Legislative Session Ending; Pope's Unprecedented Call for Action on Climate Change

CA Capitol Spring

Legislative Session Ending

This year's legislative session ends tonight (Sept. 10), and things are fast and furious in the Capitol as lawmakers attempt to get bills passed before the midnight deadline.

Governor Newsom will have 30 days from Sept. 10 to sign or veto any bills that are sent to him. In a twist on the usual process, the gubernatorial recall election is next Tuesday, Sept. 14., and could be guiding political decisions being made at the Capitol now.

SB 380, the bill extending physician-assisted suicide, will be hitting the floor for a vote soon. If you have not already, please take time to send an alert to your legislator now, letting them know you oppose this bill. To the thousands who have already taken action, thank you for standing up as a voice for life and dignity in California.

For a summary of the bills followed by the California Catholic Conference this session, visit our Current Legislation page.  There you can find the fate the various bills on which the Conference has taken a position or, at the least, tracked.  It may take a day or two for the final results to be posted since hundreds of bills will be voted on in the final two days of the session.

 

Minorities need health care, not life-ending prescriptions

The following op-ed by Diocese of San Jose Bishop Oscar Cantu appeared in the San Jose Mercury News.

In our Hispanic culture, caring for the sick and the dying is part of us. We hold the family close yet reach far to include many in our circle. We cherish the older generation, our abuelas, and abuelos. And on dia de los Muertos, we decorate elaborate altars to remember our beloved deceased.

As with many groups, we take pride in our care for the sick. But that compassion and care has not been extended to everyone in California. It's a situation society must urgently address.

Extraordinarily, instead of focusing on solutions to the injustice caused by inadequate health care, California is debating whether to make physician-assisted suicide easier and to open the "option" to more minorities.

Priorities seem askew.

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Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch and the Archbishop of Canterbury Join Together for First Time in Urgent Appeal for Climate Change

For the first time, the leaders of the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Anglican Communion have jointly warned of the urgency of environmental sustainability, its impact on poverty, and the importance of global cooperation.

Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, and Archbishop Justin Welby urge everyone to play their part in 'choosing life' for the future of the planet.

In a joint statement, the Christian leaders have called on people to pray, in this Christian season of Creation, for world leaders ahead of COP26 this November. The statement reads: 'We call on everyone, whatever their belief or worldview, to endeavor to listen to the cry of the earth and of people who are poor, examining their behavior and pledging meaningful sacrifices for the sake of the earth which God has given us.'

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Human Trafficking Report Released

The new 2020 Human Trafficking Report issued by the Human Trafficking Institute reports that human trafficking is taking place throughout the state.  

In California, nine new criminal human trafficking cases were filed in federal courts in 2020, and 16 defendants were convicted. Seventy-nine percent of active defendants were charged with sex trafficking, and 21 percent were charged with forced labor. These statistics do not include any state prosecutions or unreported cases, likely making the number much higher.

Trafficking is a vicious crime taking place in every part of the state. Catholic Social Teaching calls on us all to take action to stop this abhorrent atrocity. Click here for information on the USCCB's Stop Human Trafficking and Exploitation, Protect, Help, Empower, and Restore Dignity (SHEPHERD) program, which educates lay and religious leaders about human trafficking from a Catholic perspective.

 

National News and Events

 

USCCB Sends Letter Asking for Budget Reconciliations

As the development of a budget reconciliation bill continues, five bishop chairmen of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) sent a letter to the Hill asking Congress to work toward policies that will help those on the margins of society, strengthen families, protect religious freedom, promote care for creation, and respect the rights and dignity of every human life. 

In the USCCB letter on budget reconciliation, the bishops ask for consideration of integrating migrants and refugees; jobs for the poor and vulnerable; the strengthening of families; expansion of access to early childhood education; safe, decent, and affordable housing; care for all creation; the preservation of religious liberty, and respect for the rights and dignity of every human life in health care.

 

Support Catholics Working for Immigration Reform

National Catholic Action for Leadership will hold a virtual event on Monday, Sept. 13 at 5 pm PDT to help collaborate on mobilizing support for the millions of undocumented individuals in the U.S. Join Cardinal Joseph Tobin and other members of the Catholic community from across the country in mobilizing Catholic support for a pathway to citizenship for undocumented workers within the budget reconciliation bill now moving through Congress!

Click here to register.

 

God is gloriously and mysteriously present in creation since he is the Lord who reigns over it. To discover this, we need to be silent, listen, contemplate. #SeasonOfCreation

@Pontifex

Sept. 10, 2021
Vol. 14, No. 32

En Español

 

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