Catholic Advocacy Day Delegates Shine
Nearly 150 delegates from dioceses around California traveled to Sacramento this week for the 2015 Catholic Advocacy Day.
They met with various members and voiced their opposition to SB 128 (Physician Assisted Suicide) and AB 775 (Reproductive FACT Act). They also discussed their support for SB 3 (Minimum Wage) and SB 124 (Juvenile Solitary Confinement). (See the background sheets here.)
By chance, they were in the State Capitol the same day that the controversial FACT Act, which would eliminate the free speech rights of pro-life pregnancy clinics, was heard. Lawmakers at that hearing received an earful but unfortunately the measure passed.
Diocesan delegations were also invited to discuss local issues that affect them specifically.
One group from Stockton was comprised of deacons, a recent college graduate and a naturalized citizen. Their collective desire was to start a conversation on legislation that has a big impact on their communities.
Assisted-Suicide “Safeguards” Begin Crumbling in Oregon
Oregon's first-in-the-nation law empowers doctors to give life-ending drugs to people if they are judged to be within six months of death. Oregon's law is widely used as the standard for similar measures proposed this year in at least 20 states.
Barely noticed, however, is the desire of a key Oregon physician-assisted suicide legislator to double the “likely-to-die” window for death medicine to a full year.
The chair of Oregon's House Health Care Committee, Rep. Mitch Greenlick introduced HB 3337 which would widen the end-of-life expectation enabling physicians to assist in suicide.
Current Oregon law says a person must be judged likely to die within six months in order to be prescribed suicide medicine. HB 3337 would double the "likely-to -die" threshold for prescribing death medication to a full year.
Pope Calls for Stronger Marriages, Equal Pay for Women
In his weekly audience, Pope Francis spoke of the challenges faced by married couples and the impact on children from a divorce. He said that, with the increase in the divorce rate, children do not see an example of long-term commitment:
“There is this culture of the provisional ... everything is provisional, it seems there is nothing definitive,” he said.
The Holy Father also urged Christians to commit themselves to equal pay for women.
“[A]s Christians, we must ... support with determination the right of equal compensation for equal work, why is it taken for granted that women must earn less than men? No! They have the same rights,” said Pope Francis.
The Church's Response in Nepal
As our brothers and sisters in Nepal experience the devastating effects of this weekend's earthquake, Catholic Relief Services and its partners are responding with critical supplies for families rendered homeless: tarps and materials for emergency shelter, means for clean water, hygiene supplies and sanitation materials. Please express your solidarity with our Nepalese brothers and sisters by supporting CRS' efforts.
USCCB President Comments on Supreme Court’s Oral Arguments on Marriage
The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Tuesday, on the constitutionality of states defining and recognizing marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
Commenting on the oral arguments before the Court, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), said, “Today is a moment of great consequence. Marriage is a perennial institution, with deep roots in who we are and in our nation’s culture and laws. Marriage is and always will be the union between one man and one woman. This truth is inseparable from the duty to honor the God-given dignity of every human person. We pray that the justices will uphold the responsibility of states to protect the beautiful truth of marriage, which concerns the essential well-being of the nation, especially children. Children have a basic right, wherever possible, to know and be loved by their mother and father together. The Church will always defend this right and looks to people of goodwill to continue this debate with charity and civility.”
The Supreme Court is expected to issue a ruling by the end of June.
May 1, 2015, Vol. 8, No. 17, En Español