(PDF for Bulletin Inserts - English, En Español) During this Extraordinary Jubilee Year, Pope Francis has called on the Church to live out the Corporal Works of Mercy. Catholic churches in California, and around the world, have taken his call to heart in new, innovative ways as they have looked to serve the homeless in various parishes throughout the state.
California Bishops Support Ending the Use of Death Penalty
The California Catholic Conference of Bishops issued the following statement last week, endorsing Prop 62, ending the use of the death penalty, and opposing Prop 66, which would expedite executions in California:
Ballot Measures Finalized for November Election
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.
Feds Refuse to Rule on California’s Abortion Mandate
After almost two years of little or no activity, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service (HHS) has ruled that the Bishops of California and others filing complaints do not have standing to object to a California agency mandating that religious organizations and individuals pay for all abortions in their managed health care plans.
Lawmakers Approve Budget, On to Governor
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.
A controversial law – opposed by both political parties – went into effect last week. Instead of devising compassionate, informed and dignified end-of-life treatment, patients can now ask their physicians to prescribe a lethal dose of drugs instead.
Doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals and organizations – recognizing the fundamental shift in patient care this law entails – have announced they will not participate. Instead, they are recommitting to better end-of-life care, better education for patients and families, and a better overall approach to treatment at the end of life.
Congratulations! MFG Repealed in Final Budget
Late Thursday afternoon, a budget deal was announced that repeals the Maximum Family Grant (MFG) rule, provides additional funding for naturalization and other immigration services and funds teacher empowerment and recruitment items as well as additional early childhood education.
California Legalizes Assisted Suicide Next Week
On June 9, 2016, in what the Bishops of California have called a “travesty of compassion,” physicians in California will legally be allowed to prescribe a lethal dose of drugs to a patient.
Despite bi-partisan opposition and being defeated in the regular legislative session, the End-of-Life Option Act was passed in a special, abbreviated session with limited hearings and altered committee membership.
Faith Leaders Ask State to Help Women
The repeal of the CalWORKs Maximum Family Grant (MFG) rule has garnered bi-partisan support in both Assembly and Senate Budget negotiations. The repeal will probably come down to convincing the Governor of the need and importance to California low-income families.
Catholic Advocacy Day Builds Relationships, Accountability
“We left with a sense of support and being heard,” said Armando Cervantes, a delegate to Catholic Advocacy Day from the Diocese of Orange.
That sense of empowerment and type of encounter is not uncommon for people who take part in the annual event in Sacramento organized by the California Catholic Conference. This year, nearly 50 lawmakers and their staff in Sacramento received delegations from arch/dioceses across the state.