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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