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Insights: Assisted-Suicide Bill Withdrawn, Water Stewardship

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July 10, 2015

Lack of Support Stymies Assisted-Suicide Bill in California

With minimal support and scant votes, SB 128 (Wolk, D-Davis) was pulled for a second time in two weeks from the Assembly Health Committee and is most likely finished for the year. 

The bill would have allowed terminally ill patients to request lethal drugs to end their life.  Resistance to SB 128 increased after passage in the Senate.  Opponents continued to focus on the impacts and dangers this legislation would have on the vulnerable and those on subsidized health care. 

The Assembly Health Committee is comprised of 19 members, all very diverse, and it was this group of legislators that began to question the flaws and realize the consequences of such legislation.

Thank you to the thousands of you that wrote letters and sent emails to legislators and participated in rallies here at the Capitol. Your voice was definitely heard.   (See below for those on the Health Committee who should be thanked.)

The California Catholic Conference belongs to a coalition of oncologists, disability-rights groups, low-income advocates and health care workers who continue to work tirelessly informing legislators about the consequences of physician-assisted suicide legislation. The ramifications on the poor and disabled were often overlooked and this coalition will continue to advocate that better health care is needed, not cheap and easily accessible drugs to end a life.

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Supreme Court Greenlights Lethal Injection Drug

The Catholic Mobilizing Network is an organization that prepares Catholics for informed involvement in the public debate to end the death penalty and promote restorative justice. They issued a statement last week in response to a case that allows states to continue using the drug midazolam to execute men and women.  The case was brought before the court after the botched execution in Oklahoma last year:

“The Catholic Mobilizing Network is disappointed by the Supreme Court’s ruling today in Glossip v Gross to allow states to continue using the drug midazolam in lethal injection procedures. We stand with Pope Francis who addressed the debate about methods of execution in a letter he wrote in March stating, “there is no humane way of killing another person.”

“As Catholics we believe in the sanctity of all human life and the dignity of the person. When there are other ways to safeguard society, resorting to the death penalty displays a disregard for human life and dignity. Our faith calls us to build a culture of life. We cannot teach killing is wrong by killing. To learn more about Catholic opposition to the death penalty, please visit

Say Thank You to Legislators                                                                                                                                                     

Californians Against Assisted Suicide (CAAS), the coalition of disability rights groups, physicians, faith-based groups and others fighting assisted suicide, issued a note to members of its allied groups:  

“Thank you to everyone that worked hard in the effort to get SB 128 pulled from committee. The Sacramento Bee reports that of the 19 members of the committee only four said they were supporters of assisted suicide.  

“Here's a list of Assembly Members that said they DID NOT support SB 128. Please call or email them today and THANK them.  While the issue is stalled - it isn't going away and it is important we let those that stand with us against assisted suicide know we appreciate them on this issue!”

Assm. Rocky Chavez (San Diego) – 916.319.2076 or email
Assm. Jimmy Gomez (Los Angeles) - 916.319.2051 or email
Assm. Ed Hernandez (West Covina) – 916.319.2048 or email
Assm. Lorena Gonzalez (San Diego) - 916.319.2080 or email
Assm. Tom Lackey (Palmdale) - 916.319.2036 or email
Assm. Sebastian Ridley-Thomas (Los Angeles) - 916.319.2054 or email
Assm. Freddie Rodriguez (Pomona) - 916.319.2052 or email
Assm. Miguel Santiago (Los Angeles) - 916.319.2053 or email
Assm. Marc Steinorth (Rancho Cucamonga) - 916.319.2040 or email
Assm. Marie Waldron (Escondido) - 916.319.2075 or email

As proud members of CAAS, the California Catholic Conference is also asking that you call these Assembly Members to express your thanks.


Creating the Flow of Care One Drop at a Time

“The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change. The Creator does not abandon us; he never forsakes his loving plan or repents of having created us. Humanity still has the ability to work together in building our common home.” - Pope Francis. Laudato Si, On Care for Our Common Home 2015

Last year, parishioners at St. Dominic’s in San Francisco focused on the concept of intentional discipleship.  It was an opportunity to explore what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ and to become more intentional in following Him. 

We all have barriers and the question is not whether or not we have them but are we willing to seek ways to overcome them.  The series presented a way the participants could explore some of the most common barriers present in our own lives and in the lives around us. 

The first step for the “intentional seekers” at St. Dominic’s was to examine care for creating.    Specific questions that were asked of those engaged with the program included:  What is your understanding of care for creation?  What is the current state of affairs surrounding care for creation?  How is creation linked to our faith?  What is the most challenging part of caring for creation?

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On the Web

Here's a reminder: the schedule for Pope Francis' apostolic visit to the U.S. has been released. See where and whom the pope will be encountering in September.

There is a great Facebook page on Father Serra that will give you more details about events surrounding the upcoming canonization. Like the new page “Fr. Serra News.

America Magazine, has been talking to prominent California Catholics about Pope Francis’ new encyclical. Read what Governor Jerry Brown, former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, and three California bishops have to say about “Laudato Si’.” 


July 10, 2015

Vol. 8, No. 26