Faith in the Public Square: A California Conversation
“The walls which divide us can be broken down only if we are prepared to listen and learn from one another,” said Pope Francis in his 2014 World Communication’s Day Message. “We need to resolve our differences through forms of dialogue which help us grow in understanding and mutual respect.”
This weekend the Catholic Legislative Network is inviting Catholics to engage in just such a dialogue as we hold our Faith in the Public Square conversation in conjunction with the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress.
Around forty thousand Catholics are expected in Anaheim this weekend at the “RE Congress” which draws people from around the world. Fantastic liturgies, workshops on all phases of education and keynotes from renowned Catholic authors fill the three days.
The California Catholic Conference (CCC) staff will be there promoting membership in the Catholic Legislative Network (Booth #281) and leading the three-day discussion among fellow Catholics about the civic issues prominent in our state and nation today. Conference staff will also be available to promote and recruit prison and jail chaplains (Booth #248.)
Successful Catholic Youth Advocacy Day
Students from throughout California descended on the Capitol on March 6 to meet with lawmakers for the 2018 Catholic Youth Advocacy Day.
Approximately 75 students from San Bernardino, Orange, San Jose and San Francisco dioceses began their day with student-led presentations on issues for the day including prevention of human trafficking, opposition to the availability of chemical abortions on college campuses, support for homelessness youth and victim trauma centers in schools. The students then spent the remainder of the day at the Capitol advocating with elected officials or staff.
“It was really impactful for me because I never expected I would be in an environment like this where there are people who represent my state, my county and my community,” said Cecelia Negrete, an attendee from the San Bernardino diocese.
“I really loved the fact that they were interested in us and I felt like our voice, my voice, was heard,” she said.
Click here for a video highlight of the day.
Catholic Advocacy Day Bills Announced
This year’s Catholic Advocacy Day at the California State Capitol will take place on Tuesday, April 24, and the list of bills that participants will discuss with lawmakers showcases the vital importance that this day exists.
Bills that will be discussed with lawmakers that day include:
- SB 320 (Leyva, D-Chino) would require on-campus health centers of public universities to offer abortion-inducing drugs like RU-486.
- AB 2269 (Lackey, R-Palmdale), which extends the age to 19 for youth that are eligible for CalWORKs assistance.
- AB 2701 (Rubio, D-Baldwin Park) would require the Trauma Recovery Center Board (TRC) to administer a program to evaluate applications and grants for school-based trauma recovery centers.
- SB 1214 (Portantino, D-La-Canada) – would allow teachers with preliminary credentials to a $2500 tax deduction for fees incurred toward the completion of an Induction Program approved by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing.
- SB 1391 (Lara, D-Bell Gardens) – amends Prop. 57 by repealing the authority of a district attorney to make a motion to transfer a minor from a juvenile court to a court of criminal jurisdiction in a case where a minor is alleged to have committed a serious offense when he or she was 14 or 15 years of age.
- AB 1862 (Santiago, D-Los Angeles) – would appropriate $10 million from the General Fund to the Department of Social Services for immigration services funding to be available for payment to existing entities under contract for the work on behalf of clients who are current or former recipients of the federal temporary protection status (TPS) program.
Participants may also advocate on other bills of local significance as determined by their dioceses. More information will be available in the weeks ahead.
Ask Congress to Enact the Conscience Protection Act
Congress will decide soon whether to include the Conscience Protection Act (CPA) in must-pass government funding legislation. The legislation was to be debated last week but the Congressional schedule became too crowded. It is critical that we flood our Senate and House offices immediately with emails and calls advocating for the Conscience Protection Act.
The CPA is much-needed, common-sense legislation that will clarify federal law and ensure that those who provide health care and health coverage can do so without being forced by government to violate their deeply held religious beliefs by participating in the destruction of innocent unborn children.
Please take a moment right now to email and call your representatives in Congress and tell them that we expect them to protect our religious freedom – our most cherished liberty.
Church Celebrates Fifth Anniversary of Pope Francis
It’s been five years since Pope Francis was introduced to the world after the unique resignation of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. During that time, his love for the poor, migrants and refugees, the hungry and other who are oppressed has brought a strong moral voice to the world.
“It has struck me,” said Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, “that among other things, Pope Francis has been the pope of the personal and the practical, the pope of everyday life. These five years, his teaching has emphasized the place where the truths of our Faith meet the demands of daily living.
“It is not enough to read the words of the gospel or even to study and meditate on them, he tells us. “The gospel is demanding. It demands to be lived radically and sincerely,” he says. “Jesus asks us to practice the gospel, to live out his words.””
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Administrative Committee also issued a statement.
March 16, 2018
Vol. 11, No. 10