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Archbishop offers special Mass to pray for jurors, peace in communities

ST. PAUL, Minn. (CNS) — As closing arguments began April 19 in the trial of...

U.S. Bishops’ Migration Committee Chairman Expresses Disappointment that Low Refugee Admissions Goal Remains

WASHINGTON— The Biden Administration announced Friday afternoon that it will not increase the historically low number of refugees who can be resettled in the United States for the current fiscal year. However, it will restore the long-time practice of allocating refugees from every region of the world, thus opening resettlement to some who were not included in the more restricted categories of the previous Administration. Later in the day, the Administration stated that it expects to increase the refugee cap in mid-May for the remaining fiscal year. In response to the announcements, Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of Washington, and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration, expressed disappointment that the refugee admissions number for the fiscal year will continue to be at a historic low but appreciation that a number of persecuted refugee families who could not previously travel will finally be permitted resettlement in the United States.

Bishop Dorsonville’s statement follows:

“The number of refugees who will be welcomed this year is far short of what we can do as a country and is not an adequate response to the immense resettlement need. We will work with the Administration, state and local officials and communities, and our colleagues to ensure that every one of the 15,000 refugees re-affirmed as this year’s ceiling are resettled safely and as quickly as possible. We expect the Administration to recalibrate and raise this ceiling, as it stated it would do Friday evening. We further encourage the Administration to build back the program to more normal and just levels by getting to an admission goal of 125,000.

“Given the unprecedented number of refugee families seeking new homes after being persecuted for religious, political, and other reasons, we appreciate that the U.S. refugee admissions program will now offer previously left out refugees an opportunity to resettle in our country. At the same time, we were hopeful that the Biden Administration would increase the ceiling for refugee admissions in this fiscal year, and we are disappointed that it has not yet done so. The dire circumstances confronting refugees and asylees has been of particular concern for the Catholic Church. The work of the U.S. Catholic bishops in assisting and advocating on behalf of immigrants and refugees is rooted in the recognition that every person is created in God’s image and must be valued, protected, and respected for the inherent dignity that he or she possesses.”

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Media Contacts:
Chieko Noguchi or Miguel Guilarte
202-541-3200

Statement of U.S. Bishops’ Chairman for International Justice and Peace on Armenian Genocide

WASHINGTON - In commemoration of Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day on April 24, Bishop David J. Malloy of Rockford, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on International Justice and Peace highlighted the tragic loss of so many Armenians in what has been called the first genocide of the 20th century.

Bishop Malloy’s full statement follows:

“April 24 is Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, marking the 1915 start of a campaign that resulted in the death of as many as 1.2 million Armenian Christians -- victims of mass shootings, death marches to distant camps, torture, assaults, starvation, and disease. Thousands of Armenian children were torn from their families and forcibly converted. This horrific tragedy was intended to eliminate the Armenian people and their culture in what has been called the ‘first genocide of the 20th century.’

“But Armenia and the Armenian people survived and endured despite their suffering and persecution. I echo the prayers of our Holy Father, Pope Francis when he offered his prayers for justice and peace following a trip to Armenia in 2016: ‘A people that suffered so much throughout its history, and faith alone, faith has kept this people on its feet. The fact that [Armenia] was the first Christian nation is not enough; it was the first Christian nation because the Lord blessed it, because it had its saints, it had its holy bishops and martyrs…’

“As we rejoice in the Resurrection during this Easter season, may all people of good will join together on this solemn day of recollection to pray and work for justice and peace and remember anew that eternal life in Christ reigns supreme and forever.”

Bishop Malloy’s statement echoes the concern and solidarity the Catholic Church has long held with the Armenian Church. In a November 2000 joint statement, Pope John Paul II and His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, affirmed their common faith and mutual respect for one another.

The U.S. bishops have provided support for pastoral renewal projects and through Caritas Armenia for social services to assist children and the vulnerable as well as to encourage parish social ministry programs. In 2003, Cardinal William Keeler led a delegation of U.S. bishops and staff to Armenia at the invitation of the Catholicos. The delegation came away deeply impressed and inspired by the resilience of the Christian faith of the Armenian people in the face of adversity. 

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Media Contacts:
Chieko Noguchi or Miguel Guilarte
202-541-3200

Head of Irish bishops calls new law on Mass attendance ‘draconian’

DUBLIN (CNS) — The head of the Irish bishops’ conference said the government’s move to...

Saying he missed people, pope returns to window for Sunday prayer

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Greeting visitors in St. Peter’s Square after nearly a month of...

Legal lessons: Past abuse cases help train canon lawyers

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — When Pope Francis abolished the “pontifical secret” covering the church’s judicial...

U.S. Bishops’ Pro-Life Committee Chairman on Chemical Abortion Pill Policy Change

WASHINGTON – The Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday that they will no longer be enforcing the “in-person dispensing requirement” for the chemical abortion pills during the remainder of the COVID-19 public health emergency. This requirement was put in place by public health officials over twenty years ago, under President Bill Clinton, as a necessary precondition to ensure that pregnant women do not have contraindications that would make the abortion pills even more unsafe and possibly deadly for the woman. Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities issued the following statement:

“It is difficult to see the FDA’s decision to not enforce important safety protocols as anything other than callous capitulation to the requests of abortion activists without regard for the health and safety of the women involved. An in-person evaluation by a medical professional is necessary to accurately determine the age of the baby (abortion pills are only approved for use in the first 70 days), whether the pregnancy is ectopic (which the woman has no way of knowing on her own), and to test and treat for Rh-incompatibility between mother and baby. Without this information and proper treatment, a woman’s health, future fertility, and life are placed in serious jeopardy. With this decision, not only are women being sold the lie that abortion will solve their problems, but also that chemical abortion is a safe and easy way to go about it. By pushing women away from medical oversight, abortion advocates are luring women into isolated, unsafe, and medically unwise decisions. The inalienable dignity of women and their unborn children deserves so much more.”

 

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Media Contacts:
Chieko Noguchi or Miguel Guilarte
202-541-3200

Statement of the U.S. Bishops’ Pro-Life Committee Chairman on Biden Administration’s proposed rule on the Title X program

WASHINGTON – On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published a proposed rule to reverse “The Protect Life Rule,” a regulation issued by the Trump Administration in 2019 to clearly separate abortion from family planning in the federal Title X family planning program. Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, issued the following statement expressing profound disappointment over this action:

“This policy change will allow the Title X program to become an indirect funding avenue for abortion providers. In spite of explicit prohibitions in Federal law and clear congressional intent that abortion may not be a part of this program, it has repeatedly been coopted by abortion supporters as a funding stream for organizations, programs, and facilities that directly promote and provide abortions.

“While the USCCB has always had strong objections to government promotion and funding of contraceptives, we have also long supported clear financial and physical separation between Title X-funded projects and programs and facilities where abortion is a method of family planning. This proposed rule is terrible policy; it would reintegrate abortion into what is supposed to be a pre-pregnancy family planning program. I strongly urge the Biden Administration to suspend this proposed rule and leave the Title X program as it was intended and authorized to be – a program entirely separate from abortion.”

 

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Media Contacts:
Chieko Noguchi or Miguel Guilarte
202-541-3200

U.S. Bishop Chairman Calls for Easter Response to Mass Shooting in Indianapolis

WASHINGTON — Following the mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development issued the following statement:

“Tragically, we awoke to learn of another mass shooting today, this time in Indianapolis, that has reportedly left eight dead and several wounded. As we heard at Mass yesterday, ‘The Lord is close to the brokenhearted’ (Ps. 34:19). We again need prayer and concrete acts of charity for the families, and for all victims of violent crime. 

“Again and again, we react in horror to these violent acts, but many cannot agree on how to stop them. The bishops continue to support a number of policy measures to try to reduce homicides and suicides.[1] In this Easter season, when we are reminded that there is always hope, even when we seem to be at a dead end, I would ask our political leaders, and all people of good will, once more to examine this issue and propose prudential solutions. It is good that President Biden and some leaders in Congress are drawing renewed attention to this. For a comprehensive and long-lasting path to peace, it will take bipartisan cooperation. In the spirit of Easter, let us pray for renewed reverence for the gift of life, and faith that by the grace of God, we can always begin again and work towards peace.”  

 

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Media Contacts:
Chieko Noguchi or Miguel Guilarte
202-541-3200

 

 

[1] See, Bishop Frank J. Dewane, “Responses to the Plague of Gun Violence,” Address to the General Assembly of Bishops in Baltimore (Nov. 11, 2019).  https://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/violence/upload/Remarks-Bishop-Dewane-Responses-to-the-Plague-of-Gun-Violence-11-11-2019.pdf

 

Eight USCCB programs now using online giving platform to receive donations

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Eight programs administered by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops can now...