stressing "the need to continue to protect the inherent dignity of refugees and migrants." Bishop Eusebio also assured migrants of the Church's ongoing solidarity and support for them.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have issued the following prayer today, in the wake of the country's presidential election: God of all nations, Father of the human family, we give you thanks for the freedom we exercise and the many blessings of democracy we enjoy in these United States of America. We ask for your protection and guidance for all who devote themselves to the common good,
At this important time in our nation's history, I encourage all of us to take a moment to reflect on one of the founding principles of our republic - the freedom of religion. It ensures the right of faith communities to preserve the integrity of their beliefs and proper self-governance. There have been recent reports that some may have sought to interfere in the internal life of the Church for short-term political gain. If true, this is troubling both for the well-being of faith communities and the good of our country.
The Catholic bishops of the United States are offering once again to the Catholic faithful: 'Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship', a teaching document on the political responsibility of Catholics. This statement represents guidance for Catholics in the exercise of their rights and duties as participants in US democracy. The bishops urge "pastors, lay and religious faithful, and all people of good will to use this statement to help form their consciences; to teach those entrusted to their care; to contribute to civil and respectful public dialogue; and to
Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, auxiliary bishop of Seattle and Chairman of the Bishops' Committee on Migration, has called for Catholics to focus on the 'moral teachings of the Church' 'to overcome the partisan divides that separate us' on refugee and migration issues. While acknowledging the need for 'nations to control their borders' he said people had a right to migrate when they are fleeing persecution and war. He added that it was not enough to welcome migrants, but political and religious leaders must work with leaders of other countries to
Let Us Gather at the Cross. A statement from Archbishop Joseph E Kurtz of Louisville President, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops... The assassination of Dallas police officers last night was an act of unjustifiable evil. To all people of good will, let us beg for the strength to resist the hatred that blinds us to our common humanity. To my brothers and sisters in Christ, let us gather at the Cross of Jesus. Our Saviour suffered at the hands of humanity's worst impulses, but He did not lose hope in us or in His heavenly father. Love overcomes evil.
Following the Colombian Bishops' Conference statement regarding the cease fire announced in Colombia, Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, New Mexico, chair of the US Bishops' Committee on International Justice and Peace, has extended a message of support and solidarity. Below is an excerpt of the statement to Archbishop Luis Augusto Castro Quiroga, president of the Colombian Bishops' Conference: At this time of hope and encouragement in your beloved country of Colombia, I write to express the solidarity of the United
On Monday the US Supreme Court issued a 'per curiam' opinion in the case of Zubik v Burwell, in which Catholic and other religious organizations are challenging the HHS mandate requiring them to facilitate health insurance coverage of sterilization, contraception, and drugs and devices that may cause abortions. The Court unanimously vacated the decisions before it, remanding the cases to the lower courts with instructions to afford the parties the opportunity to work out an alternative approach to the mandate.
Fourteen bishops representing the Catholic Church in Canada, Latin America and the United States concluded three days of prayer and dialogue at the 38th Meeting of the Bishops of the Church in America, February 25. Gathering together after the two visits of Pope Francis to the region, the bishops spoke of a strong sense of fraternity and solidarity as they shared their pastoral experiences of being one Church in America. Participating in the meeting were the elected officers of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), the Latin
The 40th meeting of the Bishops of the Catholic Church in America is taking place in Tampa, Florida, from 22 to 25 February, with the presidents of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Latin American Episcopal Council taking part. This gathering gives an opportunity to the three major organizations of Catholic Bishops from the Western hemisphere to discuss recent developments and also reflect on a specific theme.
Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, New Mexico, has urged Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Advisor Ambassador Susan Rice to take renewed action to build on steps toward peace in the Middle East and work toward long term stability in the region in separate letters, sent on Wednesday. Bishop Cantú, who chairs the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, wrote to Secretary Kerry that the United States should build on the success of the Iran nuclear deal by pursuing peace in Syria and
In light of recent enforcement actions conducted by the Department of Homeland Security for the purpose of deporting 121 individuals, primarily mothers with children, the bishops who chair the US bishops' Committee on Migration and the Catholic Legal Immigration Network called for an end to such practices. In a letter sent to Jeh Johnson, Secretary of Homeland Security, January 11, Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, auxiliary bishop of Seattle and chairman of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on Migration and Bishop Kevin W Vann of Orange, California,
US Bishops have welcomed President Obama's efforts to introduce greater control over the sale and possession of guns. "Thank God there is someone who finally has the courage to fill the gaps in our shameful laws on gun control in order to reduce the number of massacres, murders and suicides that have become a plague in our country", the Bishop of the Diocese of Dallas, Mgr Kevin Joseph Farrell wrote in his personal blog on Tuesday.
The US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) approved several items, including a proposed statement on pornography and a new introductory note and limited revision of their quadrennial statement on political responsibility, during their annual Fall General Assembly in Baltimore, November 17. The bishops also voted on a liturgical book, strategic priorities for the 2017-2020 cycle and on the 2016 budget.
Drawing on 50 years of national and international dialogue, Lutherans and Catholics together have issued the 'Declaration on the Way: Church, Ministry and Eucharist,' a unique ecumenical document that marks a pathway toward greater visible unity between Catholics and Lutherans. The October 30 release of the document comes on the eve of the anniversary of Martin Luther's posting the 95 Theses, which sparked the Protestant Reformation. "Pope Francis in his recent visit to the United States emphasized again and again the need for and importance of dialogue.
Cardinal Seán O'Malley of Boston, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has condemned Governor Jerry Brown's signing of the new California law legalizing assisted suicide. Cardinal O'Malley called the governor's decision "a great tragedy for human life," and a tragedy "compounded by confusion among those who supported this law. A government that legalizes assisted suicide sends the terrible message Pope Francis has so eloquently warned us against,
The US Conference of Catholic Bishops have installed a new feature on their website and a new phone app, bringing us up-to-the-minute running news reporting, commentary and film coverage of the visit of Pope Francis to the United States. You can visit the site on your computer or download the app on your smartphone or tablet here:
A video on 'Care for God's Creation' is the first of a seven-part series on Catholic Social Teaching, designed to be an introduction to this body of thought with notable Catholics reflecting on each of the teachings. The video release comes in conjunction with Pope Francis' declaration of September 1 as a day of prayer for creation. The video series is co-sponsored by Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and the Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
Cardinal Seán O'Malley, OFM Cap., archbishop of Boston and chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), responded, July 29, to recent videos showing leaders from Planned Parenthood discussing the provision of foetal organs, tissues, and body parts from their abortion clinics....Pope Francis has called abortion the product of a "widespread mentality of profit, the throwaway culture, which has today enslaved the hearts and minds of so many."
The US Supreme Court decision on 26 June, interpreting the US Constitution to require all states to license and recognize same-sex marriage "is a tragic error that harms the common good and most vulnerable among us," said Archbishop Joseph E Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). The full statement follows: Regardless of what a narrow majority of the Supreme Court may declare at this moment in history, the nature of the human person and marriage remains unchanged and unchangeable.
Congress should oppose legal changes that would reverse the recent warming of relations with Cuba, US Bishop Oscar Cantú has said in letters to the US Senate and House of Representatives. Bishop Cantú, of Las Cruces, New Mexico, chairman of the US bishops' Committee on International Justice and Peacealso urged support for the 'The Freedom to Export to Cuba Act of 2015' and 'The Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act of 2015'. "Our Conference has long spoken out against the negative effects of the US trade and travel embargo of Cuba.
The repeal of the death penalty in Nebraska represents a further step in the building of a culture of life, said the chairman of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Archbishop Thomas G Wenski of Miami. Nebraska becomes the 19th state to abolish the death penalty since it was reinstated in the United States in 1976. Archbishop Wenski also expressed the Church's prayerful solidarity with those impacted by violence and attacks on human life, and for the many families profoundly impacted by senseless acts of violence.
The US Bishops' International Justice and Peace Committee has urged Secretary of State, John Kerry, to step up efforts to advance nuclear disarmament and ensure the success of a multilateral conference being held in New York. The comments were made in a May 12 letter issued as the Ninth Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) meeting continues at the United Nations. "For most Americans, there is an assumption that the nuclear threat receded with the end of the Cold War. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth," said Bishop Oscar Cantú
The adoption of a framework for Iran's nuclear program is a step "important in advancing a peaceful resolution of the serious questions that have been raised regarding Iran's nuclear program," said the bishop who chairs the Committee on International Justice and Peace Committee of the US bishops in letters to Secretary of State John Kerry and Congress. "The alternative to an agreement leads toward armed conflict, an outcome of profound concern to the Church," wrote Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, New Mexico.
The Syrian refugee crisis - now totaling nearly four million refugees- has reached a "tipping point," in which countries in the region are no longer able to handle the flow of refugees across their borders, warns US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) officials who recently traveled to the Middle East. "Without more international support, we will find Syrians fleeing extremists being turned away and forced back to danger," said Anastasia Brown, interim executive director for USCCB's Migration and Refugee Services (MRS). "The global community, led by Europe and the United States, needs to increase its support in order to prevent a humanitarian crisis."
An interim final rule published by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) of the US Department of Health and Human Services risks harmful effects on unaccompanied children resettled by the United States, according to comments filed by Catholic and Evangelical organizations and relief agencies. At issue is whether the rule adequately accounts for the religious and moral concerns of faith-based organizations. Regulations that may force those agencies to restrict their work could create an unmanageable backlog for services.
In the wake of the brutal murders of 21 Coptic Christians at the hands of IS in Libya, increased support to protect religious minorities and civilians should be combined with adequate humanitarian assistance and other assets, said the president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and the chairman of the USCCB Committee on International Justice and Peace. “Pope Francis and the Holy See have reiterated on a number of occasions that it is ‘licit’ to use force to stop these unjust aggressors and to protect religious minorities and civilians from these horrendous attacks,”
Congress should urge the government of Israel to halt unnecessary confiscation of Palestinian lands in the Occupied West Bank, a move that would help address the plight of Christian Palestinians in the Cremisan Valley and “renew hope for a just resolution to the conflict,” said the chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). In a February 11 letter to the chairmen and ranking members of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs,
Cardinal Seán O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston and chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities, welcomed passage of the 'No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2015' (HR 7) by the US House of Representatives. “By passing this legislation, the House has taken a decisive step toward respect for unborn human life, reflecting the will of the American people,” he said. Co-sponsored by Reps Chris Smith and Dan Lipinski, the pro-life bill passed with bipartisan support by a vote of 242-179
Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), urged support for the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act when it comes before the US House of Representatives. The bill, HR 36, introduced by Representatives Trent Franks (R-AZ) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), proposes a ban on abortions at 20 weeks after fertilization. In a January 20 letter to the House, Cardinal O’Malley wrote
Congress should avoid measures that jeopardize the prospects of a diplomatic solution over Iran’s nuclear program, said the chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace in a letter to the chairs and ranking members of the Senate Committees on Foreign Relations and on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. In his January 13 letter, Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, New Mexico, reiterated his committee’s support for the United States and its P5 + 1 partners in their ongoing dialogue with Iran.
National Migration Week 2015 will take place from January 4–10 with the theme: 'We are One Family under God' the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has announced. The celebration of National Migration Week provides an opportunity to raise awareness about the hardships faced by migrants, including children, refugees and victims of human trafficking. “Migrants –including children, immigrants, refugees, and victims of human trafficking– are our spiritual brothers and sisters,” said Bishop Eusebio Elizondo,
Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, New Mexico, chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has welcomed the announcement by President Barack Obama of the release of Alan Gross and other prisoners, and of the administration’s action to normalize relations with Cuba, on 17 December...We share the joy of the family of Alan Gross and of all Americans upon hearing the news of his release from over five years of custody in Cuba, as well as
Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, MSpS, auxiliary bishop of Seattle and chairman of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Migration, welcomed the news today that the Obama administration will defer deportations for many undocumented immigrants and their families. “We have a long history of welcoming and aiding the poor, the outcast, the immigrant, and the disadvantaged. Each day, the Catholic Church in the United States, in her social service agencies, hospitals, schools, and parishes, witnesses the human consequences of the separation of families,
The United States should pursue non-proliferation and diplomacy to promote US and global security, not allocate funds to modernize its nuclear forces, said the chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace in an October 30 letter to Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz. In the letter, Bishop Richard E Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, noted that the Congressional Budget Office estimates $355 billion in spending on nuclear forces over the next decade, much of that toward modernizing those forces.
US bishops affirmed that prayer is powerful, peace is possible and that support for a two-state solution is an essential imension of pursuing Israeli-Palestinian peace in a September 22 communique, following a Prayer Pilgrimage for Peace in the Holy Land. Eighteen US bishops visited Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories from September 11-18. “There is no military solution to the conflict, but tragically violence on both sides undermines the trust needed to achieve peace.
.. The new statement cites respect for Muslims from Vatican II and a number of later papal statements and documents. It expresses sadness over the recent violence and Christians who reject engagement. Joins Pope Francis in saying dialogue leads to growth, witness and peace... They wrote: “Like the pope, we are convinced that the encounter and dialogue with persons different than ourselves offers the best opportunity for fraternal growth, enrichment, witness, and ultimately peace.”
To celebrate the 50 anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Subcommittee on African American Affairs plans to release a series of resources to highlight the achievements of the Civil Rights era and its connections to the Catholic Church. Over the next 12 months, resources will highlight the Mississippi Freedom Summer (June to August 1964); the Civil Rights Act (July 1964); the March from Selma to Montgomery (March 1965); and the 50 anniversary of the Voting Rights Act in August 2015.
Leaders of Christian, Jewish and Muslim organizations in the United States welcomed the latest ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington and coordinator of the National Interreligious Leadership Initiative for Peace in the Middle East (NILI), and Bishop Richard E Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), were the Catholic signers.
The chairman of the Committee of International Justice and Peace of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops has asked US bishops to invite the people of their dioceses to pray for peace in Iraq on Sunday, August 17. Bishop Richard E Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, has sent the bishops the text of a prayer written by the Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Iraq, His Beatitude Louis Rafael Sako. Bishop Pates recounted the struggles of Christians and others in Iraq who have faced the destruction, burning and looting of churches, homes and businesses and, under threat of ISIS
At the start of the National Migration Conference yesterday, the chair of the US Catholic Bishops' Conference reaffirmed Church commitment to immigration reform and protection of vulnerable populations. Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, auxiliary bishop of Seattle and chairman of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration, stated on July 7, that the Catholic community “will continue to push” lawmakers to pass immigration reform legislation this year, regardless of political commentary that Congress is unlikely to act this year.
The US Supreme Court upheld freedom of speech for pro-life Americans in a June 26 decision in the case of McCullen v Coakley. The Court unanimously declared unconstitutional a Massachusetts law barring pro-life advocates from public sidewalks near abortion facilities. Cardinal Seán P O’Malley of Boston, chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, issued the following statement. “Today the Supreme Court found unconstitutional a Massachusetts law imposing criminal penalties on pro-life Americans
A coalition of leaders of diverse US religious denominations and faiths, including Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, has announced that they “are united in [their] staunch support” for protecting the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which passed with nearly unanimous bipartisan support in 1993. The coalition sent a letter to Congressional leadership asking that they “not amend or repeal RFRA, one of our nation’s most vital legal protections
Bishop Mark J Seitz of El Paso, Texas, stated in testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, on June 25, that the rise of the number of children crossing the US-Mexico border represents a “test of our moral character” of the nation. “We must not fail this test,” he added. “We must not turn our back on them.” Since October, more than 52,000 unaccompanied children, the large majority from the countries of El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala, have crossed into the United States.
The current conflict in Iraq demands humanitarian assistance from the United States in addition to diplomatic measures, said the chairman of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on International Justice and Peace in a June 19 letter to Ambassador Susan E Rice, National Security Advisor. The letter was delivered just before President Obama held a press conference on Iraq. “Our nation bears a special responsibility toward the people of Iraq. The US-led invasion and occupation unleashed both sectarian conflicts and extremism in Iraq,
Catholics and Shia Muslims oppose actions that endanger the life, health, dignity and welfare of others, including the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, according to a joint declaration signed by US bishops and Iranian religious leaders. The June 14 declaration resulted from a dialogue between a delegation from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and the Supreme Council of the Seminary Teachers of Qom, the preeminent center of religious scholarship in Iran, during a March 11-17 trip to Iran.
Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, auxiliary bishop of Seattle and chairman of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration, called upon the Administration and Congress to protect unaccompanied children from Mexico and Central America crossing the border and to respond to the root causes of poverty and increasing violence as a long-term solution to the issue...“These children are extremely vulnerable to human traffickers and unscrupulous smugglers and must be protected. Over the long term, the increasing violence from gangs and organized crime
Members of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration celebrated a Mass for “Immigrants and their Families,” at St Peter’s Catholic Church on Capitol Hill. During the Mass, Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami prayed for members of Congress to “show the political courage to act on this vital issue of immigration reform.” Bishops who concelebrated the Mass with Archbishop Wenski also celebrated Mass at the US-Mexico border on 1 April. (See picture)
Nuclear weapons “present an existential threat to mankind,” said former US Secretary of State George Shultz to a group of Catholic leaders last week. “We need to reduce the numbers of these weapons, identify and take the steps needed to keep them under better control, and ultimately eliminate them.” Secretary Shultz and former Secretary of Defense William Perry hosted a Colloquium on Revitalizing Catholic Engagement on Nuclear Disarmament, April 24-25, at Stanford University. The event brought together 40 bishops, policy specialists, Catholic scholars,
On 2 April 2014 we reported that Cardinal Sean O'Malley, together with USCCB bishops had celebrated a special Mass at the US - Mexico border. That report did not mention that the Eucharist had been passed through the chain-link fence to communicants on the Mexican side - or that later the bishops crossed the border and served a meal to immigrants there. We've now been sent pictures and the text of Cardinal O'Malley's homily, which also makes a connection to the Irish immigration to the US.
Echoing Pope Francis, Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston, with members of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration traveled to the US - Mexico border yesterday, and celebrated Mass in remembrance of migrants who have died attempting to reach the United States. This Mission for Migrants included a wreath laying ceremony and a tour of the border. It was inspired by the trip by Pope Francis to Lampedusa, Italy, last year to pray for migrants who died attempting to reach Europe by boat.
Archbishop Joseph E Kurtz of Louisville, president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Bishop Richard E Pates of Des Moines, chairman of the bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, hailed efforts of President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “We are acutely aware of the difficulties of the quest for a lasting and just peace between Israelis and Palestinians,” the bishops said in a March 12 letter to President Obama.
The United States should urge the government of Israel to cease and desist in efforts to unnecessarily confiscate Palestinian lands in the Occupied West Bank, said the chairman of the Committee of International Justice and Peace of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops to Secretary of State John Kerry. In a 28 January letter, Bishop Richard E Pates, specifically addressed the situation in the Cremisan Valley, which he visited earlier this month. "As I stood amidst the beauty of this agricultural valley and heard the testimony of the Christian families
Archbishop Joseph E Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has welcomed a decision by the US Supreme Court, on 24 January, to extend an injunction granted by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, on 31 December, exempting the Little Sisters of the Poor and others in their lawsuit from the Department of Health and Human Services' contraception mandate while their appeal is pending. "The bishops of the United States welcome the Court's protection of ministries like the Little Sisters whose vital work
Bishop Richard E Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, chairman of the US bishops' Committee on International Justice and Peace, will visit the Middle East January 6-17 in support of the local Church and peace talks in the region. Expressing solidarity with those countries seeking peace in many areas of the world, Bishop Pates echoed the words of Pope Francis in his Urbi et Orbi message, particularly addressing the violence faced in Syria, the Central African Republic, South Sudan and the Holy Land.
“Too many lives have been shattered
Bishop Richard Pates, Chair of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has written to the recently-appointed Israeli Ambassador to the United States, Mr Ron Dermer, supporting the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem’s protest against the recent demolition of its property by the Municipality of Jerusalem. on 28 October this year, a house which belonged to the Catholic Church for many years, was demolished by the municipality of Jerusalem - making a family of 14 people homeless.
The interim accord with Iran that would limit its nuclear program in exchange for some sanctions relief “is greatly preferable to military action, which could have unpredictable and negative repercussions for the region,” said the chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops in a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry. “We welcome this step and hope that this interim agreement will allow all parties to negotiate further, build mutual confidence and trust, and reach a final accord that enhances genuine peace in the region,”
Archbishop Joseph E Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, was elected president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) during the bishops' annual fall General Assembly on 12 November, in Baltimore. Archbishop Kurtz has served as vice president of USCCB since 2010. Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston was elected USCCB vice president. Archbishop Kurtz and Cardinal DiNardo are elected to three-year terms and succeed Cardinal Timothy . Dolan of New York and Archbishop Kurtz, respectively. The new president and vice president's terms begin
American bishops have welcomed the decision of federal government leaders to agree to end the partial government shutdown, 16 days after closing many offices and suspending important programs and services. The bishops said they were also heartened that so many who had been out of work could return to their jobs. 25 “The shutdown has had a widespread impact on many people, especially the poor, who suffered for lack of basic services during the period,” said Bishop Stephen Blaire of Stockton, California,
The chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops has praised Secretary of State John Kerry for signing the Arms Trade Treaty. In a 4 October letter, Bishop Richard E Pates also welcomed the move to enter into substantive negotiations with Iran over their nuclear program. “The community of nations must regulate the international transfers of arms to save lives. Dialogue with Iran is essential to forge a peaceful way forward,” wrote Bishop Pates.
The bishops who chair three committees of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) have urged Congress to fulfill the basic role of government and meet the challenges facing the United States at home and abroad. In 30 September letters to the House and Senate, Archbishop José H Gomez of Los Angeles, Bishop Stephen E Blaire of Stockton, California, and Bishop Richard E Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, cited issues including rampant domestic unemployment and the millions of people displaced by the conflict in Syria.
The chairman of the US bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development urged the US House of Representatives not to accept a proposed $40 billion in cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps. Bishop Stephen E Blaire of Stockton, California, called the program "one of the most effective and important federal programs to combat hunger in the nation" ... "SNAP helps relieve pressure on overwhelmed parishes, charities, food banks, pantries and other emergency food providers across
On the same day that Pope Francis asked the G20 nations to "lay aside the futile pursuit of a military solution" in Syria, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and Bishop Richard E Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, chairman of the USCCB Committee on International Justice and Peace, wrote to every member of Congress, urging them not to resort to military intervention, but instead work to end the violence in Syria through a political solution.
The number of permanent deacons in the United States continues to increase, according to a national survey just released by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). The Georgetown University-based Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) conducted the survey of 193 of the 195 US dioceses in April. This marks the seventh CARA survey of the permanent diaconate, an ancient ministry reinstituted by the Second Vatican Council.
The US Secretary of Defense should "conduct a careful review of conditions for detainees" at Guantanamo Bay and work to release the 86 who have been cleared, said the chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. In a June 25 letter, Bishop Richard E Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, urged Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to "make good on the President's commitment to close this facility that has become a symbol of indefinite detention without trial."
On World Refugee Day today, church leaders around the world appealed for governments to put the interests of children and vulnerable refugees fleeing war and persecution before immigration control. In the UK, the Catholic Bishop for Migrants, Bishop Patrick Lynch said: “The UK as a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child should uphold the rights of unaccompanied migrant children and always provide the protection and support that they need."
Archbishop José H Gomez of Los Angeles, chairman of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on Migration, has applauded approval by a Senate Committee of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, legislation which would reform the nation's immigration system. "This is an important step in the legislative process," he said on 22 May, the day after the committee vote. "I applaud Chairman Patrick Leahy and the committee members for their efforts and strong bipartisan cooperation," said Archbishop Gomez.
The average age of men in the USA ordained to the priesthood in 2013 is 32; (on average over the past six years seminarians have been getting slightly younger) two-thirds are Caucasian, and 26 percent carry educational debt. These figures stand out in The Class of 2013: Survey of Ordinands to the Priesthood, the annual national survey of men being ordained priests for US dioceses and religious communities. The study was conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA), a Georgetown University-based research center.
The chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) expressed "deep disappointment in the Senate's failure to support reasonable regulations to reduce gun violence in our nation" in an 18 April letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. "The USCCB has been working with other faith leaders and organizations urging Congress to support legislation that builds a culture of life by promoting policies that reduce gun violence and save people's lives
The chairman of the US bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development has urged the US Senate to promote policies that "reduce gun violence and save people's lives in homes and communities throughout our nation." In an 8 April letter, Bishop Stephen E Blaire of Stockton, California, addressed provisions in S. 649, the Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act of 2013, including the expansion of background checks for all gun purchases and strengthening of gun trafficking provisions, which the bishops deem "a positive step in the right direction."
Leaders of Christian denominations from all over the United States will gather in Birmingham, Alabama, from 14-15 April, to sign a response to Martin Luther King Jr's 'Letter from Birmingham Jail' on the 50th anniversary of the letter. The event is sponsored by Christian Churches Together (CCT). Bernice King, a minister and the youngest child of Dr King, will attend and participate in a panel discussion. Other participants will include Rev Carlos Malavé, executive director of CCT, Rev Jim Wallis, president of Sojourners,
Archbishop William E Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the US Catholic Bishops Conference Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, has welcomed yesterday's the Health Care Conscience Rights Act introduced by Congresswoman Diane Black and 50 other House members. He said in a statement: "I am grateful to Congresswoman Black and other sponsors for their leadership today. I welcome the Health Care Conscience Rights Act and call for its swift passage into law.
Congress should incorporate two provisions that strengthen conscience protection in any proposed funding bills in the weeks ahead, said Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore in a February 15 letter to Congress. Both provisions were part of the House draft of the Labor/HHS appropriations bill. Archbishop Lori, who chairs the Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), wrote that he feared "the federal overnment's respect for believers and people of conscience no longer measures up
A committee of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops has endorsed the principles of a national campaign to end the practice of sentencing people under the age of 18 to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development agreed to endorse the Statement of Principles for the Fair Sentencing of Youth at their December 2012 meeting. "While there is no question that violent and dangerous youth need to be confined for their safety and that of society, the USCCB does not support provisions that treat children
The US Conference of Catholic Bishops on 29 January filed amicus briefs in the United States Supreme Court in support of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California's Proposition 8, both of which confirm the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. DOMA was passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton in 1996 and defines marriage for federal and inter-state recognition purposes. Proposition 8 is a state constitutional amendment approved by the citizens of California in 2008.
Thirty Jewish, Christian and Muslim religious leaders from the United States called for "a bold new US initiative for a two-state peace agreement before it is too late." They made the call in a statement sponsored by the National Interreligious Leadership Initiative for Peace in the Middle East. "The current dangerous stalemate, including the legacy of past failed peacemaking efforts, undermines our security and that of others, destabilizes the region, fuels terrorism and extremism, allows continuing Israeli settlement expansion, and prolongs Palestinian disunity,"
The chairman of the US bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities called on Catholics to participate in 'Nine Days of Prayer, Penance and Pilgrimage,' from January 19-27, to mark the 40th anniversary of the US Supreme Court's Roe v Wade decision.
"Our nation greatly needs our prayers and personal sacrifices," said Cardinal Seán P O'Malley, OFM Cap., of Boston. "The evil of abortion inflicts unimaginable pain, but Jesus offers us healing and renewal."
The United States is poised to make a real difference in the Arab-Israeli-Palestinian conflict and should provide tireless leadership to ensure a two-state solution in the Middle East, said two leaders of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in a letter to President Barack Obama. "We affirm your support of the two-state solution, promise our support for strong US leadership for peace, and urge you even to consider appointing a high profile envoy in hopes that as in the past this might advance peace and justice in the region,"
The US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is marking Poverty Awareness Month with a new Spanish-language website, updated online statistics, blog posts on poverty and a calendar to educate Catholics about poverty through the month of January and beyond. "We hope Poverty Awareness Month raises the consciousness of Catholics and other Americans about the debilitating poverty that smothers the spirit and weakens the soul of our neighbors everywhere,"
The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the United States (USCCB) has begun National Migration Week with a campaign that calls for comprehensive immigration reform in order to be able to legalize 11 million undocumented immigrants. "The National Migration Week is an opportunity for the Church to remember and reflect on the obligations related to Migration" said the Archbishop of Los Angeles, Archbishop Jose Gomez, President of the USCCB Committee on Migration. This year we celebrate the tenth anniversary
In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, the chairmen of three committees of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has issued a joint statement to decry violence in society. The bishops repeated the call from Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of USCCB, who expressed on the day of the horrible tragedy, deepest sorrow for all the victims and a call to work for peace in our homes, streets and world. They called on all Americans, especially legislators, to address national policies that will strengthen regulations of firearms and improve access to health care
The fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council by Blessed Pope John XXIII takes place on 11 October. The Council ran from 1962-1965, producing 16 documents over the course of four sessions. Over 2,000 bishops from around the world participated. The Council introduced major reforms and stands among the most significant religious events of the 20th Century... Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans, chairman of the US Bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship, has offered '10 Ways Vatican II Shapes the Church Today' to help Catholics appreciate the Council
Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has issued a statement in the wake of the September 11 death of US ambassador to Libya, J Christopher Stevens and members of the embassy staff.
"Yesterday's events in Libya and Egypt point to what is at stake. We need to be respectful of other religious traditions at the same time that we unequivocally proclaim that violence in the name of religion is wrong," said Cardinal Dolan.
"President Obama’s comments today in support of the redefinition of marriage are deeply saddening. As I stated in my public letter to the President on September 20, 2011, the Catholic Bishops stand ready to affirm every positive measure taken by the President and the Administration to strengthen marriage and the family. However, we cannot be
American bishops have joined a call from 76 nongovernmental organizations to President Obama, urging the United States to relinquish antipersonnel landmines and join the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty without further delay. The United States is one of only 37 countries in the world that have not joined the Mine Ban Treaty and the only country in the Western
The Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has called for reform of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) and named Archbishop Peter Sartain of Seattle as its Archbishop Delegate for the initiative. Bishop Leonard Blair and Bishop Thomas John Paprocki also were also named to assist in this task.
As they finalize federal spending priorities, Congress should find ways to assure continuation of Unemployment Insurance and Emergency Unemployment Compensation, said Bishop Stephen E Blaire “For millions of American workers and their families, economic hardship continues and grows.
Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), expressed the prayers and solidarity of the US bishops and Catholic for the people of Japan following the 11 March earthquake. In a letter to Archbishop Leo Jun Ikenaga, SJ, of Osaka, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan, Archbishop Dolan said the “estimates of suffering, loss of life and physical damage challenge our ability to grasp the reality of such an event.”
Church leaders of all denominations across the United States appealed for prayers and condemned the shooting in Arizona which that killed six, including John M Roll, the chief judge for the United States District Court for Arizona, and a child, and wounded at least a dozen others, including US Representative Gabrielle Giffords.
The US Conference of Catholic Bishops is urging Congress to pass an Act which would provide a path to citizenship for thousands of young persons without legal status who were brought to the United States as children by their parents. Under the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM) legislation, young people who complete two years of
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) elected Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York as their new president and Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky vice president at their annual Fall General Assembly.
Cuba's first new seminary in 50 years was opened in Havana today (4 November). The seminary, which is in fact a complex of buildings, is situated roughly 15 km (10 miles) outside the capital Havana and has space for 100 seminarians. It is open to young men from all over Cuba.
A new semnary is beiing opened in Cuba next month. The new National Seminary located some 30 miles outside of Havana, will be the first new religious construction in Cuba in more than 50 years. A delegation from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) will travel to Cuba November 3-6, to attend the celebrations.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Doctrine has issued a statement criticising a new book by Creighton University professors Todd Salzman and Michael Lawler, The Sexual Person: Toward a Renewed Catholic Anthropology. In the statement: "Inadequacies in the Theological Methodology and Conclusions
The Catholic Church in America is reaching out to those affected by the oil spill in the Gulf of New Mexico with prayer and practical support. Today at a meeting in St Petersburg, Florida, the bishops said in a statement:" We, the Catholic Bishops of the United States, gathered in St. Petersburg, Florida, for several days of prayer and reflection, take this opportunity
Catholic bishops in America have urged members of the Senate to come together across party lines to ratify the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START). They have also welcomed the Nuclear Posture Review as a “significant, yet modest, shift toward a world free of nuclear weapons."
The US Catholic bishops’ expert on preventing clergy abuse of minors, Teresa Kettelkamp, has offered ten tips for child safely to mark Child Abuse Prevention Month. During April, child protection staff in dioceses nationwide reexamine and publicize efforts for child protection. This has been a key effort of the church since 2002,
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has written a letter to President Obama welcoming the signing of the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty between the United States and the Russian Federation. Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, President of the USCCB, writes in the letter: “The horribly destructive capacity of nuclear arms
“It is our view, and that of others, that the American public, including the Catholic and other faith communities, want a humane and comprehensive solution to the problems which beset our immigration system, and they want Congress to address this issue,” said Bishop Wester.
Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has praised the decision of the US House of Representatives to block federal health care reform money from paying for elective abortions.
A proposed document from the US bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities looks at the relationship between sex and procreation and the moral issues surrounding various technologies for treating infertility, including in vitro fertilization, embryo adoption and surrogacy.
Cardinal Francis George, OMI, Archbishop of Chicago and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has issued the following statement, following yesterday's Vatican announcement of a new provision concerning Anglican groups coming into the Catholic Church.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have welcomed President Obama's 9 September address on health care reform, particularly his statements regarding abortion and the uninsured, which they call: "an important contribution to a crucial national debate".
“This Labour Day, we should take a moment to pray for all workers and all those without work” said Bishop William F Murphy of Rockville Centre, NY, in 'The Value of Work; the Dignity of the Human Person,' the annual Labour Day statement of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued for the first Monday of September.
“Genuine health care reform that protects the life and dignity of all is a moral imperative and a vital national obligation,” said Bishop William Murphy as he outlined the policy priorities of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) on the issue of health care
Leaders of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) said they were encouraged by provisions aimed at protecting the poor and vulnerable at home and abroad in the latest climate change legislation, but added that they were “very concerned about the inadequate funding
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has launched a new Oppose Destructive Stem Cell Research campaign today, equipping citizens to contact Congress and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to oppose embryonic stem cell research
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has urged President Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderón to consider the rights of migrants and to work together to bring humanity to the bi-national immigration system.
Bishop Howard J Hubbard, chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, has welcomed the Obama administration's decision to relax restrictions on Cuban-American travel
As the November election approaches, Catholic dioceses around the country are stepping up efforts to help Catholics understand Church social teaching and get them out to vote with a well-formed conscience.