COVID-19 Vaccine Ethics and Safety and Election News

Vaccine

Criminal Justice Reform Success: No on Prop 20's Roll Back

The California Catholic Conference of Bishops opposes Proposition 20 on the grounds that it threatens to overturn important and effective criminal justice reforms in California, and the California Budget and Policy Center (CBPC) agrees.

According to a report released by the CBPC, Prop 20 would roll back major advancements made in California’s prisons and crime rates.

The CBPC chronicles that the number of adults incarcerated by the State of California has declined substantially, with the incarceration rate for adults at levels last seen in the early 1990s. Most importantly, California’s property and violent crime rates are at historic lows.  Also, some prisons now have the opportunity to close because of the reduced prison population.

Click here for more.

 

Latest Election News and Resources

Bearing in mind our nation’s challenges and the need for wise, moral, civic leadership, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is asking Catholics to join in an electronic Election Novena from Oct. 26 through Nov. 3 to help Catholics form their consciences as they prepare for the upcoming election.

 

If you haven’t voted, check out our Election Resources page with analyses of all of the propositions.  

If you missed the deadline to register to vote, you still have an opportunity to register and vote but your ballot will be provisional.  Same-Day Voter Registration, known as Conditional Voter Registration in state law, is a safety net for Californians who miss the deadline to register to vote or update their voter registration information for an election. Visit caearlyvoting.sos.ca.gov for a list of times and locations.

 

No on Prop 14 – Unethical and Fiscally Uncertain

The Bishops of California are opposed to Prop 14, and the Center for Genetics and Society (CGS) is also speaking out against the measure. In an editorial, the CGS points out the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) has run out of funding, and that both the political and the technical rationale for committing state funds to stem cell research have evaporated, making Prop 14 a bad investment for Californians.

Read more here as well as a links to editorials around the Golden State that object to the lack of fiscal accountability in the spending of $5.5 billion dollars.

 

Statement of Solidarity: A Catholic Response to COVID-19 Behind Bars

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops, Catholic Mobilizing Network, Catholic Relief Services, and a host of other national Catholic organizations have come together to issue this Statement of Solidarity: A Catholic Response to COVID-19 Behind Bars. 

The impacts of the coronavirus pandemic for those living and working in jails, prisons, and detention centers are severe. Reports show more than 70,000 people inside have tested positive for the virus; hundreds have died.

As Catholics, we are called to respect the dignity of all human life—regardless of the harm one has suffered or caused.  The signatories to the statement recognize that society cannot simply stand by when experiencing COVID-19 behind bars could, for some, mean a de facto death sentence.

Read more and sign the statement at CatholicMobilizing.org.

 

CA Working to Ensure Safety of COVID-19 Vaccine

With the expedited timeline for an effective vaccine for COVID-19 underway, Governor Newsom assured Californians this week that the state will take extra measures to ensure the safety of any potential vaccine.

In a press conference, the Governor explained he has established a Scientific Safety Review Workgroup that consists of the state’s top experts who will independently review FDA approved vaccines.

“This vaccine plan will move at the speed of trust. You have to have confidence that we are not rushing this vaccine,” said Newsom. “Confidence in the efficacy of the vaccine. Confidence we are not rushing to judgment in terms of access or accessibility. Making sure again we are a third set of eyes or second set of eyes. This is what the Scientific Safety Review Workgroup is responsible for. We want to warrant that trust by making sure we are transparent, and we are consistently engaged in a culturally competent way.”

Earlier this year, the USCCB expressed strong support for efforts to develop an effective, safe, and widely available vaccine as quickly as possible, but also asked that vaccines are developed ethically and are free from any connection to the exploitation of abortion.

The USCCB’s letter requested that bio-researchers “ensure that fundamental moral principles are followed in the development of such vaccines, most importantly, the principle that human life is sacred and should never be exploited.”

 

“Enough!” says Jesus (Lk 22:38), when his disciples produce two swords before the Passion. “Enough!” That single word of Jesus echoes through the centuries and reaches us forcefully in our own time: enough of swords, weapons, violence, and war!

@Pontifex

 

October 23, 2020
Vol. 13, No. 38

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