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June 20, 2019 News, News

Thousands of Catholics, through the efforts of dioceses around California, are contracting their Assembly Members to object to the infringement of religious freedom that SB 360 represents. The bill threatens to remove the right to privacy between a penitent and confessor during the Sacrament of Reconciliation and other spiritual counseling for priests and employees of the Church.

SB 360 will be heard next in the Assembly Public Safety Committee though no date has been announced.

June 20, 2019 News, News

Bishop Stephen E. Blaire, who served as bishop of the Diocese of Stockton for 19 years before his retirement in 2018, died Tuesday after a long illness. He was 77.

Even in retirement, Bishop Blaire was active in ministry and the Church. One of Bishop Blaire’s passions was care for the environment and the earth, and he was instrumental in the Bishops’ pastoral statement God Calls Us All to Care for Our Common Home. He passed on the same day the statement was released.

June 20, 2019 News, News

Bishop Pierre DuMaine, who was founding Bishop of the Diocese of San Jose and served there for 18 years, passed away peacefully on June 13. He was 87.

On January 27, 1981, DuMaine was named by Pope John Paul II the first bishop of the new Diocese of San Jose. Bishop DuMaine retired in 1998 and was succeeded by current San Jose diocese Bishop Patrick McGrath.

June 13, 2019 News, News

In an exciting new venture beginning in September 2019, Santa Clara University is now offering a Master of Arts degree in Pastoral Ministries with an Emphasis in Restorative Justice and Chaplaincy.

The novel program is the first MA in the country with an emphasis on restorative justice.

June 13, 2019 News, News

Governor Gavin Newsom and the Legislature are close to striking a deal on the new state fiscal budget before the June 15 deadline but not without concessions from both ends.  

Both the Assembly and the Senate have passed the budget.  It is now headed to the Governor’s desk for his signature.  In California, the Governor does have line veto authority so some of this can change.

June 6, 2019 News, News

Priests are willing to be jailed rather than break the sanctity of the confessional, according to several interviewed in a video released by Catholic News Service this week. The defiance is in response to SB 360, the bill in the California Legislature that would force priests to report any child abuse confessed by penitents.  

May 30, 2019 News, News, Faith in the Public Square

The Legislature’s attempts to attack the sanctity of the confessional in Senate Bill 360 is drawing alarm from California Bishops, priests, Catholics and others concerned with the free exercise of religion.

SB 360 (Hill, D-Mateo), would remove the right to privacy between a penitent and confessor during the Sacrament of Reconciliation and other spiritual counseling for priests and employees of the Church. In Catholic teaching, the confessional is sacrosanct and Canon law is very clear that any priest who violates the seal of confession is automatically excommunicated.  

May 30, 2019 News, News

Late last month, meetings with the offices of more than 40 lawmakers took place during the annual Catholic Advocacy Day, where Catholics from throughout the state gathered in the Capitol to lobby positions on bills dealing with life, children, and families.

May 30, 2019 News, News

The California Catholic Conference advocates for the quality education of all public and private school children, especially for those who are poor and most vulnerable.  Furthermore, the CCC affirms every parents’ right to direct, and to be fully engaged in, their children’s education. This starts with the ability to choose freely the appropriate educational community for their child – one that supports their values, meets their child’s learning needs and cultivates their child’s talents and interests.  Such choice supports each child’s good, every family’s good, and our common good.

May 20, 2019 California Bishops Statements, News

Archbishop Jose Gomez’s statement on Amendments to California “Confession Bill”

I have been studying the amendments made to SB 360 by the Senate Appropriations Committee last week.

I am grateful that Senators heard the voice of the Catholic people — who understand that confession is a sacred space, an intimate dialogue between the believer and the living God. We know that no government, for whatever reason, should violate the privacy and confidentiality of that sacred conversation.

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