Years before Pope Francis wrote about care for our common home in his encyclical, Laudato Si, the Diocese of Stockton was already practicing its own kind of environmental stewardship. Created in 2005, the Environmental Justice Project at Catholic Charities, Diocese of Stockton, has been tirelessly working for more than 10 years to help steward God’s creation.
Legislature Recesses for Summer After Active Week
The Legislature has officially recessed for the summer this week, but not before moving on a key piece of environmental legislation.
On Monday, lawmakers gave a bi-partisan nod of approval to AB 398 (Garcia, D-Coachella), the extension of the state’s cap-and-trade program through the year 2030. The program aims to slash emissions by requiring entities to purchase permits to release greenhouse gases. The program’s renewal was a key priority for Governor Brown.
Update on Important Bills in Legislature
As the legislative summer recess draws near, the California Catholic Conference is keeping a close watch on many bills, several of which are being taken up for hearings or votes in coming days.
Catholics Called to be Missionary Disciples
In an unprecedented gathering over the July 4th weekend, about 3,500 Catholic leaders in the United States were schooled in what it means to be missionary disciples in the world today.
The theme of the meeting and the inspiration for the content came from the words of Pope Francis in his encyclical The Joy of the Gospel (Evangelli Gaudium):
Bill Aiming to Discriminate against Religious Employers
The California Catholic Conference (CCC) is continuing to strongly oppose AB 569 (Gonzales Fletcher, D-San Diego), the bill that unfairly targets churches and other religious employers. The bill is being marketed as protection for equality and fairness in the workplace, but in reality it looks to restrict religious organizations from enforcing employee codes of conducts and adverse actions for breach of such contracts.
California Budget Sent to Governor
California’s Legislature this week approved a new $183 billion dollar State Budget and in the process established priorities that encompass “profound moral questions about who are we as a society, how we view our future and whether as a people we can look beyond our own self-interest to the interest of the larger society.” (In Search of the Common Good)
NARAL Bill Takes Aim at Religious Employers (Again)
Claiming widespread problems despite a complete lack of evidence, the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) is once again targeting religious employers with a bill in the California legislature.
The latest effort is AB 569 by Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego). She and NARAL are claiming that religious employers are consistently discriminating against women based on their reproductive choices.
Major Movement For Several Key Pieces of Legislation
With today being the deadline for bills to clear their house of origin, this week saw major movement on several bills that the California Catholic Conference (CCC) is tracking. Thank you for the thousands of emails you sent this week to ask lawmakers to measure their impact on life and dignity as they voted on these bills.
Last minute votes include some very troubling bills:
Surrogacy Bill Aiming to Terminate Maternal Support
The unification and nurturing environment of a family is something that cannot be artificially manufactured or replicated. Children are a gift from God, but what happens when the parental relationship is convoluted by multiple parental roles and contractual obligations? In the case of surrogacy, the foundation of family values are often traded out for financial transactions and turning human life into a commodity.
Catholics Advocate for Children at Capitol
Earlier this week, close to 100 Catholic Advocacy Day delegates – representing the dioceses of California - gathered in Sacramento for prayer, legislative briefings and meetings with lawmakers to discuss bills benefiting our precious children. Their full reports on the visit will be available soon.