Browsing News Entries
Posted on 03/14/2018 07:16 AM (USCCB News Releases)
WASHINGTON—Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee for Religious Liberty, and Bishop James D. Conley of Lincoln, chairman of the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, gave their strong support for the First Amendment Defense Act, which was recently introduced by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) in the U.S. Senate:
"We welcome and applaud the recent reintroduction of the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA). The USCCB has been vocal in support of the legislation since its inception. FADA is a modest and important measure that protects the rights of faith-based organizations and people of all faiths and of no faith who believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. For example, in a pluralistic society, faith-based charitable agencies and schools should not be excluded from participation in public life by loss of licenses, accreditation, or tax-exempt status because they hold reasonable views on marriage that differ from the federal government's view.
The leadership of the Catholic Church will continue to promote and protect the natural truth of marriage as foundational to the common good. The Church will also continue to stand for the ability of all to exercise their religious beliefs and moral convictions in public life without fear of government discrimination.
We are pleased to support the First Amendment Defense Act, and we urge Congress to pass this important legislation."
The letter of support for the First Amendment Defense Act is available at http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/marriage-and-family/marriage/promotion-and-defense-of-marriage/upload/Ltr-to-Sen-Lee-FADA-2018.pdf.
Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Joseph E. Kurtz, Committee for Religious Liberty, Bishop James D. Conley, Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, First Amendment Defense Act, House, FADA, federal government, U.S. Congress, Oversight and Government Reform Committee, religious freedom, marriage, man, woman, discrimination, conscience protection, religious belief, faith-based agencies, schools, human person, common good.
President of Catholic Bishops Conference Joins Other U.S. Church Leaders in Expressing Strong Concern Over Israel’s Plan to Tax Church-owned Real Estate
Posted on 03/13/2018 07:50 AM (USCCB News Releases)
The full statement to the Prime Minister and the Mayor of Jerusalem follows:
"As heads of churches and communions in the United States, we write to express our strong concern about recent legal proposals and tax plans that would severely inhibit the work of the churches in and around Jerusalem. If enacted, these measures would have the effect of creating a situation that jeopardizes the very survival of the Christian community in the Holy Land.
We have expressed to the Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem, in the enclosed letter, our firm solidarity with them during this crisis, including by strong advocacy before our own government.
We know of the myriad of activities in which the churches there are engaged, such as education, health care and pilgrimages, and we recognize that they are integral to the churches' mission and of major benefit to the Jerusalem community beyond the churches.
We ask that you end measures that disrupt the Status Quo. We have pledged to the church leaders in Jerusalem our unwavering support for all peaceful and lawful measures they may pursue to ensure the preservation and flourishing of the Christian community now and in the future."
full letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu and Mayor Nir Barkat can be found at:
full letter to the Heads of Churches in Jerusalem can be found at:
Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Episcopal, Lutheran (ELCA), Armenian, Israel, Jerusalem, Christian Community, Holy Land, taxes, Status Quo, church leaders, Christian community
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Administrative Committee Offer Congratulations to Pope Francis on His Fifth Year Anniversary
Posted on 03/13/2018 06:16 AM (USCCB News Releases)
WASHINGTON— The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Administrative Committee has issued the following statement today marking the fifth anniversary of the election of Pope Francis. The Administrative Committee is comprised of USCCB's officers, committee chairmen and other bishops representing every region of the United States.
Full statement follows:
"Most Holy Father:
The members of the
Administrative Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops,
now gathered in ordinary session on the 13th day of March 2018, take this
opportunity to express our filial affection on the fifth anniversary of your
election to the Chair of St. Peter.
May the Lord bless you with His grace as you confirm all the brothers and sisters in unity and shepherd us in charity."
Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Pope Francis, Holy Father, Chair of St. Peter, fifth anniversary, Administrative Committee, ordinary session, filial affection, unity
Posted on 03/6/2018 08:29 AM (USCCB News Releases)
The joint statement follows:
"Increasing and fierce attacks on conscience rights regarding abortion cry out for an immediate remedy. Nurses and other health care providers and institutions are being forced to choose between participating in abortions or leaving health care altogether. Churches and pro-life Americans are being forced to provide coverage for elective abortions—including late-term abortions—in their health care plans. Opponents and supporters of abortion should be able to agree that no one should be forced to participate in abortion. Congress must remedy this problem by enacting the Conscience Protection Act now as part of the FY 2018 funding bill.
We call on all the faithful to pray and to act by emailing and calling Congress in the coming week especially on Monday, March 12 with the message that enacting the Conscience Protection Act is urgently needed to protect Americans from being forced to violate their deeply held convictions about respect for human life. Your calls and emails to your Members of Congress really do make a difference, so please act now to protect conscience rights!"
Members of Congress can be reached
by calling the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and asking to be connected with your representative or
Or you can email and call your Members of Congress quickly and easily at www.bit.ly/support-cpa.
The USCCB has also created a video available on its YouTube channel and Facebook.com/USCCB.
For additional information and videos featuring nurses who were forced by their employers to choose between their jobs and participating in abortions go to www.usccb.org/conscience.
Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, Committee on Pro-Life Activities, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, Committee for Religious Liberty, Conscience Protection Act (H.R. 644), FY 2018 funding bill, Human Life Action, Members of Congress, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, pro-life, abortion, conscience rights, medical profession, nurses, health care providers, integrity, Hippocratic oath
Posted on 03/5/2018 04:41 AM (USCCB News Releases)
the aftermath of the tragic attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in
Parkland, Florida, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the
USCCB's Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and Bishop George
V. Murry, S.J., of Youngstown, Ohio, Chairman of the Committee on Catholic
Education, urged national leaders to finally come together and address the
crisis of gun violence in a comprehensive way.
full statement follows:
"Once again, we are confronted with grave evil, the murder of our dear children and those who teach them. Our prayers continue for those who have died, and those suffering with injuries and unimaginable grief. We also continue our decades-long advocacy for common-sense gun measures as part of a comprehensive approach to the reduction of violence in society and the protection of life.
Specifically, this moment calls for an honest and practical dialogue around a series of concrete proposals—not partisanship and overheated rhetoric. The idea of arming teachers seems to raise more concerns than it addresses. Setting a more appropriate minimum age for gun ownership, requiring universal background checks (as the bishops have long advocated), and banning 'bump stocks' are concepts that appear to offer more promise. We must explore ways to curb violent images and experiences with which we inundate our youth, and ensure that law enforcement have the necessary tools and incentives to identify troubled individuals and get them help.
Most people with mental illness will never commit a violent act, but mental illness has been a significant factor in some of these horrific attacks. We must look to increase resources and seek earlier interventions.
For many years, the USCCB has supported a federal ban on assault weapons, limitations on civilian access to high-capacity weapons and ammunition magazines, further criminalizing gun trafficking, certain limitations on the purchase of handguns, and safety measures such as locks that prevent children and anyone other than the owner from using guns without permission.
The advocacy by survivors of the Parkland shooting—and young people throughout our nation—is a stark reminder that guns pose an enormous danger to the innocent when they fall into the wrong hands. The voices of these advocates should ring in our ears as they describe the peaceful future to which they aspire. We must always remember what is at stake as we take actions to safeguard our communities and honor human life. In the words of St. John, 'let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth' (1 Jn. 3:18)."
Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Frank J. Dewane, Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Bishop George V. Murry, Committee on Catholic Education, gun violence, Parkland, Florida, high-capacity weapons, gun trafficking, Second Amendment, U.S. Constitution, common good
Annual Catholic Relief Services Collection to Be Held on March 11; Collection Supports International Relief and Solidarity Efforts
Posted on 02/28/2018 08:17 AM (USCCB News Releases)
WASHINGTON—The annual Catholic Relief Services Collection will be held in many dioceses across the country on Laetare Sunday, March 11.
The Catholic Relief Services Collection supports Catholic organizations that carry out international relief and solidarity efforts. Programs include relief and resettlement for victims of persecution, war, and natural disasters; development projects to improve living conditions for the poor; legal and support services for poor immigrants; peace and reconciliation work for people suffering from violence; and advocacy on behalf of the powerless.
"Christ is standing at the door of our hearts, knocking, seeking relief from pain and suffering around the world. He comes to us bearing the disguise of vulnerable immigrants and refugees, the poor and marginalized, the sick and lonely. The Catholic Relief Services Collection is an opportunity to respond and comfort Christ as we see him in our brothers and sisters," said Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi of Mobile, Alabama, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on National Collections. "This collection represents our community of faith at work in the world, saving souls and improving lives."
Entities within the USCCB that receive support include the Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church, the Department of Justice Peace and Human Development, and the Department of Migration and Refugee Services. Other Catholic organizations that receive funds are Catholic Relief Services, 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.
Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, The Catholic Relief Services Collection, Laetare Sunday, Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi, National Collections, Migration and Refugee Services, Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church, Department of Justice Peace and Human Development, Catholic Relief Services, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Holy Father's Relief Fund, immigration, international relief, U.S. Conference of Catholic bishops, stewardship
Pope Francis Accepts Resignation of Bishop Joseph Pepe of Las Vegas; Names Bishop George Thomas as Successor
Posted on 02/28/2018 01:00 AM (USCCB News Releases)
WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Joseph A. Pepe, 75, from the pastoral governance of the Diocese of Las Vegas, Nevada, and has named Bishop George L. Thomas as his successor, up until now the Bishop of Helena, Montana.
The resignation and appointment were publicized in Washington, February 28, 2018, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.
Bishop George Thomas was born on May 19, 1950 in Anaconda, Montana. He received his B.A. degree in literature from Carroll College in 1972 and entered St. Thomas Seminary, in Bothell, Washington, as a student for the Archdiocese of Seattle, where he earned a master of divinity degree. In 1981, he entered graduate school at the University of Washington where he earned a master's degree in counseling and community mental health (1983). In 1986 he earned a doctor of philosophy degree with an area of specialty in Pacific Northwest mission history.
He was ordained to the priesthood May 22, 1976, at St. James Cathedral in Seattle. Parish assignments included: associate pastor at Holy Family Parish, Kirkland, and St. James Cathedral in Seattle; parish administrator at Sacred Heart Parish in Bellevue, and at Holy Innocents Mission in Duvall; Catholic chaplain to the King County Jail and Seattle City Jail for 12 years; chairman of the Board of Directors for Catholic Community Services for 10 years; and chaplain to the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart in Seattle.
In 1987, he was appointed chancellor and vicar general, positions he held for 17 years. Following the death of Archbishop Thomas Murphy in 1997, Father Thomas was elected administrator for the Archdiocese of Seattle until the appointment of Archbishop Alexander J. Brunett, who re-appointed Father Thomas as vicar general.
George Thomas was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Seattle by Pope John Paul II on Nov. 19, 1999 and was ordained Bishop on Jan. 28, 2000. He continued his service as Vicar General and as chairman of the Board of Directors for Catholic Community Services and the Archdiocesan Housing Authority. On March 23, 2004, he was appointed Bishop of the Diocese of Helena, and was installed at the Cathedral of St. Helena on June 4, 2004.
Joseph Anthony Pepe was born in Philadelphia on June 18, 1942. In 1960, he entered St. Charles Borromeo Seminary and received his Doctorate in Canon Law from Rome's Pontifical University of Saint Thomas in 1976.
He was ordained a priest on May 16, 1970. Assignments after ordination included: Assistant Pastor at Our Lady of Loreta Parish; faculty member at Cardinal O'Hara High School, Springfield; Defender of the Bond, Metropolitan Tribunal, Archdiocese of Philadelphia in 1976, and Prosynodal Judge in 1977; ten years later, he was appointed Vice Chancellor and in 1990 was named Chancellor of the Archdiocese. During his tenure in the Chancery, he served as Vice Promoter for the Cause of Blessed Katharine Drexel. From 1982 through 1987, Father Pepe was a member of the faculty of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, where he taught Canon law.
In May 1991, Monsignor Pepe was named Honorary Prelate of His Holiness, Pope John Paul II. Upon special request of the Archbishop of Santa Fe, Monsignor Pepe went to the Archdiocese of Santa Fe in 1993 to assist as Judicial Vicar. In 1998, he was appointed Chancellor, Moderator of the Curia, and Vicar for Priests for the Archdiocese.
He was named by Pope John Paul II as the second bishop of the Diocese of Las Vegas on April 6, 2001 and was ordained and installed on May 31, 2001.
Bishop Pepe is a member of the Board of Directors of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., Hispanic Affairs. In addition, Bishop Pepe also serves on the following boards and committees: Board of Trustees for The Catholic University of America; member of the University's Student Life Committee; board member of the International Dominican Foundation and Sanctuary of Culture Foundation; member of the Executive Committee of the Papal Foundation; member of Advisors for the Cause for the Beatification of Archbishop Fulton Sheen; and member of the Advisory Board for Priests for Life.
The Diocese of Las Vegas is comprised of 39,683 square miles in the state of Nevada and has a total population of 1.95 million of which 643,900 or 32 percent, are Catholic.
Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Pope Francis, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio, Bishop Joseph A. Pepe, Bishop George L. Thomas, Diocese of Las Vegas, Diocese of Helena
U.S. Bishops’ Migration Chairman Urges Immediate “Humane Solution” for Dreamers after Monday’s Supreme Court Decision
Posted on 02/27/2018 07:03 AM (USCCB News Releases)
February 26, the U.S. Supreme Court declined the government's request to hear
its "appeal before judgment" on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival
(DACA) cases. Accordingly, the lower court injunctions in the California and
New York, DACA cases remain in effect nationally and DACA renewals remain
available to those who currently have DACA status.
response to the Supreme Court decision, Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin,
Chairman of the Committee on Migration, stated:
Supreme Court decision does not reduce the urgency of finding an immediate
legislative solution for Dreamers, people who were brought to the United States
as children and have known only our country as their home. The anxiety and
uncertainty that Dreamers and their families face remain unabated. Monday was our
National Call-in Day for Dreamers, when thousands of Catholics urged their
leaders in Congress to protect Dreamers. These faithful took action because
they recognize that protecting these young people from deportation is an issue
of human life and dignity, and that a legislative solution is necessary to make
that protection durable. My brother Bishops and I continue to call upon
Congress to work towards a bipartisan and humane solution as soon as possible."
Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Joe S. Vásquez, Committee on Migration, U. S. Supreme Court, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA), DACA renewals, legislative solution, Dreamers, National Call-in-Day, Congress, deportation, human life, dignity, humane solution
Posted on 02/23/2018 05:17 AM (USCCB News Releases)
WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), along with USCCB vice-president, Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, and Bishop Joe S. Vásquez, chairman, USCCB Committee on Migration, have issued a call to U.S. Catholics and people of good will across the nation to take part in a "Call-in-Day" on February 26 for the Protection of Dreamers.
With the March 5th deadline looming, we ask once again that Members of Congress show the leadership necessary to find a just and humane solution for these young people, who daily face mounting anxiety and uncertainty.
Therefore, the bishops are asking individuals to contact their Members of Congress to urge them to:
- Protect Dreamers from deportation
- To provide them a path to
- And, to avoid any damage to existing protections for families and unaccompanied minors in the process
To take part in the Call-In-Day to Protect Dreamers, please contact your Members of Congress by calling 855-589-5698 and visiting https://justiceforimmigrants.org/what-we-are-working-on/immigration/daca-resource-page/ (English and Spanish downloads are available).
For more information on how you can further support Dreamers, please visithttps://justiceforimmigrants.org/ and https://www.sharejourney.org/.
Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop José H. Gomez, Bishop Joe S. Vásquez, USCCB Committee on Migration, Dreamers, National Call-In Day, U.S. Congress, protection, path to citizenship, families, unaccompanied minors, deportation, immigrants, action
U.S. Catholic Bishops Chairman of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs Offers Condolences on the Death of the Rev. Billy Graham
Posted on 02/21/2018 10:02 AM (USCCB News Releases)
WASHINGTON—His Excellency, Bishop Joseph Bambera of Scranton, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Office for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, has issued the following statement on receiving the news of the Rev. Billy Graham's death:
"Headlines today will describe Billy Graham as the preacher to millions and the advisor of presidents but first and foremost, he was a man of deep Christian faith. Committed to the Gospel, his personal witness and preaching of Jesus Christ touched the hearts of Americans spanning many generations.
In a particular way, Catholics feel the loss of one of the greatest pastors of our time. His ecumenical approach in ministry helped to forge bonds of friendship and understanding between Catholics and Protestants. He reminded us that what we had in common in Christ was greater than what divided us.
We pray for God to comfort his family and we join Christians throughout the nation and the world who pray today with blessed assurance, 'Well done, good and faithful servant…enter into the joy of your master!'" (Matt 25:23)
Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Joseph Bambera, Office for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, Rev. Billy Graham, prayers, condolences