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Posted on 11/9/2018 04:01 AM (USCCB News Releases)
WASHINGTON–The final rules announced Wednesday by the federal government regarding the HHS mandate “allow people like the Little Sisters of the Poor, faith-based schools, and others to live out their faith in daily life,” according to leaders of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the USCCB, and Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Chairman of the USCCB’s Committee for Religious Liberty, are applauding the Trump Administration’s decision to finalize regulations providing expanded religious and moral exemptions from the mandate requiring health insurance coverage of sterilization, contraception, and drugs and devices that may cause abortions.
Cardinal DiNardo and Archbishop Kurtz offered the following joint statement in response:
“We are grateful for the Administration’s decision to finalize common-sense regulations that allow those with sincerely held religious or moral convictions opposing abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception to exclude such drugs and devices from their health plans. These final regulations restore free exercise rights in accordance with the First Amendment and long-standing statutory protections for religious freedom. The regulations allow people like the Little Sisters of the Poor, faith-based schools, and others to live out their faith in daily life and to continue to serve others, without fear of punishing fines from the federal government.”
Keywords: Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, HHS mandate, Little Sisters of the Poor, abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, contraception, religious liberty, religious freedom
Posted on 11/8/2018 07:46 AM (USCCB News Releases)
WASHINGTON—Following the tragic shooting early this morning in Thousand Oaks, California, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement calling for the enactment of reasonable measures to end gun violence.
The full statement of Cardinal DiNardo follows:
"Many of us learned at dawn today that at least a dozen people died early this morning in a shooting at a bar in Thousand Oaks, CA, outside of Los Angeles. Early reports indicate that the bar was filled with college students, and among the dead are a law enforcement officer as well as the shooter himself.
We must bring this tragedy to the Lord in prayer. This new incident of gun violence strikes just as the funerals are barely complete from the last mass shooting. More innocent lives are lost because of one individual and his ability to procure weapons and commit violence. The bishops continue to ask that public policies be supported that would enact reasonable gun measures to help curb this mad loss of life.
Only love can truly defeat evil. Love begets love, and peace begets peace, but anger, hatred and violence breed more of the same. Today we pray for the victims and their loved ones and all those impacted by this senseless violence. Let us pray that "In the tender compassion of our God the dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace." Lk. 1:78-79.”
Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president, violence,
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Posted on 11/8/2018 07:38 AM (USCCB News Releases)
WASHINGTON—The Retirement Fund for Religious collection will be held in most U.S. Catholic parishes on December 8-9. Now in its 31st year, the collection is coordinated by the National Religious Retirement Office (NRRO). Proceeds are distributed to eligible religious communities to help underwrite retirement and health-care expenses for senior members. Some 31,000 elderly Catholic sisters, brothers and religious order priests benefit.
Catholic bishops of the United States initiated the national collection in 1988 to help address the significant lack of retirement funding among U.S. religious congregations. Almost 94 percent of donations directly support senior religious and their congregations.
Donations to the 2017 appeal totaled just over $28 million, and the NRRO distributed $25 million to 360 religious communities across the country. Communities utilize these funds to bolster retirement savings and to subsidize necessities such as prescription medications and nursing care. Throughout the year, additional funding is allocated for communities with critical needs and for resources on retirement planning and eldercare.
“Since the collection began, Catholics have donated $844 million to help religious communities care for aging members,” said Presentation Sister Stephanie Still, the NRRO’s executive director. “We are humbled and profoundly grateful for this generosity.”
Despite ongoing support for the national appeal, the need remains profound. For each of the last 10 years, the total cost of care for senior women and men religious has exceeded $1 billion. At the same time, most religious communities lack adequate retirement savings because older members served for little to no pay. Historically low compensation also impacts current income. Based on NRRO data, the average annual Social Security benefit for a religious is just $6,453.45.
In addition to direct financial aid, collection proceeds underwrite efforts to help religious communities prepare for long-term needs. Special programming offers fiscal and one-on-one support to communities with critical funding shortages. Partnerships with various organizations maximize the impact of donations by furnishing tools for enhancing eldercare and stretching retirement dollars. For example, in conjunction with the Avila Institute for Gerontology, the NRRO offers a free webinar series on senior-related topics. In 2017, funding from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation underwrote the creation of online videos to promote effective property planning.
“Thanks to the annual appeal, we are able to offer an array of resources to help religious communities meet immediate needs, enhance eldercare, and plan for the future,” said Sister Still.
More information is available at www.retiredreligious.org.
Keywords: National Religious Retirement Office, NRRO, retirement, eldercare, U.S. bishops, Sister Stephanie Still, USCCB, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, National Collection
Posted on 11/7/2018 04:05 AM (USCCB News Releases)
WASHINGTON—The annual collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) will be held in most parishes the weekend of November 17-18 to coincide with the Second World Day of the Poor.
Nearly 40 million people live in poverty in the United States. This collection supports the work of groups that allow low-income people to participate in decisions that affect their lives. Projects supported by CCHD include expanding access to affordable housing, developing worker-owned businesses and protecting worker rights, and reforming the immigration system.
In his statement for this year’s celebration of the World Day of the Poor, Pope Francis called on the faithful to “make tangible the Church’s response to the cry of the poor, to experience this World Day as a privileged moment of new evangelization.”
“The Catholic Campaign for Human Development is one of the many ways that the Church hears the cry of the poor and recognizes their needs. This collection empowers low-income people to work to break the cycle of poverty in their communities, helping them to live life anew in dignity,” said Bishop David P. Talley of Alexandria chairman of the CCHD Subcommittee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development.
CCHD is the official domestic anti-poverty program of the US Catholic bishops. This national collection is the primary source of funding for CCHD’s community and economic development grants and education programs aimed at fostering hope in communities across the nation. Twenty-five percent of funds collected remain in each diocese to support local anti-poverty projects.
Easy-to-use resources for the collection can be found at: http://www.usccb.org/about/catholic-campaign-for-human-development/collection/collection-resources.cfm
Additional resources to learn about poverty in the United States can be found at https://povertyusa.org/. Materials include Poverty Facts, a Poverty Map, and Stories of Hope from groups supported through the annual collection. A pastoral aid for the second World Day of the Poor is also available on the USCCB website.
Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Catholic Campaign, Human Development, Pope Francis, World Day of the Poor, Bishop David P. Talley, poverty.
U.S. Bishops To Meet Nov. 12-14 in Baltimore; Will Address Abuse Crisis and Action Items; Assembly to be Live Streamed, Live Tweeted, Carried Via Satellite
Posted on 10/30/2018 07:14 AM (USCCB News Releases)
WASHINGTON—The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will gather for the 2018 Fall General Assembly in Baltimore, November 12-14.
The assembly will begin with an address by Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the USCCB and also an address by the Papal Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Christophe Pierre. The body of bishops will then adjourn to an on-site chapel for a full day of spiritual discernment and prayer. This will be followed by a Mass celebrated Monday evening at the site of the assembly.
During the assembly the bishops will discuss and vote on a series of concrete measures to respond to the abuse crisis, including those approved for the agenda at the September meeting of the Administrative Committee, such as a third-party reporting mechanism, standards of conduct for bishops, and protocols for bishops resigned or removed because of abuse. The bishops will also hear reports from the National Advisory Council and National Review Board.
The assembly will also vote on the Pastoral Letter Against Racism and will also hear a report on the 15th Ordinary Synod of Bishops on Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment. The bishops will also vote on the 2019 budget.
The bishops will also vote for a Conference Treasurer-elect, new chairmen of the Committee on Catholic Education, and new chairmen-elect of the following five USCCB committees: Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life, and Vocations, Committee on Divine Worship, Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life, and Youth, and the Committee on Migration.
There will also be a voice vote on the cause for canonization for Sr. Thea Bowman, FSPA.
Public sessions of general assembly discussions and votes as well as portions of the day of spiritual discernment will be available via livestream at: http://www.usccb.org/live
News updates, vote totals, texts of addresses and presentations and other materials will be posted to this page: www.usccb.org/meetings as soon as possible.
Those wishing to follow the meeting on social media can use the hashtag #USCCB18 and follow on Twitter (@USCCB) as well as on Facebook (www.facebook.com/usccb) and Instagram (https://instagram.com/usccb).
Media outlets interested in taking the meeting's satellite feed may request coordinates by email. Live stream and satellite feed is expected to run Monday, 12, 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Eastern, Tuesday, November 13, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Eastern and Wednesday, November 14, 11a.m.-6p.m. The assembly will be live streamed on the Internet and will be available via satellite for broadcasters wishing to air it. The live stream will be available at: http://www.usccb.org/about/leadership/usccb-general-assembly/usccb-general-assembly-live-stream.cfm.
Keywords: USCCB, U.S. bishops, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Fall General Assembly, November meeting, Baltimore, #usccb18, live stream.