Physician-Assisted Suicide Hearing Next Week
A policy hearing on Physician-Assisted Suicide is scheduled for Tuesday or Wednesday of next week. Please make your voice heard on this important issue and urge this committee to vote “NO” on ABx2 15. Since it is an extraordinary session, we will have little advance notice of the actual date and time for this hearing so it is imperative that your Assembly Member hears from you either via email or phone, that you do NOT support this bill!
The original bill (SB 128) had stalled in the Assembly Health Committee and the new bill, ABx2 15 (Eggman, D-Stockton) was introduced during this special legislative session. Now a special committee that was formed to deal with healthcare financing, will hear this bill. This special session was one of two called by the Governor. He recently indicated that this bill should be dealt with during the regular session, not in this special committee and we support this sentiment.
This new bill includes language that prohibits the disclosure or discovery of any information on an “assisted death” for civil, criminal or administrative proceedings. The patient, the patient’s family and any medical provider or pharmacist involved are considered not liable for problems.
Elsewhere in the Capitol, the deadline for regular session bills to get out of fiscal committee is today. The next two weeks entail daily floor sessions with the first part of this two-year legislative session ending on Friday, Sept. 11. Most of the Catholic Advocacy Day bills are waiting in a suspense file in the appropriations committees. We will provide an update on how these bills fared next week in Insights.
Crisis Pregnancy Centers Face an Underhanded Assault
By: Bishop Jaime Soto
Lots of media attention continues to be given to the videos of Planned Parenthood staff members speaking about the disposition of aborted fetal tissue. Some people have questioned the undercover tactics used to capture the candid conversations.
This criticism, however, fails to acknowledge the deception employed by the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League in using an advocate posing as a woman looking for help at crisis pregnancy centers.
This ploy to discredit the compassionate work of those offering women and their children a hopeful alternative was unquestionably accepted by local media. After all, it fit the politically correct narrative. The advocates were considered principled, clever crusaders. The staff at the centers was considered just wacky and wrong.
This undercover operation became the lame pretext for NARAL and Planned Parenthood’s attempt to push legislation – Assembly Bill 775, the so-called Reproductive FACT Act – that would fine clinics that don’t provide abortion information or referrals. But the bill would not require Planned Parenthood or other abortion providers to provide women with information on healthy and supportive alternatives to abortion.
What the Planned Parenthood videos have revealed is that crisis pregnancy centers are not the ones withholding information from vulnerable women or an unsuspecting public. Planned Parenthood has consistently hidden the morally repulsive aspects of its mission.
The Miracle of Blessed Father Serra
The impending canonization of Blessed Father Junípero Serra is striking for its incongruities.
Although he's been an ubiquitous influence in California for centuries, the announcement by Pope Francis that he would canonize Blessed Serra this year has raised some eyebrows. Though Blessed Serra is widely venerated, the announcement has stirred up controversy among critics, many of them Native Americans who feel his canonization is an affront to their culture and history.
Even Fr. Serra’s canonization itself is extraordinary --one that bypasses the usual protocol, by authority of the Pope. Canonization is typically a long and arduous procedure, but can be wildly divergent. The canonization of St. Bede took 770 years, yet St. John Paul ll was canonized in only nine years.
The procedure for investigating the lives of candidates for sainthood, and the miracles attributed to them, was established by Pope Gregory IX in 1234, and has been revised over the years by subsequent popes. Traditionally, two miracles are required: one for beatification, the process by which a person is declared "blessed," and one for canonization, the final declaration of sainthood. Father Francis Weber, archivist emeritus for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, emphasizes the stringency of the process, and the level of scrutiny given to the cases and their miracles.
Grant Awarded to Restore Justice
The Catholic Campaign for Human Development awarded a $500,000 National Grant to the California Catholic Conference to implement Restorative Justice practices to address violence in nine (Arch)dioceses. This funding allows us to continue the work we began two years ago, when first awarded this grant.
Diocesan efforts have spent the past two years identifying community needs, lifting up and educating grassroots leaders and leading Night Walks in the state’s most violence-plagued neighborhoods. We are also providing direct services that respond to the needs of victims, offenders, families and communities impacted by crime and the policies of the correctional system.
The focus now is to expand our grassroots organizing, education and program efforts. By responding to the needs of those most impacted by crime and violence, it is our mission to reduce violence and lift up crisis communities.
The CCHD also awarded us an additional grant for a communications intern to assist in our work. We will be enhancing our web presence with a focus on increasing the use of social media.
We invite you to join us to LEARN about restorative justice and what our Church teaches. PRAY for all who are affected by our criminal justice system. ACT to bring healing to your own community.
August 28, 2015, Vol. 8, No. 31