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Catholic Church in the United States Will Welcome Thousands of New Catholics at Easter Vigil Masses

WASHINGTON— Dioceses across the country will be welcoming thousands of people into the Catholic Church at Easter Vigil Masses on the evening of April 20th. As the culmination of the Easter Triduum, the Vigil celebrates the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. While people can become Catholic at any time of the year, the Easter Vigil is a particularly appropriate moment for adult catechumens to be baptized and for already-baptized Christians to be received into full communion with the Catholic Church. Parishes welcome these new Catholics through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA).

Many of the dioceses across the nation have reported their numbers of people who intend to become Catholic on Saturday to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Based on these reports, more than 37,000 people are expected to be welcomed into the Church at Easter Vigil Masses.

Prior to beginning the RCIA process, an individual comes to some knowledge of Jesus Christ, considers his or her relationship with Jesus Christ and is usually attracted in some way to the Catholic Church. Then during the RCIA process, which typically lasts nine months or more, a person learns the teachings of the Catholic Church in a more formal way and discerns that he or she is ready to commit to living according to these beliefs. Thousands of people have already passed through this process and are ready to take this step on Saturday in parishes throughout the country.

Two distinct groups of people will be initiated into the Catholic Church. Catechumens, who have never been baptized, will receive Baptism, Confirmation and first Communion at the Holy Saturday Easter Vigil. Candidates, who have already been baptized in another Christian tradition, will enter the Church through a profession of faith and reception of Confirmation and the Eucharist.

For example, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the largest in the United States, will welcome 1,560 catechumens and 913 candidates; the Archdiocese of San Francisco will welcome 174 catechumens and 175 candidates; and the Diocese of San Diego will welcome 306 catechumens and 806 candidates.

The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston will welcome 1,512 catechumens and 631 candidates. Among them will be Alfredo Acosta, who is experiencing both intense sorrow and joy over the past two years that led him to become a Catholic. He suffered the loss of his two younger brothers who passed away, but then he also celebrated the birth of his son, Benjamin, now 18-months old. “My wife Gricelda is a cradle Catholic. She was born into her faith. Then we baptized our son last year, so I wanted to be able to share our faith with both of them,” Acosta said. Other catechumens and candidates say they were also inspired by the witness of Catholics in their lives

Other archdioceses and dioceses report numbers as follows: Archdiocese of Washington: 455 catechumens and 183 candidates; Atlanta: 645 catechumens, 1,181 candidates; Dallas: 1,196 catechumens, 1,399 candidates; Fort Worth: 600 catechumens, 500 candidates; Corpus Christi: 130 catechumens, 43 candidates; Tyler: 101 catechumens, 190 candidates; Charlotte: 724 catechumens, 1,284 candidates; Venice in Florida: 148 catechumens, 120 candidates; Archdiocese of New Orleans: 152 catechumens, 161 candidates; Columbus: 173 catechumens, 227 candidates; Erie: 51 catechumens, 80 candidates; Baton Rouge: 158 catechumens, 300 candidates; Orlando: 514 catechumens, 482 candidates; Monterrey: 297 catechumens; Crookston: 7 catechumens, 33 candidates; St. Augustine: 174 catechumens, 315 candidates; Rockville Centre: 272 catechumens; Arlington, VA: 285 catechumens, 277 candidates; Salina: 33 catechumens, 88 candidates; Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis: 205 catechumens, 319 candidates; Archdiocese of Newark: 411 catechumens, 58 candidates; Archdiocese of Oklahoma City: 262 catechumens, 324 candidates; Syracuse: 48 catechumens, 59 candidates.

The Archdiocese of Seattle reports 769 catechumens and 424 candidates; Salt Lake City: 227 catechumens, 107 candidates; Yakima: 255 catechumens, 40 candidates; Little Rock: 272 catechumens, 324 candidates; Archdiocese of Louisville: 185 catechumens, 191 candidates; Davenport: 63 catechumens, 85 candidates; Archdiocese of Denver: 462 catechumens, 348 candidates; Albany: 55 catechumens, 86 candidates; Archdiocese of Philadelphia: 196 catechumens, 267 candidates; Tucson: 136 catechumens, 179 candidates; Savannah: 80 catechumens, 231 candidates; Steubenville: 26 catechumens, 67 candidates; Gallup, New Mexico: 75 catechumens/candidates; Harrisburg: 92 catechumens.  

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati will be welcoming 322 catechumens, 403 candidates; Santa Rosa: 54 catechumens, 22 candidates; Trenton: 161 catechumens, 114 candidates; Honolulu: 197 catechumens, 184 candidates; Rochester: 62 catechumens, 112 candidates; Wichita: 123 catechumens, 234 candidates; Bridgeport: 71 catechumens, 210 candidates and Grand Rapids 171 catechumens, 186 candidates.

The Diocese of Pittsburgh reports: 101 catechumens, 161 candidates; Owensboro: 91 catechumens, 135 candidates; Lexington: 111 catechumens, 74 candidates; Archdiocese of Boston: 288 catechumens, 182 candidates; Covington: 65 catechumens, 121 candidates; Palm Beach: 152 catechumens, 464 candidates; Evansville: 81 catechumens, 94 candidates; Springfield, IL: 102 catechumens; 100 candidates; Manchester: 50 catechumens; Wilmington: 76 catechumens, 122 candidates; Archdiocese of Indianapolis: 330 catechumens, 465 candidates.

Additionally, the Diocese of Worcester reports 95 catechumens, 34 candidates; Belleville: 44 catechumens, 74 candidates; Lafayette: 63 catechumens, 93 candidates; Portland in Maine: 65 catechumens, 57 candidates; Houma-Thibodaux: 37 catechumens, 41 candidates; Yakima: 255 catechumens, 40 candidates; Youngstown, Ohio: 86 catechumens, 116 candidates; Des Moines; 97 catechumens, 131 candidates; Springfield, MA: 43 catechumens, 56 candidates; Paterson: 114 catechumens.

The Archdiocese of Baltimore will receive 227 catechumens, 410 candidates; Biloxi: 72 catechumens, 135 candidates; Green Bay, WI: 40 catechumens, 78 candidates; Shreveport: 27 catechumens, 94 candidates; Kansas City-St. Joseph: 160 catechumens, 155 candidates; Camden: 126 catechumens; Fall River: 43 catechumens, 65 candidates; Jefferson City: 100 catechumens; 165 candidates; Saginaw: 60 catechumens, 53 candidates; Cleveland: 251 catechumens, 270 candidates; Gary: 50 catechumens, 100 candidates.

The Archdiocese of Anchorage will also be welcoming 39 catechumens, 34 candidates; Bismarck: 16 catechumens, 44 candidates; St. Cloud: 17 catechumens, 40 candidates; New Ulm: 8 catechumens, 28 candidates; Great Falls-Billings: 38 catechumens, 60 candidates; Peoria: 82 catechumens, 196 candidates; Lake Charles: 61 catechumens, 141 candidates; Kalamazoo Michigan: 55 catechumens, 46 candidates.

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Keywords: U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Holy Saturday, Easter Vigil, Easter Triduum, Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), catechumens, candidates, conversion, baptism, First Communion, Eucharist, confirmation, sacraments, Catholic, archdiocese, diocese

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Media Contacts:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

Miguel Guilarte
202-541-3202

 


President of U.S. Bishops’ Conference Issues Statement on Notre Dame Cathedral Fire

WASHINGTON—Amidst the devastating fire taking place at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Pairs, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement to the people of Paris.

The full statement follows:

“The horrific fire that is engulfing the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris is shocking and saddens us all, for this particular cathedral is not only a majestic Church, it is also a world treasure. Noble in architecture and art, it has long been a symbol of the transcendent human spirit as well as our longing for God. Our hearts go out to the Archbishop and the people of Paris, and we pray for all the people of France, entrusting all to the prayers and intercession of the Mother of God, especially the firefighters battling the fire. We are a people of hope and of the resurrection, and as devastating as this fire is, I know that the faith and love embodied by this magnificent Cathedral will grow stronger in the hearts of all Christians.”

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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops USCCB, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Paris, Cathedral of Notre Dame

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 


BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE PRESIDENT CALLS FOR PRAYER AND SUPPORT FOLLOWING THE DEADLY STORM IN THE SOUTHEAST

WASHINGTON—Following a severe storm that brought devastation to the Southeast, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, expressed sorrow over the loss of life and destruction as result of the storm.

The full statement follows:

“I am greatly saddened by the reports of devastation and loss of life due to this past weekend’s storm. The heavy winds, rain and reported tornado has left a path of destruction in the Southeast expected to stretch as far north as New England. Several lives have been lost including those of three children. It is reported that tens of millions of people have been impacted by the severe weather.  

As we enter this Holy Week, let us pray for those who have lost their lives and for the loved ones they leave behind and ask the Lord to comfort the grieving and inspire neighbors and people around the country to respond generously in the recovery efforts. The gift of Easter reminds us to trust in the Lord who by his sacrifice on the cross and resurrection promises life everlasting.”
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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops USCCB, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Natural Disaster
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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 


Catholic Home Missions Appeal to Support Essential Pastoral Programs to be Held April 27-28

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) annual Catholic Home Missions Appeal will be held in most dioceses across the country over the weekend of April 27-28. The Appeal funds grants to home mission dioceses -- dioceses and eparchies in the United States that are unable to offer their people the basic pastoral ministries of word, worship, and service without outside help.

“People across the United States long to grow closer to Christ but too many cannot access even basic pastoral programs,” said Most Reverend W. Shawn McKnight, Bishop of Jefferson City and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Catholic Home Missions. “The Catholic Home Missions Appeal helps dioceses overcome obstacles of geography, poverty, and limited resources, and fosters solidarity to help others experience the presence of the risen Lord.”

The Subcommittee on Catholic Home Missions oversees the Catholic Home Missions Appeal as part of the USCCB Committee on National Collections. The Subcommittee funds a wide range of pastoral services, including those that focus on evangelization activities, religious education, and ministry training for priests, deacons, religious sisters and brothers, and laypeople, as well as support of poor parishes across the country. The Subcommittee’s grants are funded by donations to the annual collection.

In 2018, the Subcommittee approved over $9.4 million in grants to assist dioceses and eparchies this year. Currently, more than 37 percent of all US dioceses and territories receive support from the Subcommittee on Catholic Home Missions. These funded dioceses are located across the United States, including the Deep South, Appalachia, and the Rocky Mountains, as well as in US territories in the Caribbean and Pacific.


More information about the Appeal, including what programs it supports and how the funds are distributed, can be found at www.usccb.org/home-missions. People who live in dioceses that do not participate in the collection can learn more online.

Richard Coll, Director of the Catholic Home Missions program, is available for media interviews.

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Keywords: USCCB, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Catholic Home Missions Appeal

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 


USCCB Migration Chairman Endorses Proposed Senate Legislation That Gives Permanent Legal Protection to Dreamers and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Holders

WASHINGTON—The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Migration endorsed the “Development Relief and Education for Alien Minors” (DREAM) Act of 2019, S. 874 and the “Safe Environment from Countries Under Repression & Emergency” (SECURE) Act of 2019, S. 879. The DREAM Act of 2019 would provide permanent legal protection and a pathway to citizenship for qualifying Dreamers. The SECURE Act of 2019 would provide permanent legal protection and a pathway to citizenship to qualifying Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) holders.

“We support legislative efforts to fully integrate hard-working Dreamers and TPS holders into the United States. We need a permanent legislative solution for those who have spent their lives contributing and living in the United States, the country they know as home,” said Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration. “Dreamers and TPS holders are vital members of our community who are going to school, working to make our communities better and raising families.”

Please see the USCCB Committee on Migration letters of support for the DREAM Act and Secure Act.

More information about Dreamers and TPS can be found on the Justice for Immigrants website.
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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Joe Vásquez, Committee on Migration, refugees, Dreamers, TPS, DACA, immigration reform

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Media Contact:
Mark Priceman
202-541-3064

Miguel Guilarte
202-541-3202

 


Pro-Life Chairman for U.S. Bishops’ Urges Passage of Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

WASHINGTON—Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities, made the following statement in response to today’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Abortion Until Birth: The Need to Pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act:

Archbishop Naumann’s full statement follows:

“This bill draws the public’s attention to the shameful reality that the United States is one of only seven nations worldwide that allows the barbaric practice of late-term abortion, when a child likely feels pain and might even live outside the womb with appropriate medical assistance. Such abortion procedures after the middle point of pregnancy also pose serious physical dangers to women. With the vast majority of Americans strongly supporting a ban on late-term abortions, it is time for Congress to pass this bill. I also pray that consideration of this bill moves our country closer to recognizing all unborn babies as legal persons worthy of our love and respect.”  

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Keywords: Archbishop Joseph Naumann, United State Conference of Catholic Bishops, Committee on Pro-Life Activities, Senate Judiciary Committee, Abortion Until Birth: The Need to Pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, late-term abortion, pain, media assistance, danger, women, U.S. Congress, unborn babies, legal persons, love, respect

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 


President of the U.S. Bishops Conference Issues Statement on Archbishop Wilton Gregory’s Appointment to Archdiocese of Washington

WASHINGTON-Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued a statement regarding the appointment of Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory to the episcopal see of the Archdiocese of Washington.

The full statement follows:

“Yesterday, the Catholic faithful in Washington welcomed Archbishop Wilton Gregory. We thank our Holy Father for the appointment of a gentle pastor and courageous leader in our nation’s capital. I am grateful to the people of Atlanta in offering their dear bishop for this new ministry. Let us pray for Archbishop Gregory and Cardinal Wuerl as they transition in good service to the Church.”

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Keywords: Pope Francis, USCCB, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Archbishop Wilton Gregory, Archdiocese of Washington, Cardinal Donald Wuerl

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 


Migration Chairman and CRS Urge US Government to Designate Temporary Protected Status for Venezuela

WASHINGTON—On April 4, 2019 Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on Migration, joined Sean Callahan, CEO of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), in sending a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, and Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo, urging an 18-month designation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Venezuela.

TPS is a temporary, renewable, and statutorily-authorized immigration status that allows individuals to remain and work lawfully in the U.S. during a period in which it is deemed unsafe for nationals to return to their home country.

There is no current TPS designation for Venezuela. However, conditions in the country and existing political instability have created a situation in which Venezuelan nationals cannot be safely returned home at this time. The Justice and Peace Commission of the Venezuelan Bishops Conference have recently noted the numerous violations of fundamental human rights inflicted by the country’s police and the violation of citizens’ access to health and medicine. Catholic partners have further reported on the acute food shortages and malnutrition facing the country.

“At this time, it is vital that Venezuelans in the United States have an opportunity to live with dignity, work lawfully, and provide for their families’ well-being until they can safely return home.” Bishop Vasquez noted. “We must provide humanitarian assistance to all our Venezuelan brothers and sisters in need, whether they live in the United States, in other South American countries, or in Venezuela itself,” Callahan said.

Read the full letter here: https://justiceforimmigrants.org/news/usccb-crs-letter-advocating-for-tps-status-for-venezuelans/
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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Joe S. Vásquez, Committee on Migration, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Homeland Security, Temporary Protected Status (TPS), Venezuela, citizen security, families.
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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 


Pope Francis Names Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta as New Archbishop of Washington

WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has named the Most Reverend Wilton D. Gregory as the new Archbishop of Washington. The appointment was publicized in Washington, DC, on April 4, 2019 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States.

Archbishop Wilton Gregory, 71, was born on December 7, 1947 in Chicago, Illinois. He attended the University of Saint Mary at Mundelein Seminary, and completed his doctorate in sacred liturgy in 1980 at the Pontifical Liturgical Institute (Sant’ Anselmo) in Rome.

He was ordained as a priest for the Archdiocese of Chicago on May 9, 1973. On December 13, 1983, he was ordained an auxiliary bishop of Chicago. He was then installed as bishop of the Diocese of Belleville, IL on February 10, 1994. Pope John Paull II appointed him as the sixth archbishop of the Archdiocese of Atlanta. He was installed on January 17, 2005.

Archbishop Gregory served as president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops from Nov. 2001 to 2004, following three years as USCCB vice president. Under his leadership, the USCCB implemented the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.” He also previously served on other committees including the Committee on Doctrine, Liturgy, Administrative, and International Policy and also as Chairman of the Bishops’ Committees on Personnel and the Third Millennium/Jubilee Year 2000.

On October 12, 2018, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Cardinal Donald Wuerl, 78, from the pastoral governance of the Archdiocese of Washington.

Cardinal Wuerl had presented his resignation almost three years ago, when he reached the retirement age for bishops of 75. Upon acceptance of his resignation, Pope Francis named Cardinal Wuerl as apostolic administrator to oversee the archdiocese until a successor was named. Cardinal Wuerl served as archbishop of Washington from 2006 to 2018.

The Archdiocese of Washington is comprised of 2,104 square miles and has a total population of 2,994,625 of which 658,818 or 22 percent, are Catholic.  

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Pope Francis, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio, Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory , Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl, Archdiocese of Washington, Archdiocese of Atlanta

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200


El Presidente del Comité de Actividades Provida de USCCB emite una declaración sobre la Ley de Protección a Sobrevivientes del Aborto Nacidos Vivos

WASHINGTON— Hoy, el congresista Steve Scalise está presentando una petición en la Cámara de Representantes para forzar una votación sobre el proyecto de ley de la Representante Ann Wagner, la Ley de Protección de Sobrevivientes del Aborto Nacidos Vivos. Si la petición recibe 218 firmas, los miembros de la Cámara votarán sobre la legislación para garantizar que cualquier niño nacido vivo después de un intento de aborto reciba el mismo grado de atención que se le daría a otro niño nacido en la misma edad gestacional.

El Arzobispo Joseph F. Naumann, Presidente del Comité de Actividades Pro-Vida de la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de los Estados Unidos (USCCB), emitió la siguiente declaración en respuesta:
 
“Nuestra nación es mejor que el infanticidio. Los bebés nacidos vivos durante el proceso de aborto merecen la misma atención y asistencia médica que cualquier otro recién nacido. No brindar atención es una forma letal de discriminación contra las circunstancias del nacimiento del niño. Insto encarecidamente a todos los representantes a firmar esta petición, y luego a votar por la Ley de Protección de Sobrevivientes del Aborto Nacidos Vivos. Este proyecto de ley agregaría requisitos específicos para ayudar a garantizar que los bebés nacidos vivos después de un intento de aborto puedan tener una oportunidad justa en la vida".

La carta del Arzobispo Naumann a la Cámara de Representantes y otros recursos pueden encontrarse en: http://www.usccb.org/about/pro-life-activities/born-alive-bill.cfm

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Palabras clave: Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de Estados Unidos, Comité de Actividades Provida, USCCB, Arzobispo Joseph Naumann, Cámara de Representantes, Steve Scalise, Ley de Protección de Sobrevivientes del Aborto Nacidos Vivos.

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Contactos de prensa:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

Miguel Guilarte
202-541-3202

 


Christus Vivit, Pope Francis’s Apostolic Exhortation on Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment, Welcomed by U.S. Bishops’ President and Committee Chairmen

WASHINGTON-The release of Pope Francis's apostolic exhortation today is “a wonderful summons to the Church to more vigorously invest in youth and young adults, especially those on the peripheries and those disconnected from the Church,” said the President and committee chairmen of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB). 

Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston and President of the USCCB, Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R, of Newark, chairman of the Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, and Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., of Philadelphia, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, have issued the following joint statement on the release of Christus Vivit. 

Full statement follows: 

“The Church of the United States welcomes this teaching from Pope Francis as the fruit of the synodal journey in which we walked with and listened to young people. This exhortation is a wonderful summons to the whole Church to more vigorously invest in youth and young adults, especially those on the peripheries and those who are disconnected from the Church.

We encourage all Catholic leaders to read and study this exhortation and the pertinent documents of the Synod. They provide for us a framework from which we can build upon in our dioceses, parishes, and communities. 

Now more than ever, we must turn our attention to our young people and engage them as ‘protagonists’ of the Church’s mission. Their insights can help us grow as a Church and guide us as we all learn to become better missionary disciples in an intercultural and intergenerational context. We look forward to what comes next, in collaboration with Catholic ministry leaders already working alongside young people. We look forward to the journey ahead, and pray with St. John Paul II, a patron of young people whose passing we remember today, for the Church’s ongoing mission to all generations. 

The post-synodal apostolic exhortation, Christus Vivit, is a significant milestone of the synodal process begun by Pope Francis in 2016. After two years of consultation by episcopal conferences, movements, and Catholic organizations, along with a worldwide online survey and a Pre-Synod Meeting with young adults in March 2018, the General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops met in October 2018 on the theme ‘Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment.’ Bishops, clergy, religious, and lay people, including a number of young people, together with Pope Francis, addressed the challenges facing younger generations today and ways in which the Church can best respond. Now the work of the Holy Spirit, manifest in the sessions of the Synod, will bear fruit in the dioceses of the United States.”

Pope Francis’s Christus Vivit may be ordered online at http://store.usccb.org/christ-is-alive-p/7-628.htm

Please also click on the following link for a cover image of the text http://www.usccb.org/about/marketing/products/images/p-francis-exhortation-christ-lives-7-628-Cover-1000.jpg

Additional books and resources pertaining to youth and young adult ministries, marriage and family life, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Vatican, ministry and more can be found by visiting the USCCB’s online bookstore at https://store.usccb.org

For more information on the 2018 Synod on Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment, please visit www.usccb.org/christlives

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Keywords: Pope Francis, Apostolic Exhortation, Christus Vivit, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, Synod, intercultural, intergenerational context, youth ministry, young adult ministry, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops  


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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200

 


Catholic Bishops’ Pro-Life Chairman Praises Trump Administration for Expanded Mexico City Policy

WASHINGTON– Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, thanked the Trump Administration following its announcement of the expansion of the Mexico City Policy and its enforcement of the Siljander Amendment.

“As Chairman of the United States Bishops’ Pro-Life Committee, I applaud this Administration for working hard to ensure that U.S. taxpayer dollars are not used to perform or promote abortion internationally. Taxpayer dollars should never fund abortion—and especially not in developing countries where many women need genuine, life-sustaining support for themselves and for their children. International organizations should be providing real assistance, real healthcare, and real opportunities for women, instead of offering to end the lives of their unborn children.”

The Mexico City Policy, now called Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance, requires foreign non-governmental organizations receiving U.S. aid to certify that they will not perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in developing nations. The expansion ensures that taxpayer dollars aren’t going to organizations that perform or promote abortions themselves or that fund other organizations that perform or promote abortions. The Siljander Amendment prohibits federal dollars from funding groups that lobby for or against abortion.

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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, Committee on Pro-Life Activities, Trump Administration, Mexico city Policy, enforcement, Siliander Amendment, U.S. taxpayer dollars, abortion, International organizations, Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance, non-governmental organizations, NGO’s, developing nations

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Media Advisory
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 


U.S. Bishops’ Chairmen Offer Prayers and Solidarity for Recovery After Deadly Cyclone Hits Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe

WASHINGTON—After historic devastation and loss of life brought on by Cyclone Idai to Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe, Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin C.Ss.R., Archbishop of Newark and Chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Subcommittee on the Church in Africa, and Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio, Archbishop for the Military Services and Chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, wrote to the Catholic Bishops’ Conferences of Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe to express sorrow and solidarity over the lives lost by the cyclone and offered prayers for recovery.

The full statement follows:

“It is with profound shock, horror, and sadness that we learn about the devastation and massive loss of life that has occurred in your country due to Cyclone Idai. The magnitude of the cyclone and the scope of its damages are almost beyond belief.

We pray for the hundreds of people who lost their lives in the storm. May they rest in peace and bask in the eternal embrace of our heavenly Father. We also pray for the family members who survived the devastation and now mourn the loss of their loved ones, and struggle to rebuild their homes and livelihoods. They face a long road to recovery. We join them in their mourning. May they find comfort and solace. We offer them our prayers and support.

As a concrete manifestation of that support, we are pleased to inform you that Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops overseas relief and development agency, immediately set up an emergency relief initiative to collect resources to provide humanitarian aid and begin the longer-term recovery efforts in Mozambique/Malawi/Zimbabwe. We have full confidence that you will soon see the results of these efforts.

CRS and the USCCB remain committed to stand with the Church and the people of Mozambique/Malawi/Zimbabwe in your long road to recovery and increased prosperity.”

Donations can be made to Catholic Relief Services.

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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, Archbishop Timothy Broglio, Catholic Relief Services, Mozambique, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Cyclone Idai

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 


Concern Over New Mercury Rule Expressed by Chairmen of U.S. Bishops’ Domestic Justice and Pro-Life Activities Committees; Bishops Call it “Troubling”

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a new rule that deems it no longer “appropriate and necessary” to regulate mercury and other hazardous air pollutants emitted by power plants. Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development and Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, Chairman of the U.S. Bishops Committee on Pro-Life Activities, expressed concern about the potential risks to human life and environmental health.  

 “The proposed change to the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) rule is troubling since it is well-documented that pregnant mothers and their unborn children are the most sensitive to mercury pollution and its adverse health effects,” said Archbishop Nauman. “The MATS rule reflects a proper respect for life of the human person and of God’s creation – a great example of the integral ecology called for in Laudato Si’,” said Bishop Dewane.  

Comments in opposition to the regulations can be found at: https://t.co/1SniZN2BXq?amp=1
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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop Frank J. Dewane, Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, Committee on Pro-Life Activities, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mercury, hazardous air pollutants, power plant emissions, environmental health. Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) Laudato Si  
 
Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 


Update on Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo’s Recovery from a Mild Stroke

WASHINGTON—The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston has issued the following update on the recovery of Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and Presidentof the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Cardinal DiNardo suffered a mild stroke last Friday, March 15. We join with the archdiocese in continued prayers for the Cardinal’s full recovery.

Archdiocesan Statement re: Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo:

Following a mild stroke experienced last Friday evening while leading a Lenten observance of the Stations of the Cross, we are pleased to report that Cardinal DiNardo’s condition has improved to the point that he was discharged from St. Joseph’s Hospital today — and has entered a standard rehabilitation program which usually lasts in the neighborhood of two weeks. Based on recent trends, doctors expect the Cardinal to make a full recovery. “I could not be more grateful to the truly wonderful doctors and nurses at St. Joseph’s for their expert care and compassion, which has helped hasten my way down the road to a full recovery,” said Cardinal DiNardo. “I am also doubly thankful for the many kindwishes and especially the prayers that have been directed towards my healing, which I can assure you are making a true difference. I look forward to getting back to work soon and continuing the important work we have before us.”  

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Keywords: Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200

 


U.S. Bishops’ Chairmen Reaffirm Authentic Human Dignity and Rights in Letter to Congress Opposing Equality Act

WASHINGTON—Three chairmen of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) have written in public opposition to the Equality Act (H.R. 5 / S. 788), which was introduced in Congress on March 13, 2019. The Act would add the new terms “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the definition of “sex” in federal civil rights laws, which has wide-reaching impacts on health care, women and girls’ legal protections, charitable services to needful populations, schools, personal privacy, athletics, free speech, religious liberties, and potentially parental rights.
 
With respect to those who identify as “LGBT,” “each and every person should be treated with dignity and respect. Part of that dignity, as Pope Benedict stated, is every person’s right to gainful and decent employment free of unjust discrimination. Also included is each person’s right to services that address their needs for health and safety,” affirmed Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development; Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, chairman of the Committee for Religious Liberty; and Bishop James D. Conley of Lincoln, chairman of the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage; in their letter to members of Congress.
 
“Rather than offering meaningful protections for individuals, however, the Equality Act would impose sweeping regulations to the detriment of society as a whole,” they explained. The chairmen proceeded to elaborate on some of their several concerns with the Act’s consequences. In state and local jurisdictions with similar laws, many of these have already been coming to fruition – with students, charities, and businesses owners facing privacy violations, penalties, or litigation.

Stressing their desire to work toward social inclusion without divisiveness or harm to the common good, the bishops emphasized to members of Congress that “we readily stand with you, and are willing to assist you, in developing compassionate and just means to eradicate unjust discrimination and harassment from our country.”
 
The letter to the House and Senate is available online at www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/marriage-and-family/marriage/promotion-and-defense-of-marriage/upload/Equality-Act-Letter-to-Congress-House-1.pdf, and www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/marriage-and-family/marriage/promotion-and-defense-of-marriage/upload/Equality-Act-Letter-to-Congress-Senate-1.pdf.
 
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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Frank J. Dewane, Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, Committee for Religious Liberty, Bishop James D. Conley, Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage; U.S. Congress, Equality Act (H.R. 5 / S. 788), LGBT, civil rights laws
 
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MEDIA CONTACT:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 


U.S. Bishops’ Chairman Offers Prayers for Recovery, After Flooding in the Midwest

WASHINGTON—After historic flooding brought devastation to parts of the Midwest, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida and Chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, expressed grief over the lives lost and threatened by the floods and offered prayers for recovery.

The full statement follows:

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of life and the damage caused by the flooding throughout the Midwest these past few days. As of this writing, at least nine million people in fourteen states have been affected by rising water levels along rivers and creeks in the central United States. Four people have been killed by swift currents and rising floodwaters. Heavy rainfall and melting snow from this winter’s powerful storms continue to threaten the lives and livelihoods of many as the floodwaters are not expected to recede until later this week.

It is our prayer that those affected by the floods will find the strength to rebuild. We trust that the Lord will console them in their suffering. Let us answer the Lord’s call to love one another and generously support our neighbors in this time of need.”
Donations can be made to Catholic Charities USA at https://catholiccharitiesusa.org.

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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Frank Dewane, Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, Missouri, Kansas, Midwest, Missouri River

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 


Collection to Help Serve Vulnerable and Marginalized People to Be Held on March 31

WASHINGTON— The annual Catholic Relief Services Collection will be held in many dioceses across the country on Laetare Sunday, March 31.

The Catholic Relief Services Collection supports the work of several Catholic organizations serving some of the most marginalized communities in the world. Programs include relief and resettlement for victims of persecution, war, and natural disasters; development projects to improve living conditions for people in poverty; pastoral services for rural workers and legal support services for poor immigrants in the United States; peace and reconciliation work for people suffering from violence and religious persecution; and advocacy on behalf of the powerless.

“This Lent we pray that our eyes are opened to see Christ, our redeemer, standing before us. This special collection is a way for us to see Christ in the face of those in need — people who are in poverty, suffering, vulnerable, and marginalized. I thank the faithful for their steadfast support of those in need and for answering Christ’s call to help them,” said Archbishop Paul D. Etienne of Anchorage, Alaska, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on National Collections.

Funds donated to the special collection are provided to six Catholic groups that share in the Catholic mission of promoting the sanctity of human life and the dignity of the human person. These include the USCCB Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church, the USCCB Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development, and the USCCB Department of Migration and Refugee Services, as well as Catholic Relief Services, the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., and the Holy Father's Relief Fund. The USCCB Administrative Committee is responsible for grant-making from this national collection.

More information about the collection, including detailed information about who it supports and how the funds are distributed, can be found at www.usccb.org/catholic-relief. People who live in dioceses that do not participate in the collection can learn more online.  
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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Catholic Relief Service, Collection, Archbishop Paul D. Etienne, poverty, pastoral services, legal services, immigrants,

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 


President of U.S. Bishops Conference Suffers Mild Stroke

WASHINGTON—The following statement has been issued by the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston regarding Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and Presidentof the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. We join with the archdiocese in praying for the Cardinal’s quick recovery.  

Archdiocesan Statement re: Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo:

Cardinal DiNardo was taken to a Houston hospital last night after experiencing the symptoms of what tests today have confirmed was a mild stroke. The Cardinal is resting comfortablyand conversing with associates, doctors and nurses. It is expected that Cardinal DiNardo will remain hospitalized for a few more days of testing and observation, followed by a transfer to another facility for rehabilitation. He is grateful to the doctorsand nurses for their wonderful care and for continued prayers during his recovery. Cardinal DiNardo said, "With so much to do, I am looking forward to getting back to work as soon as possible."

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Keywords: Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200

 


USCCB Migration Chairman Endorses Proposed Legislation That Gives Permanent Legal Protection to Dreamers and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Holders

WASHINGTON—The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Migration endorsed the American Dream andPromise Act of 2019 (H.R. 6), legislation that would provide permanent legal protection and a pathway to citizenship for qualifying Dreamers and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) holders.

 “We need a permanent legislative solution for those who have spent their lives contributing and living in the United States,the country they know as home,” said Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration. “Dreamers and TPS holders are vital members of our community who are going to school, working to make our communities better and raising families.They have lived in limbo for far too long and now is the time for a solution.”  

On Wednesday, March 6th, Most Reverend Mario Dorsonville-Rodriguez, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Washingtonand a Committee on Migration member testified before the House Judiciary Committee at the hearing “Protecting Dreamers and TPS Recipients.” The full written testimony of Bishop Dorsonville-Rodriguez and the hearing can also be seen in its entirety here.

Please see the USCCB Committee on Migration letter of support here.

More information about Dreamers and TPS can be found on the Justice for Immigrants website.

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Joe Vásquez, Bishop Mario Dorsonville-Rodriguez, Committee on Migration, refugees,Dreamers, TPS, DACA, immigration reform

 

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Media Contact:

Mark Priceman

202-541-3064

Miguel Guilarte
202-541-3200

 


President of U.S. Bishops’ Responds to Today’s Mass Shooting at New Zealand Mosques

WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston and President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued the following statement in response to today’s mass shooting at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The full statement follows:

“I am deeply saddened by the senseless attacks at the Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand that killed dozens of worshippers and seriously injured many others, including children. This slaughter of innocent Muslim brothers and sisters praying peacefully is being described as a terrorist attack carried out by a self-identified fascist and his accomplices. As the Catholic bishops of New Zealand said, 'we are particularly horrified that this has happened at a place and time of prayer.'

Unfortunately, we Americans are all too familiar with gun violence, which often targets religious communities. However, we must not remain complacent or desensitized to the horror of these tragedies.

I join with my brother bishops in New Zealand in expressing solidarity with the Muslim community and in calling Catholics to join in prayer for the victims of this shooting, their families, and the Muslim community that was directly targeted.

May almighty God change the hearts of those who hate to recognize the inherent dignity of all people and bring consolation to all those affected by this heart-rending loss.”

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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, mass shootings, Christchurch, New Zealand, mosque attacks, Muslim brothers and sisters, terrorist attack, fascism , Muslim community, prayers, inherent dignity

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200

 


Bishops’ Conference Committee Chairman Welcomes Governor of California’s Declaration of Moratorium on Death Penalty

WASHINGTON—After California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a moratorium on executions, Bishop FrankJ. Dewane of Venice, FL, Chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, expressed gratitude for the decision as a step to further the recognition of the inherent dignity of all human life.

The full statement follows:

"We join the California Catholic Conference and all people of good will in welcomingCalifornia Governor Gavin Newsom’s declaration issuing a moratorium on the use of the death penalty in his state. We are grateful and urge California lawmakers to take the next logical step to repeal the death penalty to bring a permanent end to this practice.  

“In his 2015 address to the U.S. Congress, Pope Francis called for 'the global abolition of the deathpenalty,' as he explained, 'I am convinced that this way is the best, since every life is sacred, every human person is endowed with an inalienable dignity, and society can only benefit from the rehabilitation of those convicted of crimes. . . . [A] just andnecessary punishment must never exclude the dimension of hope and the goal of rehabilitation.' Today’s decision is a wise step in better orienting the criminal justice system to recognize the inherent dignity of all human life.”

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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Frank J. Dewane, Committee onDomestic Justice and Human Development, Governor Gavin Newsom, California Catholic Conference, death penalty, moratorium, U.S. Congress, Pope Francis, human person, inalienable dignity, rehabilitation, criminal justice system, inherent dignity

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200

 


USCCB Migration Chairman and CRS President Issue Statement Supporting Texas-Mexico Border Bishops’ Statement on Recent U.S. Government Asylum Policy

WASHINGTON— Bishop Joe S. Vásquez, of Austin, Texas, Chairman of the U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration and Sean Callahan, President and CEO of Catholic Relief Services issue the following statement in solidarity with the March 4th statement of the Texas and Mexico Border Bishops.

The full statement follows:

“Consistent with the Texas-Mexico Border Bishops’ March 4th statement, we oppose U.S. policy requiring asylum seekers to remain in Mexico while waiting to access protection in the United States. We urge the Administration to reverse this policy, which needlessly increases the suffering of the most vulnerable and violates international protocols. We steadfastly affirm a person’s right to seek asylum and find recent efforts to curtail and deter that right deeply troubling. We must look beyond our borders; families are escaping extreme violence and poverty at home and are fleeing for their lives. Our staff and partners in Central America witness the suffering there and fight against it. Our government must adopt policies and provide more funding that address root causes of migration and promote human dignity and sustainable livelihoods. Like the Texas-Mexico Border Bishops, we recommit to Pope Francis’s call to welcome, protect, promote, and integrate our immigrant brothers and sisters in Christ.”

For more information on the U.S. government’s Migration Protection Protocol policy which requires certain asylum seekers to wait in Mexico please click here.
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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Joe S. Vasquez, Committee on Migration, Sean Callahan, Catholic Relief Services, Texas-Mexico, Border Bishops, migrants, asylum, Immigration, Central America.

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 


Co-Chair of USCCB dialogue with National Council of Synagogues Issues Statement Regarding Opening of Vatican Archives

WASHINGTON— Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York and Co-Chair of the USCCB’s dialogue with the National Council of Synagogues, praised Pope Francis’ recent announcement regarding the opening of the Vatican Archives from the wartime pontificate of Pope Pius XII.

“I am grateful to His Holiness for taking this welcome step and allowing scholars to examine the records of Pope Pius XII’s pontificate during the Second World War,” commented Cardinal Dolan. “Along with our Jewish partners and colleagues, I have previously called for access to these files. Today, we look forward to the 2020 opening of the Archives.”

In a March 4 audience with Vatican officials, Pope Francis announced his intention to permit access to the Secret Archives of Pius XII’s pontificate. The Pope set the date of March 2, 2020 for the official opening.

Pius XII’s papacy began in 1939, just months before the outbreak of the Second World War. Scholars, particularly those interested in Catholic-Jewish relations, have been anxious to examine Vatican files, especially those related to the war years and the fate of the Jewish community in Rome.

As a U.S. leader in Catholic-Jewish relations, Cardinal Dolan has actively called for the release of these documents since becoming Archbishop of New York in 2009. “Whatever is needed to complete this project, even in phases rather than only as a whole, I suggest must be explored,” His Eminence said in a speech at Jewish Theological Seminary in 2011.

“I echo Pope Francis’ sentiment that sincere historical research will present an opportunity to grow in public understanding,” reflected Cardinal Dolan. “I pray it will bring about a new era in which Catholic and Jewish scholars, who have deepened their trust and friendship, can continue working together to examine this important new material.”

Rabbi David Straus, Senior Rabbi of Main Line Reform Temple in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, and co-chair of the National Council of Synagogues dialogue with the USCCB, echoed the Cardinal’s sentiments, saying, “We look forward to this new moment of openness, which will only build upon our previous work together, and, we pray, continue to strengthen our relationships, friendships, understandings of each other in our important work together. Our shared commitment to making the facts known can only serve to demonstrate the mutuality of respect and concern that is reflected in Pope Francis’s decision.”

For more information, please visit our website: http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/ecumenical-and-interreligious/index.cfm.

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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Timothy Cardinal Dolan, National Council of Synagogues, Pope Francis, Pope Pius XII, Second World War, Secret Archives, Catholic-Jewish relations, Jewish community in Rome, Rabbi David Straus, Main Line Reform Temple

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 


President of U.S. Bishops’ sends letter to Chairman of Catholic Relief Services following deadly plane crash

WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and the President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has sent a letter to the Most Reverend Gregory John Mansour, Bishop of the Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn, following the tragic plane crash yesterday. Bishop Mansour serves as the chairman of the board of Catholic Relief Services. Of the 157 lives lost, four were employees of Catholic Relief Services.
The full letter is below:

Dear Bishop Mansour,

It was with great sadness that I learned of the deaths of four of our esteemed colleagues from Catholic Relief Services who were on the airplane that crashed on Sunday, March 10, 2019.

I, along with my brother bishops of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, join together with the entire CRS family, especially CRS Ethiopia and our EARO colleagues, in mourning the tragic loss of Sara Chalachew, Getnet Alemayehu, Sintayehu Aymeku, and Mulusew Alemu. Their service to the poor and their accompaniment of the marginalized stand as a great witness to Christ and His love for us all.

Please know that I have asked all our brother bishops here in the United States to pray for the repose of the souls of Sara, Getnet, Sintayehu, and Mulusew, and we will especially do so at the upcoming meeting of the USCCB Administrative Committee this week. May the consolation of the Savior’s embrace be now a source of comfort to their loved ones and co-workers on this difficult and painful day.

United in prayer and vigil for the Risen Lord, I remain,

Daniel Cardinal DiNardo
Archbishop of Galveston-Houston
President, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Bishop Gregory Mansour, Eparchy of Brooklyn, Catholic Relief Services
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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200