Here's an insiders' view of what happens when the cardinals enter the Sistine Chapel to select the next pope, courtesy of Catholic News Service
WASHINGTON—In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, the chairmen of three committees of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued a joint statement to decry violence in society. The bishops repeated the call from Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of USCCB, who expressed on the day of the horrible tragedy, deepest sorrow for all the victims and a call to work for peace in our homes, streets and world. They called on all Americans, especially legislators, to address national policies that will strengthen regulations of firearms and improve access to health care for those with mental health needs.
WASHINGTON - Today the United States Supreme Court issued a decision upholding as a tax the provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that requires individuals to purchase a health plan—the so-called "individual mandate."
For nearly a century, the Catholic bishops of the United States have been and continue to be consistent advocates for comprehensive health care reform to ensure access to life-affirming health care for all, especially the poorest and the most vulnerable. Although the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) did not participate in these cases and took no position on the specific questions presented to the Court, USCCB's position on health care reform generally and on ACA particularly is a matter of public record.The bishops ultimately opposed final passage of ACA for several reasons.
WASHINGTON—In a letter to Congress, Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), outlined the “principles and priorities that will guide the public policy efforts” of the Bishops’ Conference during the new legislature. The letter was mailed to all members of Congress on January 14.
Archbishop Dolan said he “hopes that this newly elected Congress will advance the common good and defend the life and dignity of all, especially vulnerable and poor persons whose needs are critical in this time of difficult economic and policy choices.”
“As bishops, of course we approach public policy not as politicians but as pastors and teachers,” Archbishop Dolan said. “Our moral principles have always guided our everyday experience in caring for the hungry and homeless, offering health care and housing, educating children and reaching out to those in need.”