CA Pulls “Emergency Brake” with New COVID Restrictions


USCCB Wraps Up Fall General Assembly

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops wrapped its 2020 Fall General Assembly this week by adopting a new strategic plan and renewing the Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism.

The Bishops approved the Revised Strategic Priorities for the 2021-24 USCCB Strategic Plan, “Created Anew by the Body and Blood of Christ: Source of Our Healing and Hope.”

They also voted to approve the renewal of the Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism that focuses on addressing the sin of racism. The committee was established in August 2017, upon the unanimous recommendation of the USCCB’s Executive Committee and in consultation with members of the USCCB's Committee on Priorities and Plans.

During the first day of the meeting, the Bishops also spoke of laicized ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick.

USCCB President, Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez, offered prayers and encouragement for the victims in his first opening address and called on his fellow bishops to “renew our commitment today to protecting children and vulnerable adults and to eliminating this scourge of abuse from the church.”

The Bishops voted and approved incoming officers of standing committees, board members of Catholic Relief Services, a new General Secretary, and approved the proposed budgets for 2021.


COVID “Emergency Brake” and Coping Resources

California Governor Gavin Newsom pulled the “emergency brake” this week on COVID re-openings, moving a total of 41 states in the most restrictive purple tier and considering a statewide curfew as COVID cases continue to increase at an exponential rate.

While public health officials continue to try to determine how to help keep the number of infections from spiraling as in other states, news of two promising vaccines was also announced this week.  

Pharmaceutical companies Moderna and Pfizer both announced that they are in third-phase trials of their vaccines, which have proven to be more than 90 percent effective at preventing COVID-19.

Neither of the vaccines utilize fetal cell lines and instead use an RNA methodology. Both are listed as “ethical” by the pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute.  The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is also investigating the ethical aspects of the various leading vaccines.

The COVID pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for people and communities around the world.  The tensions, fears, uncertainties and anxieties of daily life have been magnified at a time when places of worship, gathering with family or friends or normal social interactions are difficult or discouraged. 

The CCC has complied videos, brochures and websites for the faithful that offer a variety of resources for spiritual growth, mental and physical well-being that can be useful during the pandemic.  They are a start but if you or someone you know is in an emergency call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or call 911 immediately or seek professional assistance.


U.S. Bishop Chairmen Renew Call to Stop Executions

In the wake of more federal executions scheduled in the coming weeks, two UCSSB bishop chairmen have issued a statement calling on the Administration to act as a witness to the dignity of all human life.

“Sadly, we must call on the Administration yet again to stop an execution, this time scheduled on November 19.  Two more are scheduled in December.  We are now on pace for ten federal executions in 2020, more than double the previous record of four in 1938,” said Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities in a released statement.

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Judge Protects DACA, Rules Against Homeland Security Chief

A New York City federal judge has ruled that acting head of Homeland Security Chad Wolf has not been acting lawfully and as a result, his suspension of the DACA program is invalid.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June against the Trump administration’s attempt to end DACA, or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, the Obama-era executive order intended to protect the children of immigrants who were raised in the U.S.  

The DACA program has enabled approximately 700,000 young people, who paid a fee and submitted to a background check, the opportunity to work legally, access educational opportunities, and not fear deportation. DACA recipients on average contribute more than $42 billion annually to the U.S. economy. (Estimates place the total number of Dreamers in this nation as high as 900,000.)


Happy Thanksgiving

Public Policy Insights will not be issued next week because of the Thanksgiving Day holiday.  Enjoy the day and this year, more than most, please remain safe. 

Psalm 118:1

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    his love endures forever.


Even a smile that we can share with the poor is a source of love. An outstretched hand can always be enriched by the smile of those who quietly and unassumingly offer to help, inspired only by the joy of living as one of Christ’s disciples.



November 20, 2020
Vol. 13, No. 41

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