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Chairman of U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Migration Statement in Response to Imminent Administration Deportation Plans

WASHINGTON—On Monday, June 17, 2019, President Donald J. Trump announced impending immigration enforcement actions by the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Subsequent press reports on Friday, June 21 indicated that ICE has plans for an enforcement operation in major cities to remove thousands of migrant families with deportation orders.  
 
In response to the President’s statement and reports that have followed, the Most Reverend Joe S. Vásquez, Bishop of Austin and Chair of the USCCB Committee on Migration, issued the following statement:  

“We recognize the right of nations to control their borders in a just and proportionate manner. However, broad enforcement actions instigate panic in our communities and will not serve as an effective deterrent to irregular migration. Instead, we should focus on the root causes in Central America that have compelled so many to leave their homes in search of safety and reform our immigration system with a view toward justice and the common good. We stand ready to work with the Administration and Congress to achieve those objectives.   

During this unsettling time, we offer our prayers and support to our brothers and sisters, regardless of their immigration status, and recognizing their inherent dignity as children of God.”
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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Joe S. Vásquez, Committee on Migration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Trump Administration, U.S. Congress, inherent dignity
 
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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 


World Refugee Day 2019 to be Celebrated June 20

WASHINGTON—Today is World Refugee Day which is observed in the United States and around the world. World Refugee Day, first celebrated in 2000, is designed to increase awareness of refugees.

Currently, the world is embroiled in the biggest migratory crisis since World War II with more than 25 million refugees around the world.

“We have seen the images of the refugee crisis, and World Refugee Day calls attention to the critical need to assist our refugee brothers and sisters and make them feel a sense of welcome,” said Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration. “It is imperative for us to highlight the contributions refugees make in our communities.”

The Presidential Determination for refugee resettlement was set at an all-time low of 30,000 refugees for the current fiscal year. This comes only one year after half of the 45,000 refugees set forth by the Administration’s determination were resettled in the United States.  

USCCB/MRS, with Catholic Charities USA, will be participating in a Capitol Hill briefing on Thursday for members of Congress and their staff. The briefing will include information about the root causes forcing refugees to flee their home country and the impact of refugee resettlement in the United States. More information on World Refugee Day can be found on the Justice for Immigrants website.

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Joe Vazquez, Committee on Migration, refugees, migrants, immigrants, human trafficking, World Refugee Day

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Mark Priceman
O: 202-541-3064

 


Chairman of U.S. Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace Calls for De-escalation of Conflict with Iran

WASHINGTON—In a June 18 letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio, Archbishop for the Military Services, USA and Chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, noted that escalating tensions between the United States and Iran increase the risk of conflict in the Middle East, a region that is already extremely volatile. Reiterating the Bishops’ Conference’s support for the P5+1 agreement with Iran, Archbishop Broglio stated that the U.S. unilateral withdrawal from that agreement and imposition of added economic sanctions has also “exacerbated tensions with close allies and other world powers.” Archbishop Broglio expressed the hope that “the United States will initiate sustained dialogue with allies, world powers and Iran, in order to deescalate the current situation that is a danger to both the region and the world.”

The full text of the letter follows: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/global-issues/middle-east/iran/letter-to-secretary-of-state-pompeo-on-iran-2019-06-18.cfm

Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio, Archbishop for the Military Services, Committee on International Justice and Peace, de-escalation, Iran, conflict, Middle East, economic sanctions

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 


Catholic Young Adult Leaders to Take Part in Vatican Post-Synod Dialogue

WASHINGTON—The Vatican Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life will convene in Rome on June 19-22 for an International Post-Synodal Forum of young adults to discuss the impact of Pope Francis’s recent apostolic exhortation, Christus Vivit.

This International Forum will feature interactive discussions on the synodal process and Christus Vivit, including a brief visit with the Holy Father, Pope Francis. According to the Dicastery, “the Forum will be a space for community discernment [and] maintaining the synodal missionary style promoted by the Synod.”

Brian Rhude from the Archdiocese of Baltimore and Brenda Noriega from the Diocese of San Bernardino are two of the young adult leaders who will be representing the United States. They will join the forum discussions with other young Catholic leaders from around the globe.  

Archbishop Charles Chaput, OFM Cap., of Philadelphia and chairman of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, said, “We are grateful to the Holy Father for continuing these conversations begun during the synodal process last year, and we are happy to have Brian and Brenda representing our nation’s young people in Rome for this important dialogue.”

Brian Rhude is a student at The Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington, D.C., where he is studying theology, and works as a project coordinator for the Catholic Apostolate Center. He studied at the CUA campus in Rome during the Fall 2018 semester, which coincided with the Synod on “Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment,” where he was a media correspondent for the Catholic Apostolate Center. Brian also has a background in music and culinary arts.

Brenda Noriega is the Coordinator of Young Adults Ministry for the Diocese of San Bernardino and serves on the USCCB’s National Advisory Team on Young Adult Ministry. She was the co-leader of the bishop and young adult encounter at the V Encuentro national event in Texas in September 2018. Brenda previously worked in the Diocese of Fresno. In January 2019, she attended World Youth Day in Panama, where she represented North America at a luncheon with Pope Francis.

Mr. Rhude and Ms. Noriega will offer feedback in small and large groups discussions on how the exhortation is being received by young people across the United States. Paul Jarzembowski, Assistant Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries and Lay Ecclesial Ministry for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ will present to Forum participants on Christus Vivit and its impact on pastoral leaders in parishes, dioceses, and national organizations in the U.S.

More information about the Forum can be found at www.laityfamilylife.va.
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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Vatican Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, Christus Vivit, Brian Rhude, Archdiocese of Baltimore. Brenda Noriega, Diocese of San Bernardino, Paul Jarzembowski, USCCB Office of Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 


Chairman of U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Migration Expresses Support for Mexican Bishops Concerns Regarding Recent Agreement Between Mexico and the United States

WASHINGTON— Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration has issued a statement in support of Catholic Bishops of Mexico who have expressed concern regarding a recent agreement between Mexico and the United States which will restrict the flow of migrants at the U.S./Mexico Border.

On June 10, the Catholic Bishops of Mexico stated:

"We express our concern for the lack of a truly humanitarian reception for our brother migrants, which reflects our conviction regarding the protection of the rights of all human beings equally," the bishops further stated, "Our brother migrants must not be a bargaining chip. No negotiations should be placed above what the church and civil society have defended for years: not criminalizing migrants nor the defenders of human rights.”

Bishop Joe Vásquez responded with the following statement of support:

“We stand in solidarity with our brother bishops in Mexico. We implore the Administration not to confuse economic issues with the humanitarian issues of forced migration. Families fleeing violence, persecution and extreme poverty must be treated with love and compassion and not be used as a tool for negotiations.

As always, we recognize the right of a nation to secure its borders.  However, the Gospel teaches us to love our neighbor. This is the imperative we must follow in treating our migrant brothers and sisters with compassion and dignity. We should be working with the governments of the Northern Triangle and the Mexican Government to eradicate violence and improve the local economies from which families are being forced to migrate.”

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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Joe S. Vásquez, Committee on Migration, Catholic Bishops of Mexico, migrants, U.S./Mexico Border, migrants, human rights, Administration

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Media Contacts:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200

 

Miguel Guilarte

202-541-3202

 


U.S. Bishops Vote in Favor of Three Additional Bishop Accountability Measures During Baltimore General Assembly

BALTIMORE— Today, U.S. Catholic Bishops have approved three additional measures to address abuse and bishop accountability during their annual Spring General Assembly in Baltimore. The measures expand upon the Pope Francis’s Motu proprio and the U.S. Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

The reforms are designed to hold bishops accountable for instances of sexual misconduct against minors and vulnerable adults.

The first vote, Protocol Regarding Available Non-Penal Restrictions on Bishops, passed by 212 to 4 with 1 abstention. This form of accountability provides protocols for imposing limitations on former bishops who were removed from office for grave reasons. It also empowers the USCCB president to restrict bishops removed or resigned for reasons related to sexual abuse or abuse of power.

A second vote, Acknowledging Our Episcopal Commitments passed by 217 to 1 with 2 abstentions. This accountability measure implements a bishop code of conduct, including the affirmation that the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People is expanded to include bishops as well as priests and deacons.

The third vote, Directives for the Implementation of the Provisions of Vos estis lux mundi Concerning Bishops and their Equivalents, presents a plan for optimal implementation of Pope Francis’s recent Motu proprio in the United States, including an outline for lay involvement. It passed by 218 to 1 with 2 abstentions.  

Yesterday, the body of bishops passed another bishop accountability reform, voting for the establishment of a Third-Party Reporting System for receiving confidentially, by phone and online, reports of possible violations by bishops of Vos estis lux mundi. The action item commits to activating the system no later than May 31, 2020.

To view the full action item documents pertaining to bishop accountability voted on yesterday and today, please visit: www.usccb.org/meetings
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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, General Assembly, Motu proprio, Vos estis lux mundi, Protocol, Acknowledging Our Episcopal Commitments, Provisions Concerning Bishops and their Equivalents, Directives, Third-Party Reporting System, abuse crisis, bishop accountability, votes

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 


U.S Bishops Approve the Revised Passage on the Death Penalty for the U.S. Catholic Catechism for Adults

BALTIMORE— The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) approved the revised passage on the death penalty for the U.S. Catholic Catechism for Adults.

The full body of bishops approved the revised passage by a vote of 194 to 8 with 3 abstentions at their Spring General Assembly taking place in Baltimore, June 11-14.
 
On August 2, 2018, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith released the Holy Father’s revision to the teaching on the death penalty in the universal Catechism of the Catholic Church (no. 2267). In response, the Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis of the USCCB prepared a new section on the death penalty for the U.S. Catholic Catechism for Adults (USCCA).

Following collaboration with the Committee on Doctrine, they placed the revised statement on the death penalty for the USCCA before the body of Bishops for approval by two thirds of the members, with subsequent recognitio from the Holy See.

The revised statement on the death penalty would replace the current text in the USCCA (pp. 394-395).

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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, death penalty, Baltimore, Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis, Committee on Doctrine, Catechism of the Catholic Church.

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200                                                                                                                                                                       

 


U.S. Bishops’ Vote in Favor of Moving Forward on Third-Party System for Reporting Abuse Allegations Against Bishops

BALTIMORE—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops have taken three separate votes that will lead to the establishment of a third-party reporting system designed to receive confidentially, by phone or online, reports of possible violations by bishops per Pope Francis’s Vos estis lux mundi.  

The bishops voted overwhelmingly in favor of each of the elements necessary to establish a third-party reporting system yesterday.

By a vote of 205 to 16 with 3 abstentions, the General Assembly voted to authorize the design of a third-party system for receiving confidentially, by phone or online, reports of possible violations by bishops of Vos estis lux mundi.

By a vote of 200 to 21 with 2 abstentions, the bishops voted to authorize the Executive Committee to develop a more detailed proposal for a third-party reporting system, including financial, structural, and other necessary adjustments to account for Vos estis lux mundi, for review and approval by the Conference’s Administrative Committee at its September and November 2019 meetings.  

Additionally, the bishops voted in favor of committing to activate the third-party reporting system by no later than May 31, 2020 by a 220 to 4 vote with 1 abstention.  

Vos estis lux mundi, allows until May 31, 2020 for the development of local systems to receive such reports. Accordingly, May 31, 2020 is the earliest date the body can commit to activation of the system without interfering with the varying schedules of the Metropolitans and senior suffragans in developing local capacity to receive and process complaints from that system.  

It is important to note that anyone who has suffered sexual abuse by clergy should not wait for this national reporting system to be in place before reporting abuse. Individuals who may have been abused should contact local civil authorities to file a report as soon as possible, and may also report to Church authorities by existing means, such as Victims’ Assistance Coordinators. After reporting to civil authorities, individuals can also register a complaint with the metropolitan for issues related to sexual abuse or an abuse of power.

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Keywords: Pope Francis, Moto proprio, Vos estis lux muni, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Third-Party Reporting System, Administrative Committee, Episcopal Conference, spring general assembly

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 


U.S. Catholic Bishops Approve in a Provisional Vote Strategic Priorities for the 2021-24 USCCB Strategic Plan. Bishops Also Approve the National Directory for the Formation, Ministry, and Life of Perm

BALTIMORE— The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) approved several action items today at their Spring General Assembly taking place in Baltimore, June 11-13.

The full body of bishops approved in a provisional vote of 213 to 8 with 4 abstentions the proposed, provisional Strategic Priorities for the 2021-24 USCCB Strategic Plan.

The Bishops also approved the National Directory for the Formation, Ministry, and Life of Permanent Deacons in the United States, 2nd edition, for use in the dioceses of the United States by a vote of 217 to 5 with 2 abstentions; and a new translation of the ritual book used for the Ordination of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons for use in the dioceses of the United States of America. The Latin Church members of USCCB voted by the necessary two-thirds majority to approve the text.

The USCCB Committee on Priorities and Plans (CPP), based on two recent consultations with the body of bishops and one with the National Advisory Council (NAC), developed the 2021-24 Strategic Priorities. These two consultations with the body of bishops consisted of Regional Meeting questions at the November 2018 General Meeting wherein regions provided inputs on the Strategic Priorities for the 2021-24 Strategic Plan; and a Strategic Priorities Survey in January 2019 asking all bishops to further refine and prioritize the November 2018 regional meeting inputs; the National Advisory Council (NAC) also provided their inputs in January 2019 through a similar Strategic Priorities survey. The development of supporting 2021-24 Operational Plans by USCCB Committees, Subcommittees and Departments, which together make up the proximate 2021-24 Strategic Plan, will commence in July 2019.

The National Directory for the Formation, Ministry, and Life of Permanent Deacons in the United States, 2nd edition, fulfills the prescriptions of canon 236 of the Code of Canon Law and n.15 of the Ratio fundamentalis institutionis diaconorum permanentium to ensure unity, earnestness, and completeness in the formation, life, and ministry of permanent deacons in the United States. In September 2017, the Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations (CCLV) approved the National Directory, 2nd edition, and submitted it for review to the Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance (CACG) and the Committee on Doctrine. In June 2018, after adopting the recommendations of the Doctrine and CACG Committees, the CCLV Committee approved the National Directory and recommended to present it to the body of bishops in the General Assembly session in November 2018, but the Administrative Committee decided to postpone the discussion and vote. This year 2019, the Administrative Committee approved the inclusion of the National Directory on the June 2019 General Assembly agenda for discussion and vote.

The Latin Church members of USCCB also voted today by the necessary two-thirds majority to approve the Ordination of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons. It now requires a confirmation of the decision (confirmatio) by the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments before it can be published and used in the liturgy. Since Bishops in English-speaking countries around the world have been using a variety of translations of this text for their celebrations of Ordination, the Holy See expressed a desire for greater worldwide unity in these important ceremonies.

This new translation was prepared by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) with input from the international community. While the new text is not drastically different from what is currently used in the U.S., it does update the book to some degree, and the positive vote of the Bishops indicates their desire for an up-to-date text and their support for the Holy See’s perspective on the value of worldwide consistency. The bishops of Canada have already approved the same text, and today’s vote of the U.S. body of bishops suggests that the hopes of the Holy See are already bearing fruit. Depending on the speed with which the confirmatio is received, the new book might be in print and available for use as early as 2020, though the approval and publication process could take more time.

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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Spring General Assembly, Baltimore, Strategic Priorities 2021-2024, Strategic Plan, Committee on Priorities and Plans, National Advisory Council, National Directory, Formation, Ministry, Life, Permanent Deacons, Clergy, Consecrated Life, Vocations, ICEL Gray Book, ordination, bishops, priests, deacons, Divine Worship, liturgy

 

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200


U.S. Bishops Conduct Canonical Consultation on Cause for Canonization of the Servant of God Irving (a.k.a., Francis) C. Houle

BALTIMORE— At their annual spring Plenary Assembly in Baltimore, MD, the U.S Bishops participated in a consultation on the cause for canonization of the Servant of God Irving (a.k.a., Francis) C. Houle.
Bishop Robert P. Deeley, Chairman of the Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance, and Bishop John F. Doerfler, Bishop of Marquette, Michigan, facilitated the discussion. By a voice vote, the bishops indicated support for the advancement of the cause on the diocesan level.

Irving C. Houle was born December 27, 1925 at his family home in Wilson, Michigan. His parents were Peter and Lillian Houle. They were faithful Catholics who raised seven children, six boys and one girl. Irving was the sixth child. All of Irving’s siblings have also died.

As a young child Irving recalled his family praying the rosary together, especially during Lent. Even then he felt a calling to suffer for Jesus. He recalled that his family would remain after Mass to pray the Stations of the Cross. In addition to Mass, the Station of the Cross and the rosary, in later years the Divine Mercy Chaplet was part of his daily prayer.

At the age of 6, Irving was badly injured when he was thrown from the back of a galloping horse. He suffered a severe chest injury. He was taken to a hospital in Escanaba, Michigan, where x-rays revealed the broken ribs and punctured lung. In addition, he was hemorrhaging badly through the nose and mouth. A local newspaper clipping reported the injuries as believed to be fatal.

Irving had an aunt who was a Franciscan Sister by the name of Sister Speciosa. She and the Sisters at the convent prayed an all-night vigil for his recovery. The next morning the doctor at the hospital was amazed to find that Irving had improved significantly and was no longer struggling to breathe. Irving related to his mother and the doctor that a “beautiful man in a white bathrobe” had stood at the foot of his bed during the night and raised his hand over him. Later in life, Irving would tell those close to him that he knows it was Jesus.

He married his wife Gail on November 17, 1948, and they were married for 60 years. They raised five children.

On Good Friday, 1993, it is said that Irving received the stigmata, at which point his healing ministry began. The wounds first appeared on the palms of his hands and he began to experience physical sufferings. He suffered The Passion every night between midnight and 3:00a.m. for the rest of his earthly life. He understood that these particular hours of the day were times of great sins of the flesh. Irving heard the voice of Jesus asking Irving to heal “my children.” Irving spent the last 16 years of his life doing just that, praying over tens of thousands of people.

Many of the people he encountered have spoken of extraordinary physical and spiritual healings they experienced when Irving prayed over them. He always made it clear that the healing came from God. He would simply say, “I don’t heal anybody” and “Jesus is the one who heals.”

Irving died at Marquette General Hospital in Marquette, Michigan, on Saturday, January 3, 2009. He will be remembered for his love of God, his closeness to Jesus and the Blessed Mother, his love for the Eucharist, the Church, prayer, and his care and concern for others.

In the life of Irving Houle, we see the extraordinary grace of God at work in an ordinary, simple man who offered his life in love for the Lord and others. Over the years, Irving’s generous response to simple sufferings disposed his heart to make of his life a generous outpouring of love expressed in prayer and suffering for the conversion of others. In general, the effects of Irving’s ministry, clearly increased greatly the faith of the people with whom he came into contact, and devotion to him continues to grow more and more everyday throughout the Diocese of Marquette.  
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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Irving (a.k.a., Francis) C. Houle, Bishop Robert P. Deeley, Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance, Bishop John F. Doerfler, Diocese of Marquette, canonical consultation, canonization, Cause for Canonization

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 


Chairman of U.S. Bishops’ Pro-Life Activities Committee Applauds AMA’s Action Reaffirming Opposition to Physician-Assisted Suicide

WASHINGTON—Yesterday, the American Medical Association’s House of Delegates voted by a 2 to 1 margin to affirm its longstanding opposition to physician-assisted suicide. Following the vote, Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities has issued the following statement:

“We strongly applaud today’s action by the American Medical Association’s House of Delegates to reaffirm its policy against physician-assisted suicide. The practice and promotion of assisted suicide poses grave consequences for our entire society but particularly for persons living with illness, disabilities, or socioeconomic disadvantages. The AMA was right to reaffirm its longstanding view that physician-assisted suicide is fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer.”

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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, American Medical Association, House of Delegates physician-assisted suicide, Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, Committee on Pro-Life Activities

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Media Contact
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 


President of U.S. Bishops Conference Appoints Three New Members of National Review Board for the Chapter for Protection of Children and Young People

BALTIMORE— Three new members have been appointed to serve on the National Review Board (NRB) by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, of Galveston-Houston, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).  

The NRB advises the bishops' committee on the Protection of Children and Young People, and the Secretariat for Child and Youth Protection at the USCCB. The NRB was established by the Charter for Protection of Children and Young People, which the bishops adopted in 2002.

As Cardinal DiNardo said in a letter sent to all newly appointed members, "The bishops are very grateful to the Board for the work that it does and believe that it has been a tremendous help with the continued healing of the Church and protection efforts. The prudent counsel that the Board has provided has been beneficial to so many as we continue to establish cultures of protection and healing.”

The three new NRB members include those with expertise in law, victim advocacy and theology and they are as follows:

Elizabeth A. Hayden is a retired District Court Judge for the State of Minnesota. She is a graduate of the College of St. Benedict with a degree in Social Work. While working in that field, she held positions in a psychiatric hospital, county social services and the State Dept. of residential licensing. She received her law degree from Oklahoma City University. Subsequently, she served as a prosecutor in the office the Stearns County Attorney for six years before being appointed a District Court Judge. In her more than 23 years as a judge she presided over criminal, civil and family law cases and trials including many sexual abuse cases. She served as Chair of the MN Supreme Court Committee on the General Rules of Practice which led to a change in MN law to allow cameras in the courtroom. 

After being appointed by the MN Supreme Court, she served on a three-judge panel that presided over the U.S. Senate election contest of Norm Coleman vs. Al Franken. Judge Hayden was President of the Minnesota District Judges Association. She has served on the Board of Trustees of the College of St. Benedict and is currently a member of the Board of Governors of St. Thomas University School of Law. She is also a Trustee for St. Mary’s Cathedral in St. Cloud MN. Appointed by Bishop Donald Kettler she has been on the Diocesan Review Board for the Diocese of St. Cloud and is serving her second term as Chair of that Board. As a member of the CentraCare Health Foundation Board, she chairs the Grants Committee. Judge Hayden and her husband, retired Judge Charles A. Flinn live in St. Cloud MN. 
     
John N. Sheveland is Professor of Religious Studies and the current Flannery Chair of Catholic theology at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA., where he teaches courses on Christian theology, interreligious dialogue, and religion and violence. He holds a doctorate in systematic and comparative theology from Boston College, a master’s degree in Christian theology from Yale Divinity School, and a bachelor’s degree in history and theology from the University of Portland. His current areas of research and writing include theological reflection upon traumatic wounding and upon religious violence. At Gonzaga he organizes the annual lecture series called Being Religious Inter-religiously which advances the Jesuit commitment to interreligious dialogue.  

He received in 2013 a Faculty Diversity Leadership Award and in 2015 an Exemplary Faculty Award from Gonzaga University. He serves on the boards of the College Theology Society and the Society of Buddhist-Christian Studies, the steering committee of the Interreligious and Interfaith Studies Group of the American Academy of Religion, the advisory board of the Currents of Encounter monograph series with Brill and is a book review editor for Horizons. His research articles have appeared in a variety of academic journals and scholarly books, and he is the author of Piety and Responsibility (Ashgate/Routledge, 2011 (2017 2nd edition).

Belinda G. Taylor served as the first Victim Assistance Coordinator on contract for the Diocese of Amarillo for sixteen years and worked with three Bishops over the course of nineteen years. She served on the Bishop’s Advisory Committee and Review Board to address issues related to clergy misconduct and sexual abuse of minors by priests. Prior to retiring in 2018, Mrs. Taylor established and operated a private counseling practice as a Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor working with child and adult victims of sexual abuse, as well as providing individual, family, and play therapy. In 2003, Mrs. Taylor established an ongoing therapy support group for victims abused by clergy which allowed the group to create a training video for clergy on the effects of abuse. Through these efforts, victims were invited to participate in clergy trainings and reconnect with their church communities.  
As a Texas Registered Sex Offender Treatment Provider, Mrs. Taylor provided thirteen years of ongoing treatment services for registered adolescent and adult sex offenders on probation or parole. In addition, Mrs. Taylor served as the Executive Director for fifteen years at a local non-profit community center providing an array of social services from early childhood education, afterschool programs, counseling, a senior citizen center, and numerous youth programs serving predominately low-income residents struggling in poverty. In 2010, Mrs. Taylor was awarded the ‘Friend of the Child’ Mayor’s Service Award. Mrs. Taylor continues to volunteer as a Safe Environment Trainer and serves on the Amarillo Bi-City-County Public Health Board. Together, she and her husband Wayne have spent their married life farming and ranching in the Texas Panhandle. They have four adult children, seven grandchildren and three great grandchildren.  
 
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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, National Review Board, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Charter for Protection of Children and Young People.
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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 


U.S. Bishops’ Chairman for Catholic Education Welcomes the Release of Male and Female He Created Them

WASHINGTON—The Chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee for Catholic Education says he welcomes the release of the document: Male and Female He Created Them: TOWARDS A PATH OF DIALOGUE ON THE QUESTION OF GENDER THEORY IN EDUCATION by the Holy See’s Congregation for Catholic education.

Bishop Michael Barber, SJ, of the diocese of Oakland, notes that “in a difficult and complex issue, the clarity of Church teaching, rooted in the equal dignity of men and women as created by God, provides the light of truth and compassion that is most needed in our world today”.

The document outlines both theological and scientific truths about the human person and will serve as a solid framework for those engaged in the ministry of Catholic education. It can be found here: http://www.educatio.va/content/dam/cec/Documenti/19_0997_INGLESE.pdf

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Keywords: Committee for Catholic Education Male and Female He Created Them: TOWARDS A PATH OF DIALOGUE ON THE QUESTION OF GENDER THEORY IN EDUCATION, Holy See, Congregation for Catholic education, Bishop Michael Barber, SJ, dignity of men, dignity of women, Catholic education, light, truth, compassion, human person

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 


U.S. Bishops to Meet June 11-14 in Baltimore; Assembly to Be Live Streamed, Carried Via Satellite; New Prevention Website Launched

WASHINGTON— The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will gather for the 2019 Spring General Assembly in Baltimore, June 11-14.  

During the assembly, the bishops will discuss and vote on bishop accountability measures to respond to the abuse crisis and will also hear reports from the National Advisory Council and an annual progress report by the National Review Board. The bishops will also discuss and vote on the National Directory for the Formation, Ministry, and Life of Permanent Deacons in the United States (2nd edition); and on the final approval of revisions made to the second typical edition of the ICEL Gray Book of the Ordination of a Bishop, of Priests, and of Deacons, among other items.

The USCCB has also launched a new website highlighting the importance of prevention, protection and accountability in response to the ongoing effort to eradicate clergy sexual abuse. As the American bishops prepare to meet in Baltimore for their Spring General Assembly next week, this new site serves as a resource detailing the steps the American bishops are taking to confront this crisis.

On the site, Readers can browse through the layers of the Holy Father’s Motu Proprio, the 2002 Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and its progress, as well as the new reforms set to be discussed in Baltimore. There are also numerous readily available resources to address any instance of clergy sexual abuse.

Explore the website by visiting: usccbprevention.org

Coverage of the meeting is open to credentialed media on Tuesday, June 11, Wednesday (partial day), June 12, and the morning of Thursday, June 13. Press conferences will follow open sessions of the meeting as time allows. Due to limited capacity, please note there will be no onsite credentialing due to security considerations.

A live stream and satellite feed is expected to run Tuesday, June 11 from 8:30am-6pm Eastern, Wednesday, June 12, 11am-6pm Eastern and Thursday, June 13, 8:45am to 1:15pm. The assembly will be live streamed on the Internet and will be available via satellite for broadcasters wishing to air it. Public sessions of the general assembly discussions and votes will be available via livestream at: usccb.org/live.

News updates, vote totals, texts of addresses and presentations and other materials will be posted to this page: usccb.org/meetings as soon as possible during the general assembly.

Those wishing to follow the meeting on social media can use the hashtag #USCCB19 and follow on Twitter (twitter.com/usccb) as well as on Facebook (facebook.com/usccb) and Instagram (instagram.com/usccb).

Media outlets interested in taking the meeting's satellite feed may request coordinates by contacting jkeane@usccb.org

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Keywords: USCCB, U.S. bishops, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, June meeting, Spring General Assembly, Baltimore, sex abuse, prevention, protection, accountability, #USCCB19
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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 


Chairman of U.S. Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, Offers Condolences and Solidarity to the Church in Burkina Faso after multiple terrorist attacks on Churches

WASHINGTON— In a letter to Archbishop Ouédraogo Paul Yembuado, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Burkina Faso and Niger, Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, Archbishop for the Military Services USA and Chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace said:

“I write to express our condolences and solidarity with the people and the Catholic Bishops Conference of Burkina Faso as you struggle with the ongoing wave of violent terrorist attacks. It is tragic these attacks have increased…and have taken the lives of approximately 400 Burkinabe people since 2015. I join the Holy Father in his statements and expressions of condolences and support in reaction to these church attacks and add my own following the most recent attack on a Catholic church 26 May in Toulfé that killed four people.

Burkina Faso has struggled to build a democratic country where Christians and Muslims have lived side by side in peace [which is now] being tested to the extreme. It is my hope the Burkinabe people will persevere and protect [their] liberty, democracy, and the right to freedom of religion.”

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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Archbishop Timothy Broglio, Burkina Faso

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 


U.S. Bishops’ Pro-Life Chairman Strongly Commends Trump Administration for Discontinuing Fetal Tissue Research at NIH

WASHINGTON—Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that it will discontinue research conducted within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) involving the use of human fetal tissue from elective abortion and it will ensure that efforts to develop ethical alternatives are funded and accelerated. Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities issued the following statement strongly commending the Trump Administration for this important pro-life action.

Archbishop Naumann’s full statement follows:

“We strongly commend the Trump Administration for taking actions to move our tax dollars away from research using body parts from aborted babies and toward ethical alternatives. Scavenging and commodifying the body parts of abortion victims for use in research gravely disrespects the bodies of these innocent human beings. Their remains deserve the same respect as that of any other person. To subsidize this degrading practice with our taxpayer dollars is deeply offensive to millions of Americans. Further, the use of fetal tissue procured from aborted babies also can lead to legitimizing the violence of abortion by suggesting that body parts procured in abortion are necessary for research. In truth, research using fetal tissue from aborted babies is neither ethical nor necessary. Researchers have demonstrated the ability to pursue excellence in medical research without collaborating with the abortion industry to further victimize aborted babies.”

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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Abp. Joseph F. Naumann, Committee on Pro-Life Activities, Trump Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health (NIH), human fetal tissue, elective abortion, medical research, commodifying, ethical alternatives, abortion industry

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 


U.S. Bishops’ Chairman Expresses USCCB’s Concern that the Strengthening of the Embargo Against Cuba is Counterproductive to the Development of Civil Society on the Island

WASHINGTON— In response to the Administration’s recent policy modifications on Cuba—restricting travel to the island and thus further scaling back the rapprochement between the two countries—Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., of the Archdiocese for the Military Services USA, and Chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, expresses USCCB’s concern that the strengthening of the embargo against Cuba is, ultimately, counterproductive to the development of civil society on the island.

Archbishop Broglio’s full statement follows:
 

“In light of the Administration’s recent policy modifications on U.S. citizen travel to Cuba, I reiterate our longstanding support for safeguarding religious travel to the island under general license, as well as ensuring the ability of the Church in Cuba to receive religious donative remittances. The very survival of the Church in Cuba is dependent on the freedom of religious travel and donations from abroad. Thanks to the generosity of American Catholics, for decades USCCB has supported the work of the Church in Cuba, providing her with financial, pastoral, and advocacy assistance. The Holy See and USCCB have long held that the key to Cuba’s transformation depends not on isolation, but on greater cultural exchange between freedom-loving people on the island and the United States. A half century of rigid isolation has consolidated only one thing: the very political structures U.S. Government policy seeks to change”

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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archdiocese of the Military Services USA, Administration, policy, Cuba, Committee on International Justice and Peace, embargo, civil society, island.

Media Contact:                                                                                                                                                       Judy Keane                                                                                                                                            202-541-3202                                                                        

 

 

 


Chairman of U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Migration Applauds House for Passing Legislation That Gives Permanent Legal Protection to Dreamers and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Holders

WASHINGTON— Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration, applauds the House of Representatives for passing the American Dream and Promise Act of 2019 (H.R. 6), legislation that would provide a pathway to citizenship for qualifying Dreamers and TPS and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) holders.

“This is a big step for Dreamers and TPS holders who have called the United States home but have been working and living in uncertainty for years.” said Bishop Vásquez. “Dreamers, TPS and DED holders are working to make our communities and parishes strongand are vital contributors to our country. We welcome today’s vote and urge the Senate to take up this legislation which gives permanent protection to Dreamers, TPS and DED holders.”

In March, the USCCB Committee on Migration penned a letter of support that can be seen 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:  
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 

 


Pope Francis Names Rev. Douglas Lucia as New Bishop of Syracuse; Accepts the Resignation of Bishop Robert Cunningham

WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of the Most Reverend Robert J. Cunningham from the pastoral governance of the Diocese of Syracuse and has named the Rev. Douglas Lucia to succeed him. Father Lucia is a priest of the Diocese of Ogdensburg.

The resignation and appointment were publicized in Washington, June 4, 2019 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Father Douglas Lucia, 56, was born on March 17, 1963 in Plattsburgh, New York. He attended Wadhamns Hall Seminary College, followed by Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora, New York. He then attended the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 20, 1989 for the Diocese of Ogdensbugh.

Assignments after ordination include: parochial vicar of St. Patrick’s Church in Watertown; parochial vicar of St. Mary’s Cathedral in Ogdensburg; administrator, St. Mary Canton; associate secretary to the tribunal and chaplain at Gouverneur Correctional Facility; secretary to the bishop, vocation director, director of seminarians; pastor of St. John Morristown; St. Peter, Hammond; and St. Patrick in Rossie; He has also served as episcopal vicar for worship and priestly formation. Father Lucia was most recently pastor of St. Mary’s Church in Waddington and St. John the Baptist in Madrid, New York as well as judicial vicar for the diocese.

Bishop Cunningham was ordained a priest in 1969. He was appointed the thirteenth bishop of Ogdensburg by Pope Saint John Paul II and has reached the retirement age for bishops of 75. Bishop Cunningham was appointed the tenth bishop of the Diocese of Syracuse on April 21, 2009.

The Diocese of Syracuse is comprised of 5,479 square miles in the state of New York and has a total population of 1,199,000 of which 231,621 or 19.3 percent, are Catholic.

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Pope Francis, Bishop Robert J. Cunningham, Rev. Douglas Lucia, Diocese of Syracuse

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200


U.S. CATHOLIC BISHOPS' DOMESTIC JUSTICE CHAIRMAN ISSUES STATEMENT FOLLOWING SHOOTING IN VIRGINIA BEACH

WASHINGTON—Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, has issued the following statement in response to the tragic shooting at the municipal building in Virginia Beach.

The full statement follows:

“This past Friday afternoon, an horrific act of gun violence took place at the municipal building in Virginia Beach, Virginia. There are reports of at least twelve fatalities, and numerous critical injuries. This shooting reminds us yet again that something is fundamentally broken in our society and culture when ordinary workplaces can become scenes of violence and contempt for human life. As Americans we must deeply examine why these horrific occurrences of gun violence continue to take place in our communities, in order to root out the causes of such evils. Action is needed to attempt to reduce the frequency of these abhorrent acts through legislation and training. I call on Catholics around the country to pray for the dead and injured, as well as for healing in the community.

May Jesus, whose victory over death we celebrate during this Easter Season, bring consolation and healing at this time of great sorrow.”

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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Virginia Beach, shootings, Bishop Frank Dewane, Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200

 


U.S. CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS RELEASE 2018 ANNUAL REPORT ON THE PROTECTION OF CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection has released their 2018 Annual Report – Findings and Recommendations on the Implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

The report is based on the audit findings of StoneBridge Business Partners, a specialty consulting firm headquartered in Rochester, New York, which provides forensic, internal, and compliance audit services to leading organization nation-wide.

A survey on allegations conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate is also included as part of the report. The 2018 report for audit year July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018 states that 1,385 adults came forward with 1,455 allegations. Compared to 2017, the number of allegations has increased significantly due to the additional allegations received in five New York State dioceses as a result of the implementation of their Independent Reconciliation and Compensation programs.

Additional data on allegations provided by CARA’s annual survey shows that more than nine in ten alleged offenders (92 percent) identified during the survey year were already deceased, already removed from ministry, already laicized or missing. Most abuse reported occurred between 1960 and 1990, with a peak in the 1970's.

Twenty-six new allegations involving current minors were reported during the audit period. As of June 30, 2018, three were substantiated and the clergy were removed from ministry. These allegations came from three different dioceses. Seven allegations were unsubstantiated as of June 30, 2018. Three were categorized as "unable to be proven" and investigations were still in process for six of the allegations as of June 30, 2018. For the remaining seven allegations involving minors, two were referred to a religious order, two were reported as unknown clerics, and three were not claims of sexual abuse, but were boundary violations.

During the audit period, dioceses and eparchies provided outreach and support to 472 victims/survivors and their families who reported during this audit period. Continued support was provided to 1,542 victims/survivors and their families who reported abuse in prior audit periods. Support may include counseling, spiritual assistance, support groups, and other social services.
The report also notes the ongoing work of the Church in continuing the call to ensure the safety of children and vulnerable adults. In 2018, over 2.6 million background checks were conducted on Church clerics, employees, and volunteers. In addition, in 2018 over 2.6 million adults and 3.9 million children and youth have also been trained on how to identify the warning signs of abuse and how to report those signs.

Regarding Charter Compliance, the report noted the following:
StoneBridge Business Partners, the auditor, visited 72 dioceses/eparchies and collected data from 122 others.
All dioceses/eparchies were found compliant except for the Diocese of Lincoln, who was found non-compliant with Article 7 of the Charter.
Three eparchies did not participate including the Eparchy of St. Mary Queen of Peace, the Eparchy of St. Peter the Apostle, and the Eparchy of Phoenix

The Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People continues to emphasize that the audit and maintaining zero-tolerance policies are two important tools in the Church's broader program of creating a culture of protection and healing that exceeds the requirements of the Charter.

This is the sixteenth such report since 2002 when the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops approved the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, making a promise to protect and a pledge to heal.

The full Annual Report can be found here: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/child-and-youth-protection/child-abuse-prevention/upload/2018-CYP-Annual-Report.pdf

The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People can be found here: www.usccb.org/charter

Additional information on diocesan requirements can be found here:

http://www.usccb.org/about/communications/bishops-resources/upload/cyp-norms-bulletin-insert.pdf
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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People, 2018 Annual Report – Findings and Recommendations, children, young people, vulnerable adults, dioceses/eparchies, sexual abuse, religious orders, Charter compliance, Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, safety, protection, healing.

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 


USCCB Religious Liberty Chairman Announces Religious Freedom Week from June 22-29, 2019

WASHINGTON— The chairman of the USCCB’s Committee for Religious Liberty, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, encourages Catholics to pray and act in support of religious liberty at home and abroad during Religious Freedom Week 2019 which begins on June 22, the Feast of Saints Thomas More and John Fisher, and ends on June 29, the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul. The theme for this year, Strength in Hope, is taken from the Second Vatican Council’s Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity: “Among the trials of this life they find strength in hope, convinced that ‘the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come that will be revealed in us’ (Rom. 8:18)” (Apostolicam actuositatem, 4).

Archbishop Kurtz stated: “Catholics face challenges both in our current political climate of polarization and within the Church. Christian child welfare institutions and Catholics in public life are encountering significant obstacles to their work, while our brothers and sisters in places like Nigeria suffer violent persecution. We want to build solidarity and to encourage Catholics to persist in the struggle to advance the kingdom of God by finding hope in Jesus Christ.”

Resources for Religious Freedom Week and other religious liberty resources can be found at www.usccb.org/ReligiousFreedomWeek and www.usccb.org/freedom. Video can be found at bit.ly/RFW2019Vid. Social media posts will use the hashtag #StrengthInHope.
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Keywords: Religious Freedom Week, religious freedom, religious liberty, Committee for Religious Liberty, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, U.S. bishops, dioceses, parish resources, strength in hope, freedom to serve

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 


The Devil Is Real. Evil Exists. What Can We Do About It? In a Powerful New Book, Pope Francis Shows Us How We Can “Rebuke the Devil”

WASHINGTON—The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is releasing a commanding new book featuring a survey of Pope Francis’s important teachings on the history of the devil, his empty promises and works, and how we can actively combat him. Written for a wide audience, Rebuking the Devil shows us how to recognize the tricks of the enemy, avoid his traps and defeat his efforts through the power of God in Jesus Christ.  
Rebuking the Devil is available for purchase May 29 through the USCCB’s online bookstore and can be ordered at http://store.usccb.org/rebuking-the-devil-p/7-608.htm

While the text does affirm the reality of the devil, Pope Francis also offers wisdom in following God’s righteous laws and keeping our eyes fixed on the sovereignty of Jesus as we battle evil in our own lives and in the world.  

 “In this important book, Pope Francis tells us how to use powerful tools of spiritual combat against the devil including the Word of God, adoration of God in the Blessed Sacrament, participation in the Sacraments, fasting, prayer and the intercession of Mary, Mother of God, through the Most Holy Rosary,” said Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Arlington, Chairman of the U.S. Bishop’s Committee on Communications. “We must recognize that there is a devil who is alive and active, but there is also a shield against him through the power of Jesus Christ!”

We are providing a PDF of the book cover as well as a link to the book cover here: http://www.usccb.org/about/marketing/products/images/7-608-rebuking-devil-book-cover.jpg

Additional books and resources pertaining to other topics including 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/

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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Pope Francis, Rebuking the Devil, Word of God, adoration, Blessed Sacrament, Sacraments, fasting, prayer, Jesus, Mary, Mother of God, Most Holy Rosary

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 


Bishop Chairmen Welcome HHS Aligning Health Care Nondiscrimination Regulations with Federal Law

WASHINGTON—Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Bishop James D. Conley of Lincoln, Chairman of the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, and Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Chairman of the Committee for Religious Liberty, have issued a statement welcoming today’s announcement of proposed modifications to regulations implementing Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act.

 

Their joint statement follows:

 

“We applaud the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for proposing regulations restoring the long-standing position of the federal government that discrimination on the basis of ‘sex’ does not refer to ‘termination of pregnancy’ nor ‘gender identity.’ These modifications follow the legislative intent of the Affordable Care Act to ensure nondiscrimination on the basis of sex in health care. The proposed regulations would help restore the rights of health care providers – as well as insurers and employers – who decline to perform or cover abortions or ‘gender transition’ procedures due to ethical or professional objections. Catholic health care providers serve everyone who comes to them, regardless of characteristics or background. However, there are ethical considerations when it comes to procedures. We are grateful for today’s important step.”

A comment letter expressing concern with the original underlying regulations, in which the USCCB joined in 2015, may be found here: http://www.usccb.org/_cs_upload/about/general-counsel/rulemaking/192062_1.pdf.

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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, Committee on Pro-Life Activities, Bishop Frank J. Dewane, Bishop James D. Conley, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, Department of Health and Human Services, conscience rights, health care providers, abortion, elective abortion, Trump Administration, civil rights laws, White House, discrimination, convictions, sanctity of human life, gender identity, gender transition

 

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200


U.S. Bishops’ Chairman Expresses Sorrow, Urges Prayers and Support for Recovery, After Deadly Tornadoes Hit Missouri and Storms Damage Other States in the Midwest

WASHINGTON—After tornadoes killed three people in Missouri and storms brought devastation to parts of the Midwest and areas from Texas through Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and Illinois, 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 damage threatened by the tornadoes and storms, and offered prayers for recovery.

The full statement follows:

“I am profoundly saddened by the loss of life and the damage caused by the tornadoes and storms throughout the Midwest and related regions these past few days. As of this writing, millions of people in at least seven states have been affected by the powerful winds, rainfall and rising water levels caused by these conditions. Seven people have been killed in Missouri, Iowa and Oklahoma. Severe weather continues to be expected in this devastated area through the rest of this week.

A call is made to all for prayers for the victims and their grieving families and communities. Further, now is the time to offer assistance to those facing this great loss. We are grateful that Catholic Charities and other organizations are in place working to provide for emergency needs and to help rebuild."

Learn more about Catholic Charities’ efforts at https://catholiccharitiesusa.org.
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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Frank J. Dewane, Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Severe Weather

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200