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Insights: Vaccines, Extending Health Coverage, Hope

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May 15, 2015

Lawmakers Hear from Catholic Advocates on Life and Dignity Issues

After becoming familiar with the issues and hearing last minute updates on legislative maneuverings, Catholics from around California spread out into the halls of the Capitol to bring a message of life and dignity to lawmakers.

Nearly 150 delegates, from 10 dioceses in the state, spent the day in Sacramento as part of the annual Catholic Advocacy Day.  The exchanges were overwhelmingly respectful and, for the most part, lawmakers were generally clear on their positions.  This was especially true for some of the more attention grabbing issues such as physician-assisted suicide and bipartisan issues such as establishing an earned income tax credit to benefit the working poor.

More than half of all State Senators and Assembly Members were visited.  (Click on the link below for full summary charts.) The delegates not only focused on statewide bills but they also brought up issues important to their particular dioceses.  (For instance, the Diocese of Stockton spoke to their legislators about extending the provisions of AB 32 to limit greenhouse gases.)

Delegates also faced some challenges common to all constituents visiting the lawmakers – busy schedules, staffers unclear on their boss’ position and a legislator trying hard not to take a position on a controversial bill.

You can read reports from all the visits including the delegates’ observations and impressions of the legislators, on our Catholic Advocacy Day page.  You will also find any votes recorded for each lawmaker.  There are only a few at this time but we will add to them as future votes are recorded.


The Question of Parental Rights and Mandated Vaccinations

SB 277, Public health: vaccinations (Pan, D- Sacramento) - The California Catholic Conference has not taken a position on SB 277 which would require children attending public school to be vaccinated.

The vast majority of questions being posed by Catholic parents with regard to mandated vaccinations fall into two categories: the rights of parents and the morality of certain vaccines.

The Catholic Church has made it very clear that we must all be free to follow our conscience and that parents are primarily responsible for their children.  It also teaches that respect and promotion of families must be one of the paramount drivers of public policy.

At the same time, the Catholic Church teaches that we live in community with each other and must balance our rights with the legitimate responsibility to promote the common good.

All of us have a responsibility to inform our conscience properly before accepting or refusing immunization against dangerous contagious diseases.


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Working Poor, Undocumented Get Help in Governor’s Revised Budget

Edward “Ned” Dolejsi, executive director of the California Catholic Conference, issued the following statement in response to the Governor’s May Revise issued earlier today:

The Governor’s May Revise is a positive step forward that respects the dignity of the human person and moves us toward the good society that we all seek. The Earned Income Tax Credit gives much needed assistance to struggling families, especially the working poor and the funding proposed for immigrant health care recognizes the inherent unfairness of the current system. By funding outreach to families eligible for these expanded benefits, the governor has shown strong leadership; we urge the Legislature to build on the Governor’s leadership by expanding this program to assist eligible immigrants to become US citizens.


Ambushed by Hope

“Why am I so taken with this Trifecta of hope?” asks Richard Doerflinger, Associate Director of Pro-Life Activities for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops about three stories of hope that caught his eye lately.  “Because the message our culture increasingly seems to promote is one of despair. We are so attached to our comfort and security, our powers of mind and body, that on hearing about people who lose these we tend to say: ‘If that happened to me I’d rather be dead.’”

Doerflinger examines the reasons behind the search for hope in our modern society and why it’s so difficult for people today to find it.


Read Ambushed by Hope

Take Action Now-

SB 128 has moved to Suspense- take action on this and other alerts here.

May 15, 2015, Vol. 8, No. 19