With less than two weeks to go in this Legislative session, legislators are working furiously to shepherd their bills through both houses and onto the Governor’s desk. The California Catholic Conference (CCC) is tracking a number of bills, but several are particularly noteworthy:
This week, SB 1146 (Lara, D-Bell Gardens) a bill that would have threatened the religious freedom of faith-based colleges and jeopardized higher educational opportunities for the tens of thousands of Californians they serve, has apparently been substantially amended to remove such questionable provisions. The Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities lead the effort to revise and improve the bill and the California Catholic Conference will now be evaluating the changes. Here’s some background:
During his visit to Poland for World Youth Day last week, Pope Francis promoted his vision of peace and impartiality in the world by visiting the former Nazi death camp at Auschwitz and contending it’s wrong to equate Islam with violence.
During his third day in Poland, His Holiness visited Auschwitz and chose to pay tribute to the 1.5 million people killed there through silent reflection and prayer. He remained quiet throughout the visit, speaking only to survivors of the concentration camp.
We stand this evening on the sacred traditional lands of the Ohlone Nation. I want to begin by thanking our Ohlone brothers and sisters for welcoming us to their homeland.
I am speaking to you this evening as chairman of the task force on Native American Historic Concerns of the California Catholic Conference of Bishops. The purpose of this task force is to work with our California Native communities so that they may tell their true histories and the true history of the missions and to use our influence to assure that these true histories will be heard.
“I am not my own, I have given myself to Jesus. He must be my only love.” - Sister Kateri Tekakwitha, Mohawk-Algonquin Native American convert to Catholicism in 1676 and first Native American to be declared a saint.
As a community, Native American Catholics often come together to worship and grow in their faith. This week, for instance, more than 750 will gather in Burlingame, just south of San Francisco, for the annual Tekakwitha Conference.
Following the deadly attacks on police officers in Dallas, during a protest rally stemmed by the killings of two men in Louisiana and Minnesota, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops extended a call to prayer, reflection, civility and peaceful dialogue.
Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, issued the following statement July 8.
Let Us Gather at the Cross
As widely anticipated, California voters will be asked to pass judgment on a variety of ballot measures on the November 2016 ballot. Seventeen questions – ranging from ending the use of the death penalty to extending taxes to recreational marijuana use – have qualified.
SACRAMENTO, CA – Edward E. (Ned) Dolejsi, executive director of the California Catholic Conference, issued the following statement today in reaction to Gov. Jerry Brown signing the 2016/7 California State Budget into law:
The initiative to eliminate the use of California’s death penalty law has officially qualified for this November’s ballot.
The measure to revoke capital punishment in the state collected almost 405,000 signatures – well above the 365,000 verifiable signatures required for certification.
California, the most populous state in the country, has the largest population of death row inmates. Repealing the law would change the death sentences of almost 750 convicted inmates to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Every year, the State Budget process is a long campaign that begins in January and is followed by months of negotiations, lobbying and revisions. The lengthy and commonly contentious process ultimately ends up with controversial issues being negotiated or decided by the “Big Three” – the Governor and Democratic majority leaders in both legislative houses. Republican leaders are part of the Conference Committee process but because of the simple majority vote needed to approve the Budget, their influence is greatly diminished.