This week, SB 1146 (Lara, D-Bell Gardens) a bill that would have threatened the religious freedom of faith-based colleges and jeopardized higher educational opportunities for the tens of thousands of Californians they serve, has apparently been substantially amended to remove such questionable provisions. The Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities lead the effort to revise and improve the bill and the California Catholic Conference will now be evaluating the changes. Here’s some background:
Faith in the Public Square
We affirm our religious liberty, which is guaranteed in both the U.S. Constitution and the California state constitution.
Claiming widespread problems despite a complete lack of evidence, the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) is once again targeting religious employers with a bill in the California legislature.
The latest effort is AB 569 by Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego). She and NARAL are claiming that religious employers are consistently discriminating against women based on their reproductive choices.
Statement by Edward “Ned” Dolejsi, executive director of the California Catholic Conference on the issuance today of an Executive Order on religious liberty by President Trump:
“The President’s Executive Order reflects the pressing need to conduct a serious, non-partisan dialogue on the issues facing people of faith in this nation. California’s political dynamics have presented challenges on this front for many years.
The Alliance for Conscience Rights applauds the House of Representatives for passing the Conscience Protection Act. Today’s bill passage is a critical step forward to ensuring religious health care entities are adequately protected against governmental discrimination with a private right of action, which would allow them to defend their civil rights in federal court. The Alliance for Conscience Rights thanks House leadership, bill authors Congresswoman Diane Black and Congressman John Fleming, M.D., and the over 100 cosponsors of the measure for their attention to this critical issue.
Each year dioceses around the country arrange special events to highlight the importance of defending religious freedom. The Fortnight for Freedom is from June 21—the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More—to July 4, Independence Day. In this analysis, we take a look at how trends in society are impacting Catholic health care ministries in the United States:
Sacramento, CA – After almost two years of little or no activity, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service (HHS) has ruled that the Bishops of California and others filing complaints do not have standing to object to a California agency mandating that religious organizations and individuals pay for all abortions in their managed health care plans.
Concluding Remarks by Bishop Jaime Soto:
“Be merciful as your Father is merciful.” These are the words of the Lord Jesus to his disciples in the gospel according to Luke. This can be a high order or it can be the fortunate consequence of having been the object of His mercy. To know God’s mercy compels one to be merciful as He is merciful. To know His mercy is also to grasp the wisdom with which he mercifully cares for each one of His children.
The following is a statement by Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:
The bishops of the United States are gravely disappointed that the 2016 omnibus funding bill did not include the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act (ANDA). While the omnibus bill certainly addresses other critical issues, the modest reform that ANDA represents -- to make federal conscience laws on abortion workable and enforceable -- was an urgent legislative priority in these final months of the year.