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Insights: Bishops Ask for Civility in Elections; CA Catholic Charities Receive $5M Grant

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November 4, 2016

California Bishops Urge Respect and Calm During Election Season

Bishop Jaime Soto, President of the California Catholic Conference, issued the following statement on behalf of his fellow Bishops in California:

Animosity and hyperbole has characterized the current election season.  This should give all people pause.  The natural and healthy exchange of ideas, critical to our democratic system has devolved into anger, intolerance and increasing alienation.

This current polarization hampers the advancement of the common good, which is one of the ultimate goals of all prudent governance.  The common good – “the sum total of social conditions which allow people, either as groups or as individuals, to reach their fulfilment more fully and more easily” (Gaudium et Spes, 26.) – requires cooperation and mutual respect.  It requires that all be given the opportunity to participate in civic activities and partake in the benefits of our society. 

Just a little more than one year ago, in his historic address to the U.S. Congress, Pope Francis reminded us that the Golden Rule applies in political discourse, as well as in our daily life:

 “This Rule points us in a clear direction. Let us treat others with the same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated.  Let us seek for others the same possibilities, which we seek for ourselves. Let us help others to grow, as we would like to be helped ourselves.  In a word, if we want security, let us give security; if we want life, let us give life; if we want opportunities, let us provide opportunities.  The yardstick we use for others will be the yardstick which time will use for us.  The Golden Rule also reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development.”

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Catholic Charities of California, Los Angeles Receives $5M Immigration Services Grant

Last week, the California Department of Social Services (CDSS), Immigration Services Unit, announced it has awarded Catholic Charities of California Los Angeles (Catholic Charities) with a $5,000,000 grant to provide services to immigrants who reside in the state.

Catholic Charities was one of 80 nonprofit organizations to receive grant funding, but far outpaced the other organizations by more than doubling the next highest award.  

The grant funds must be used to assist immigration applicants seeking deferred action for childhood arrivals or other immigration remedies; assist applicants seeking Deferred Action for Parents of American and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA), assist applicants seeking naturalization, legal training and technical assistance services; and education and outreach activities in the 2016-2017 fiscal year.

Catholic Charities has a robust immigration services program in which they played an instrumental role in the creation of a new state program that provides legal services to immigrants. Since January of this year, this statewide program has helped approximately 4,000 immigrants.

Congratulations to Catholic Charities and thank you for the blessing you are to so many in our state.

Click here for more information.


Vote for Oakland Diocese’s New Media Award

The Diocese of Oakland’s Jubilee of Mercy Website ( has been nominated for the Best Diocesan Use of New Media by the Fisher’s Net Awards.

The site was created by the Oakland Diocese’s Department of Faith Formation and Evangelization in response to Pope Francis’ emphasis on mercy. It encourages people to perform the Works of Mercy by promoting volunteer opportunities and publicizing diocesan events. 

Voting is quick and simple, and no registration or other information is collected. Voting closes December 1st. Support the Oakland Diocese by clicking here to vote for Best Diocesan Use of New Media.


Resources in Insights Special Election Edition

Election Day is fast approaching, and with 17 propositions on the ballot in addition to the many statewide and local candidate races, the sheer number of choices can be overwhelming.

The California Catholic Conference recently released a Special Election Edition of Insights that explored all 17 ballot propositions, contained several death penalty and restorative justice resources as well as a piece by Fr. Gerald Coleman (Being Catholic and Voting), which explored the moral obligations of the Catholic voter.

Click here to utilize this special edition and its resources. Since it was published, four Bishops in the Bay Area have written strong opinion pieces regarding Proposition 64.  Read these articles by Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, Bishop Michael Barber, Bishop William Justice and Cardinal William Levada.

May God bless you and provide you with a clear mind and conscience as you fulfill your civic duty and vote on Tuesday.


AMA To Reconsider Stance on Physical Assisted Suicide

The American Medical Association is in the process of considering changing its long-time stance against physician-assisted suicide to a “neutral” position.

The U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops (USCCB) is asking physicians to weigh in and write letters to the AMA’s Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs, urging them to preserve its position against physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia.

The Council is expected to share its findings and recommendation to its House of Delegates at its upcoming June 2017 meeting.

Click here for a PDF with contact information that can be shared with all medical professionals to petition the AMA to retain its position.

November 4, 2016
Vol. 9, No. 35