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Insights: Legislative Bill Update; Election Resources Available

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September 21, 2018

Brown Signs Some Bills While Fate of Others Still Unknown

It has been three weeks since the California Legislature adjourned for the session and sent a stack of more than 1,000 bills to Governor Jerry Brown for his signature or veto.

The California Catholic Conference (CCC) is pleased to report that the Governor has signed several educational and environmental bills that will benefit all Californians, while we continue to await news on others that could have devastating impacts.  

AB 2285 (O’Donnell, D-Long Beach), which will recruit more out-of-state teachers in high-demand subjects was signed along with SB 972 (Portantino, D-La Cañada Flintridge), which will require that all student identification cards are imprinted with an anti-suicide helpline.  AB 1868 (Cunningham, R-San Luis Obispo County) will enable students to be educated under the Healthy Youth Act on the dangers of messaging sexually explicit materials through digital media.

The CCC is pleased that the Governor also signed SB 100 (de León, D-Los Angeles), which will quantifiably reduce the emissions harmful to our planet and the health of our communities, especially for our most vulnerable Californians.

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Catholic Charities Assisting in Hurricane Florence Efforts

Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) is working closely with local agencies in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia to respond to those impacted by Hurricane Florence.

CCUSA has set up a donation page and text-to-give platform to raise funds for this effort.  As it did in response to last year’s hurricanes, CCUSA forwards 100 percent of funds raised to the local Catholic Charities agencies that serve the affected communities.

“We are praying for those affected by the storm,” said Sister Donna Markham, OP, Ph.D., President and CEO of CCUSA. “Unfortunately, those most impacted by natural disasters are the individuals and families who are already struggling to make ends meet. But thanks to the generosity of our donors the most vulnerable have their immediate needs met and the long-term recovery support they need to rebuild their lives.”

To donate, text CCUSADISASTER to 71777. You may also donate by phone by calling 1-800-919-9338. Click here to donate online.

For the latest information, click here.


USCCB Admin Committee Statement and Actions to be Taken on Sex Abuse Scandals

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Administrative Committee issued the following statement this week in response to the recent sex abuse scandals. In the statement, the bishops say they pledge to "heal and protect with every bit of the strength God provides us."

Turning to the Lord

"When each of us was ordained as a bishop, we were told: 'Keep watch over the whole flock in which the Holy Spirit has appointed you to shepherd the Church of God.'

We, the Administrative Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, assembled last week in Washington at this time of shame and sorrow. 

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Administration Slashes Number of Refugees Allowed in US

The Administration announced this week that it will set the level of refugees allowed into the United States at 30,000 for 2019.  This is the lowest number set in the history of the U.S. refugee admissions program which was formally created in 1980.

“Offering refuge to those fleeing violence, torture, or religious persecution is a cornerstone of our history,” said Most Reverend Joe S. Vásquez, Bishop of Austin, Texas, Chair of the of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Migration in a released statement. “We as a country are blessed with vast resources making us capable of securely welcoming those fleeing harm. Closing our doors on those seeking such safety is not who we are as a people.”

The announcement coincided with a conference in Rome on "Xenophobia, Racism and Populist Nationalism in the Context of Global Migration." The gathering Sept. 18-20 in Rome was jointly hosted by the Vatican dicastery and the Geneva-based World Council of Churches in collaboration with the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

"It pains us to note that when it comes to international migration, too often mistrust and fear prevail over trust and openness toward the other," yet at the same time, there are many examples of solidarity and compassion being demonstrated as well, said Cardinal Peter Turkson, prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.


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Election Resources Now Available

Absentee ballots will start landing in mailboxes on October 8 in advance of Election Day November 6. To help you prepare to vote, the California Catholic Conference has several resources available.

An overview of all of the 11 propositions on the ballot, including background information and applicate Catholic teaching can be found online. There are an incredibly diverse set of measures to research including fiscal issues, housing, water and the environment, children’s hospitals, taxes and daylight savings time

For those wondering about the role of the church, parishioners and civic participation, there is a Faithful Citizenship Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). Examine guidance on moral, ethical and theological questions such as: What is a well-formed conscience and how do I form my own?  There is also voter registration information available.

A reminder that the Bishops have published guidelines for advocacy, lobbying and political action for parishes to better understand the role of the Church in public affairs. Review this page to answer questions on political involvement and advocacy at your parish or church-sponsored function.


SF Archdiocese Seeks Project Rachel Coordinator


September 21, 2018
Vol. 11, No. 29

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