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U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Releases New Edition of Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services

06/22/2018 - 7:11am

 WASHINGTON— The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is publishing the sixth edition of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, a revision that implements modifications regarding collaborating with non-Catholic partners.

The health care system in the United States is marked by both extraordinary challenges and immense possibilities for good.

In these revised Directives, approved by majority vote during the USCCB Spring General Assembly 2018, the bishops reaffirm the Church's commitment to Catholic health care ministry, in faithful imitation of Jesus Christ, the Divine Physician. The Directives aim to reaffirm ethical standards of behavior and provide authoritative guidance on moral issues that face health care today.

This new edition offers a helpful update of Part Six, "Collaborative Arrangements with Other Health Care Organizations and Providers." This section offers background and guidelines for collaborative arrangements between Catholic and non-Catholic health care institutions.

The Directives are especially relevant to institutionally based Catholic health care services, and they are directly addressed to "sponsors, trustees, administrators, chaplains, physicians, health care personnel, and patients or residents" of Catholic health care institutions. The Directives are also useful as a teaching tool to give sound guidance to students and faculty at Catholic medical schools, Catholic medical associations, Catholic hospitals and medical facilities, and to all pastors, administrators, doctors, nurses, and staff involved in the health care ministry and related pastoral care.

CONTENTS:

″           Preamble

″           General Introduction

″           Part One: The Social Responsibility of Catholic Health Care Services

″           Part Two: The Pastoral and Spiritual Responsibility of Catholic Health Care

″           Part Three: The Professional-Patient Relationship

″           Part Four: Issues in Care for the Beginning of Life

″           Part Five: Issues in Care for the Seriously Ill and Dying

″           Part Six: Collaborative Arrangements with Other Health Care Organizations and Providers

″           Conclusion

The USCCB has made the book available for order online at: http://store.usccb.org/searchresults.asp?Search=ethical+and+religious

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Keywords: Ethical and Religious Directives, Catholic Health Care Service, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, health care system, health care organization, health care providers, social responsibility.

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Judy Keane

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U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Announces the Publishing of a New Book, Pope Francis: Embrace of Hope - Compassion in Times of Illness

06/22/2018 - 5:59am

 WASHINGTON—  The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is making available a new book, Pope Francis: Embrace of Hope - Compassion in Times of Illness. The book is filled with the Pope's insight and inspiration for all who face the test of sickness and illness.

In this book, Pope Francis shows how hope is found in seeing and experiencing illness in the light of the Good News of Jesus Christ. The Holy Father reveals how grace grows in times of illness when:

*Christians bring the peace of Christ to the sick through service and care.

*Difficult moments become the path to forge stronger relationships with family, communities, and with Christ.

*Men and women in science cultivate and apply God's gift of creation for the treatment and cure of diseases, setting free the oppressed.

*Christ sets one free, helps one endure, and allows suffering for the sake of a greater joy yet to come.

This work is a collection of Pope Francis's most significant words to the sick. It is a series of valuable reflections, considerations, and prayers taken from his speeches, messages, homilies, and Angeluses over a period of about four years, from his election to the See of Peter to June 2017.

This easy-to-read book has the best of Pope Francis's reflections on this challenging human experience. Presented in an elegant design, this small book is easy to take with you and an important read for all those facing illness, for caregivers, health care professionals, as well as health care professionals, educators and researchers.

The USCCB has made the book available for order online at http://store.usccb.org/pope-francis-embrace-of-hope-p/7-584.htm

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Keywords: Pope Francis, Embrace of Hope, Compassion in Times of Illness, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, sickness, illness, Jesus Christ, Holy Father.

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

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$4.1 Million Approved in Grants to the Church in Latin America Including Emergency Disaster Assistance and Pastoral Care for Migrants

06/21/2018 - 10:50am

 WASHINGTON—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America awarded $3.39 million in funding in the form of 206 grants to support the pastoral work of the Church in Latin America and the Caribbean, and $580,950 in three grants funding emergency disaster and recovery assistance to areas affected by the Mexican Earthquakes and Hurricanes Matthew (2016), Irma and Maria (2017). In addition, the Subcommittee approved a design-phase request of $150,000 for the eventual reconstruction of the national major seminary devastated by the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. The grants were approved at the Subcommittee's meeting on June 11 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Projects that received funding for pastoral activities include the following:

Haiti and Uruguay: Support for several families to participate in the 9th World Meeting of Families in Dublin, Ireland, August 21-26, 2018.

Nicaragua and El Salvador: Support for several delegates from the National Commission of Youth Ministry to participate in World Youth Day in Panama City, Panama, January 22-27, 2019.

Mexico: Support for "The Year of Mexican Youth -- A Moment of Grace," a national event that will include a celebration at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe with an anticipated 13,000 participants.

Brazil: Pastoral support for Venezuelan refugees. This project will help implement and develop a migrant ministry in the diocese of Roraima and provide pastoral support to the recent influx of Venezuelan migrants to the area. The project aims to welcome and orient vulnerable migrants upon arrival, assist with access to services, provide language instruction and job training, strengthen women's groups, support the migrants' faith lives, and form local pastoral leaders and parishes to assist with immigrant integration.

"Through the Collection for the Church in America, Catholics from the United States express their solidarity with the people of Latin America and the Caribbean. I thank them for their generosity and am humbled by the impact their support has on countless lives in the region, particularly for young people and those living in areas ravaged by recent natural disasters," said Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, auxiliary bishop of Seattle and chairman of the Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America.

Other areas of funding include lay leadership training, catechesis, seminarian and religious formation, environmental justice, prison ministry, and youth and family ministries. Grants are funded by the annual Collection for the Church in Latin America, taken in many dioceses across the U.S. on the fourth Sunday in January. The emergency and reconstruction grants are awarded from the special collections the USCCB calls for after a disaster.

The Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America oversees the collection and an annual grant program as part of the USCCB Committee on National Collections. It allocates revenue received from the Collection for the Church in Latin America as grants across Latin America and the Caribbean. More information about the Collection for the Church in Latin America and the many grants it funds, as well as resources to promote it across the country, can be found at www.usccb.org/latin-america.

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Keywords: Latin America, youth, clergy, lay formation, Collection for the Church in Latin America, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, catechesis, grants, Bishop Eusebio Elizondo

Media Contact:

Judy Keane

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President of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Offers Statement on Cardinal Theodore McCarrick Announcement

06/20/2018 - 11:48am

WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has issued the following statement in response to the announcement regarding Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.  

Cardinal DiNardo's full statement follows:

"As clergy in God's Church, we have made a solemn promise to protect children and young people from all harm. This sacred charge applies to all who minister in the Church, no matter the person's high standing or long service. This morning was a painful reminder of how only through continued vigilance can we keep that promise. My prayers are with all who have experienced the trauma of sexual abuse. May they find healing in Christ's abundant love. The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People (http://www.usccb.org/charter) outlines a process for addressing allegations, holding us accountable to our commitment to protect and heal. I express my gratitude to Cardinal Dolan, who has carried forward with clarity, compassion for the victims, and a genuine sense of justice. With him, I express my deep sadness, and on behalf of the Church, I apologize to all who have been harmed by one of her ministers."

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Chairman of U.S. Bishops Committee on Migration Expresses Concern about Immigration Bills Before Congress, Urges Bipartisan Engagement

06/19/2018 - 12:55pm

 WASHINGTON—Most Reverend Joe S. Vásquez, of Austin, Texas, Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB/COM) Committee on Migration, sent a letter to every Member of the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday in response to two immigration bills that are expected to be taken up later this week by the full House. Bishop Vasquez had previously written in opposition to the first of the two bills (H.R. 4760), introduced in January of this year. The Bishop's June 18 letter focuses most of its attention on a second, yet-to-be-numbered House Republican Leadership alternative bill.

In his letter to Congress, Bishop Vásquez wrote, "While we truly want a legislative solution for Dreamers, we cannot, in good faith, endorse large structural changes to the immigration system that detrimentally impact families and the vulnerable, such as those that are contained in this legislation. We welcome the opportunity to dialogue with lawmakers and to discuss possible opportunities for further compromise, particularly with respect to effects on families and the vulnerable."

Bishop Vásquez added, "My brother bishops and I appreciate the effort by Representatives to find a legislative solution for Dreamers by bringing immigration measures before the House of Representatives. We believe that any such legislation must be bipartisan, provide Dreamers with a path to citizenship, be pro-family, protect the vulnerable and be respectful of human dignity with regard to border security and enforcement." Bishop Vásquez reminded Members of the House that the Administration can end family separation without legislation through executive discretion.

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Joe Vásquez, Committee on Migration, U.S. House of Representatives, immigration, H.R. 4760, Dreamers, families, path to citizenship, border security, humane treatment, families, executive discretion


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Bishops Vote on Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, Revisions to the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, and Action Items at June General Assembly

06/14/2018 - 9:48am

FORT LAUDERDALE—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) approved several action items today at their Spring General Assembly taking place in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, June 13-14.

The full body of bishops voted to approve the revised Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People by a vote of 185-5-1. The revisions are a culmination of work by the USCCB Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People, the National Review Board, the Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance, General Counsel, and the Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations. The revisions seek to build upon the work of dioceses in the United States to prevent the sexual abuse of minors, and to provide outreach and healing to victims/survivors of abuse.

The bishops also voted to approve the formal statement Encountering Christ in Harmony: A Pastoral Response to Our Asian and Pacific Island Brothers and Sisters by a two-thirds majority vote of 187-2-2. The pastoral response provides a framework that dioceses and parishes can use as guidelines to create or integrate into their own pastoral plans addressing the pastoral ministry to and among Asian and Pacific Island (API) Catholics in the United States. The vote will now allow for publication and implementation of Encountering Christ in Harmony by the bishops' Cultural Diversity Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Island Affairs. The committee will begin distributing the pastoral response widely throughout Catholic dioceses of the United States.

The Latin Church members today also approved by a two-thirds majority vote of 177-4-2 in favor of the ICEL Gray Book translation of the 2014‐2016 Roman Missal and Liturgy of the Hours Supplement for use in the dioceses of the United States. The Latin Church members of the USCCB also voted 175-6-2 in favor of the ICEL Gray Book translation of the Liturgy of the Hours: Proper of Time for use in the dioceses of the United States. The vote required two-thirds of the Latin Church members with subsequent confirmation by the Congregation of Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments.

The bishops also approved by majority vote, the revised text of Part Six of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services by a vote of 183-2-2. The vote will implement modifications to Part Six of the Ethical and Religious Directors for Catholic Health Care Services regarding collaborating with non-Catholic partners.

The bishops also authorized the production of two new and additional elements: (1) a short letter to inspire prayer and action regarding public life and (2) a short video and other secondary resources—to complement, rather than to replace, the existing Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship document and to apply the teaching of Pope Francis to our day. The authorization passed with a simple majority vote of 144-41-2.

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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, General Assembly, Fort Lauderdale, Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, Encountering Christ in Harmony, Roman Missal, Liturgy of the Hours, Ethical and Religious Directives, Catholic Health Care Service, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship.

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Judy Keane

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U.S. Bishops Hear Updates on V National Encuentro, Share the Journey Campaign, Synod on Young People and World Youth Day at Annual Spring General Assembly

06/13/2018 - 11:52am

FORT LAUDERDALE—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), gathering June 13-14 in Fort Lauderdale, for their annual Spring General Assembly heard reports today on a variety of topics including updates on the V National Encuentro of Hispanic/Latino Ministry and the Share the Journey campaign. The full body of bishops also heard presentations on the Synod on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment, as well as World Youth Day taking place in 2019.

Bishop Nelson Pérez of Cleveland, Chairman of the USCCB's Cultural Diversity Subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs, offered the bishops an update on the V National Encuentro, that will take place September 20-23 in Grapevine, Texas.

Under the theme of "Missionaries Disciples, Witnesses of God's Love", the V Encuentro will seek to establish ways in which the Catholic Church can respond to the Hispanic presence in parishes and promote the New Evangelization. It is also an opportunity to listen carefully to the needs, challenges and aspirations faced by the Hispanic population in everyday life.

In his presentation, Bishop Pérez recognized all who have been supporting and participating in the process of the V Encuentro over the past 18 months. The process has led to the celebration of 145 Diocesan Encuentros, as well as Encuentros in 14 episcopal regions, with the participation of over 100 bishops and more than 5,500 regional delegates. The Bishops' initiative has motivated unprecedented levels of engagement and already born much fruit in thousands of parishes, ecclesial movements and other Catholic organizations and institutions across the U.S.

Bishop Pérez also noted that more than 2,800 delegates and over 100 bishops are expected to attend the V National Encuentro gathering. The Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, along with Dr. Guzmán Carriquiry, Secretary of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America at the Vatican, will be in attendance. Bishop Juan Espinoza, General Secretary of CELAM (the Latin American Council of Episcopal Conferences), as well as representatives of more than 100 U.S. Catholic organizations are also anticipated to participate.

Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, Chairman of USCCB Committee on Migration; Archbishop Paul S. Coakley, of Oklahoma City, representing Catholic Relief Services; and Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh, Episcopal Liaison of Catholic Charities USA, offered the U.S. Bishops an update on Share the Journey, a campaign launched by Pope Francis on September 27, 2017.

Share the Journey is a two-year, global campaign to build empathy and awareness on the plight of migrants and refugees through encounters and education. The campaign is managed by Caritas Internationalis and implemented by other Caritas members around the world. The first year of the campaign saw the launch of a new website in support of the campaign, more than 200 media stories and millions of impressions on social media sites.

Highlights of the second year of the campaign will include a virtual pilgrimage which will encourage people in their communities to walk a combined 24,900 miles, equivalent to one trip around the earth, as they share the journey with their brothers and sisters in need. Dioceses, parishes, universities, and schools will be asked to pray, walk, and bear public witness to our solidarity with migrants and refugees. Catholic leaders are encouraged to work in partnership with both interfaith and ecumenical groups.

Cardinal Joseph Tobin, C.Ss.R. Archbishop of Newark, Archbishop Charles Chaput O.F.M.Cap., of Philadelphia, and Bishop Frank Caggiano, of Bridgeport, also reported on the Synod on Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment, including sending young adult delegates to the March 2018 Pre-Synod Gathering in Rome. The bishops also heard about plans for the international and stateside celebrations of World Youth Day in Panamá and across the USA in January 2019, as well as the visit of the WYD Cross and Marian Icon to several locations across the United States in August 2018.

The bishops also heard from the three young adult delegates from the Pre-Synod Gathering in Rome: Ms. Katie Prejean McGrady of Lake Charles, Louisiana; Mr. Nicholas López of Dallas, Texas; and Br. Javier Hansen, FSC, of the Lasallian Christian Brothers originally from northern California. The young adults shared their experience interacting with other young people from around the world at the Pre-Synod and meeting with Pope Francis. They also gave highlights from the Pre-Synod Summary Document on the needs and hopes of youth and young adults in the twenty-first century.

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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, V National Encuentro, Share the Journey, World Youth Day (WYD), Marian Icon, Bishop Nelson Pérez, Bishop Joe S. Vásquez, Bishop Paul Coakley, Bishop David Zubik, Cardinal Joseph Tobin C.Ss.R, Archbishop Charles Chaput O.F.M.Cap., Bishop Frank Caggiano, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio, Dr. Guzmán Carriquiry, Bishop Juan Espinoza.

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200


President of U.S. Bishops Conference Appoints Three New Members of National Review Board for the Charter for Protection of Children and Young People

06/13/2018 - 5:57am

FT. LAUDERDALE — Three new members have been appointed to serve on the National Review Board (NRB) by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). The NRB advises the bishops' committee on the Protection of Children and Young People, and the Secretariat for Child and Youth Protection at the USCCB. The NRB was established by the Charter for Protection of Children and Young People, which the bishops adopted in 2002.

As Cardinal DiNardo said in a letter sent to all newly appointed members, "The National Review Board plays a vital role as a consultative body assisting me and the bishops in ensuring the complete implementation and accountability of the Charter… The whole Church, especially the laity, at both the diocesan and national levels, needs to be engaged in maintaining safe environments in the Church for children and young people."

The three new NRB members include those with expertise in law, victim advocacy and child protection and they are as follows:

Ms. Stacie LeBlanc is the Executive Director of the New Orleans Children's Advocacy Center and the Director of the Audrey Hepburn Children at Risk Evaluation (CARE) Center of Children's Hospital in New Orleans. She began her career as a child abuse prosecutor and is the former chief of the Felony Child Abuse Division in Louisiana. LeBlanc obtained a master's degree in Early Childhood Development and her Juris Doctorate from Loyola University New Orleans. She designed two educational programs, Teens, Sex and the Law, and Painless Parenting, and has trained an average of 8,000 people annually on these and other mandatory reporting programs. To battle child abuse, LeBlanc developed a social media campaign, Dear Parents, and launched No Hit Zones at Children's Hospital and its subsidiaries to raise awareness of the harms of corporal punishment, which is the most prevalent risk factor for child physical abuse. She has been recognized for 11 successful legislative amendments and named the Champion for Children for Policy and Legislation by Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana. She has received a Victims and Citizens Against Crime Lifetime Achievement Award, the FBI Directors and Community Leadership Award, Outstanding Prosecutor Award, recognition as Catholic Graduate of the Year and City Business' Health Care Hero Award. LeBlanc is currently the President of the Louisiana Alliance of Children's Advocacy Centers and the Vice President of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC).

Ms. Theresa Simak is an Assistant State Attorney in the 4th Judicial Circuit of Florida. She has been with the State Attorney's Office since 2003 and was made a Division Chief in 2009. Simak

has spent most of her career focused on the prosecution of sexual assault, child abuse and domestic violence offenses. She is active in the community of Jacksonville and serves as chair of the University of Florida Child Protection Team Community Advisory Council and serves on their Operations Advisory Council. Simak currently serves on the State Forensic Interview Protocol Task Force to help develop a standardized protocol for forensic interviews of children suspected of having been abused. She also works closely with the sexual assault and domestic violence centers in Northeast Florida to include Hubbard House, Quigley House and the Women's Center of Jacksonville. Simak received the Mayor's Judicial Victim Advocate Award for outstanding service to victims in 2014 and received the State Attorney's Office Distinguished Service Award for dedication and outstanding performance in 2015. Simak is married, and she and her husband have three children.

Ms. Jan Slattery served as the Director of the Office for the Protection of Children and Youth in the Archdiocese of Chicago from 2003-2015. Previously she was the Director of Ministry in Higher Education for the Archdiocese of Chicago. Prior to working in the Archdiocese, Slattery was an administrator at Loyola University Chicago. She has been a consultant for various religious denominations on child abuse prevention and has been a frequent presenter on child abuse prevention. She gave a presentation on pornography at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome in 2012 and is co-author of Conversations, a program that addresses loneliness and life issues in diocesan priesthood. She was a member of the USCCB Higher Education Committee and Chairperson of the Jesuit Association of Student Personnel Administrators.  While Director of the Office for the Protection of Children and Youth, she partnered with the Children's' Advocacy Center in Chicago and Prevent Child Abuse America to further awareness of child abuse.  Slattery currently serves on the Review Board for three religious communities. She has an MA in Higher Education Leadership and Policy from Loyola University Chicago.  

Details regarding the National Review Board, its functions and other members can be found at: http://www.usccb.org/about/child-and-youth-protection/the-national-review-board.cfm

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, National Review Board (NRB), Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, sexual abuse, child and youth protection, Charter for Protection of Children and Young People

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A Statement from Daniel Cardinal DiNardo

06/13/2018 - 5:43am

Fort Lauderdale, FL—"At its core, asylum is an instrument to preserve the right to life. The Attorney General's recent decision elicits deep concern because it potentially strips asylum from many women who lack adequate protection. These vulnerable women will now face return to the extreme dangers of domestic violence in their home country. This decision negates decades of precedents that have provided protection to women fleeing domestic violence. Unless overturned, the decision will erode the capacity of asylum to save lives, particularly in cases that involve asylum seekers who are persecuted by private actors. We urge courts and policy makers to respect and enhance, not erode, the potential of our asylum system to preserve and protect the right to life.

Additionally, I join Bishop Joe Vásquez, Chairman of USCCB's Committee on Migration, in condemning the continued use of family separation at the U.S./Mexico border as an implementation of the Administration's zero tolerance policy. Our government has the discretion in our laws to ensure that young children are not separated from their parents and exposed to irreparable harm and trauma. Families are the foundational element of our society and they must be able to stay together. While protecting our borders is important, we can and must do better as a government, and as a society, to find other ways to ensure that safety. Separating babies from their mothers is not the answer and is immoral."

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Spring General Assembly, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, Galveston-Houston, Bishop Joe Vásquez, Committee on Migration, U.S./Mexico border, asylum, families, family separation, children, right to life

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Pope Francis Names Rev. Msgr. Gerald L. Vincke as Bishop of Salina

06/13/2018 - 2:00am

 WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has appointed the Rev. Msgr. Gerald L. Vincke as a Bishop of Salina, Kansas. Monsignor Vincke is a priest of the Diocese of Lansing, MI, and currently serves as pastor of Holy Family Parish, Grand Blanc, Michigan.

The appointment was publicized today in Washington, D.C, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States.

Monsignor Vincke was born July 9, 1964 in Saginaw, Michigan, ninth of ten children. He holds an associate degree in Journalism (1985) from Ferris State College in Big Rapids, MI. Monsignor Vincke also holds a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations/Advertising from Ferris State College (1986). Monsignor Vincke also studied Philosophy at Thomas More College in Crestview, KY, 1986, and Theology at Athenaeum Seminary in Cincinnati, OH. In 1999, Rev. Msgr. Vincke received a Master of Divinity from Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, MI.

Rev. Msgr. Vincke was ordained a priest on June 12, 1999 in the Diocese of Lansing.

In 2001-2002 Msgr. Vincke attended Creighton University, Omaha, NE, (Spirituality Courses). April 2012, he attended a course on Exorcism at the Congregation for the Clergy, Rome. In 2015, he studied at Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum), Rome (STL, Spirituality).

Assignments after ordination include: parochial vicar, St. Thomas the Apostle Parish, Anne Arbor (1999-2001); director, Bethany House Youth Retreat Center, Lansing (2001-2004); director of seminarians/vocation director, Diocese of Lansing (2003-2010); weekend ministry, St. Thomas Parish, East Lansing (2005-2010); chairman, Formation Department (for priest, deacons, laity and seminarians) at Diocese of Lansing (2006-2010); spiritual director, Pontifical North American College, Rome (2010-2015); pastor, Holy Family Parish, Grand Blanc, Michigan, 2015 to present.

Currently, Monsignor Vincke also serves on the Presbyteral Council and College of Consultors. In 2012, he was named Chaplain to his Holiness by Pope Benedict XVI. He was appointed a Missionary of Mercy by Pope Francis in 2016.

The Diocese of Salina is comprised of 26,685 square miles in the state of Kansas and has a total population of 337,072 of which 44,369 or 13 percent are Catholic.
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Keywords: Bishops appointment, Pope Francis, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio, Rev. Msgr. Gerald Vincke, Diocese of Salina.

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USCCB Votes For 2018

06/11/2018 - 6:58am

Pope Francis has appointed the Rev. Msgr. Richard G. Henning as Auxiliary Bishop of Rockville Centre and Rev. Msgr. Michael Fisher as Auxiliary Bishop of Washington.

Monsignor Henning is a priest of the Diocese of Rockville Centre and currently serves as Rector of Immaculate Conception Seminary in Huntington, NY, and Director of the Sacred Heart Institute for the Ongoing Formation of Clergy. Monsignor Fisher is a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington and currently serves as Secretary for Ministerial Leadership and Vicar for Clergy.

The appointments were publicized today in Washington, D.C, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States.

Rev. Msgr. Richard G. Henning was born October 17, 1964 in Rockville Centre, NY. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in History (1986) and a Master of Arts in History (1988) from St. John University, New York.  He attended the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington, and was ordained a priest on May 30, 1992 at St. Agnes Cathedral in Rockville Centre. He received a licentiate in Biblical Theology in 2000 from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, and a licentiate in Biblical Theology in 2007 from the University of St. Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum, in Rome.

Assignments after ordination include: parochial vicar at St. Peter of Alcantara Church, Port Washington, New York, 1992-1997. He was assigned to graduate studies from 1997 to 2002. During this time, he served as weekend, summer and vacation help in a number of parishes including Our Lady of Miraculous Medal, Wyandanch, NY; Cathedral of St. Thomas More, Arlington, VA and; St. Patrick Parish in Washington, DC.

Msgr. Henning served as Associate Professor of Sacred Scripture, Immaculate Conception Seminary, 2002-2007; Full Professor of Sacred Scripture, Immaculate Conception Seminary, 2007-2012; and was the Formation Adviser at Immaculate Conception Seminary, from 2002-2012. Monsignor Henning also serves as a weekend assistant, St. Patrick Church, Bay Shore, NY, 2002-present. He also was weekend assistant (Spanish Language), St. Mary Church, Roslyn, NY, 2002-2016; weekend assistant (Spanish Language) at St. Matthew Church, Dix Hills, NY. Since July 2015 to present, Rev. Msgr. Henning has been an Administrator at Our Lady of the Magnificat, Ocean Beach, Fire Island, NY. He has also received Papal Honors of Chaplain to His Holiness (2008) and Knight of the Holy Sepulcher (2012).

Currently he is a Consultor and a Trustee at St. Joseph Seminary, Dunwoodie, NY; adjunct professor of Sacred Scripture at St. Joseph Seminary in Dunwoodie, NY; and Episcopal Vicar, Central Vicariate of Rockville Centre.

Rev. Msgr. Michael Fisher was born March 3, 1958, in Baltimore, Maryland. He was ordained a priest on June 23, 1990, in the Archdiocese of Washington. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting (1985) from University of Maryland, College Park and M. Div., and M.A., in Church History from Mt. St. Mary Seminary, Emmitsburg, MD (1990).   

Assignments after ordination include: Parochial Vicar at Sacred Heart Parish in La Plata, MD, (1990-1995); Pastor, Sacred Heart in Hillcrest Heights, from 1995-1999. Msgr. Fisher was then Pastor of St. John Neumann Parish in Gaithersburg (1999-2005). From 2005-2006, he was Vicar General (residing in St. Mark Parish, Hyattsville, MD). Since 2006 to present, he has served as Vicar for Clergy and Secretary for Ministerial Leadership for the Archdiocese.

In 2005, Msgr. Fisher was named Chaplain of His Holiness, with title of Monsignor. He has been a member of Priest Retirement Board, Priest Council, College of Consultors Diaconate Review Board, Deacons Council, Formation Board, Continuing Formation Board, Priest Convocation Board and Chairman of the Clergy Personnel Board.

In 2006, Msgr. Fisher was Ecclesiastical Consultor to members of the Foundation Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice. Since 2016, he has also served on the Redemptoris Mater Seminary Pastoral Council.

The Diocese of Rockville Centre is comprised of 1,198 square miles in the state of New York and has a total population of 2,889,841 of which 1,524,639 or 52 percent, are Catholic.

Bishop John O. Barres, is the current bishop of Rockville Centre.

The Archdiocese of Washington is comprised of 2,104 square miles in the District of Columbia and Montgomery, Prince George's, St. Mary's, Calvert and Charles Counties in Maryland. It has a total population of 2,980,005 of which 655,601 or 22 percent, are Catholic.

Donald Cardinal Wuerl, is the current Archbishop of Washington.

Pope Francis Names New Auxiliary Bishops of Rockville Centre and Washington

06/08/2018 - 2:00am

 WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has appointed the Rev. Msgr. Richard G. Henning as Auxiliary Bishop of Rockville Centre and Rev. Msgr. Michael Fisher as Auxiliary Bishop of Washington.

Monsignor Henning is a priest of the Diocese of Rockville Centre and currently serves as Rector of Immaculate Conception Seminary in Huntington, NY, and Director of the Sacred Heart Institute for the Ongoing Formation of Clergy. Monsignor Fisher is a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington and currently serves as Secretary for Ministerial Leadership and Vicar for Clergy.

The appointments were publicized today in Washington, D.C, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States.

Rev. Msgr. Richard G. Henning was born October 17, 1964 in Rockville Centre, NY. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in History (1986) and a Master of Arts in History (1988) from St. John University, New York.  He attended the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington, and was ordained a priest on May 30, 1992 at St. Agnes Cathedral in Rockville Centre. He received a licentiate in Biblical Theology in 2000 from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, and a licentiate in Biblical Theology in 2007 from the University of St. Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum, in Rome.

Assignments after ordination include: parochial vicar at St. Peter of Alcantara Church, Port Washington, New York, 1992-1997. He was assigned to graduate studies from 1997 to 2002. During this time, he served as weekend, summer and vacation help in a number of parishes including Our Lady of Miraculous Medal, Wyandanch, NY; Cathedral of St. Thomas More, Arlington, VA and; St. Patrick Parish in Washington, DC.

Msgr. Henning served as Associate Professor of Sacred Scripture, Immaculate Conception Seminary, 2002-2007; Full Professor of Sacred Scripture, Immaculate Conception Seminary, 2007-2012; and was the Formation Adviser at Immaculate Conception Seminary, from 2002-2012. Monsignor Henning also serves as a weekend assistant, St. Patrick Church, Bay Shore, NY, 2002-present. He also was weekend assistant (Spanish Language), St. Mary Church, Roslyn, NY, 2002-2016; weekend assistant (Spanish Language) at St. Matthew Church, Dix Hills, NY. Since July 2015 to present, Rev. Msgr. Henning has been an Administrator at Our Lady of the Magnificat, Ocean Beach, Fire Island, NY. He has also received Papal Honors of Chaplain to His Holiness (2008) and Knight of the Holy Sepulcher (2012).

Currently he is a Consultor and a Trustee at St. Joseph Seminary, Dunwoodie, NY; adjunct professor of Sacred Scripture at St. Joseph Seminary in Dunwoodie, NY; and Episcopal Vicar, Central Vicariate of Rockville Centre.

Rev. Msgr. Michael Fisher was born March 3, 1958, in Baltimore, Maryland. He was ordained a priest on June 23, 1990, in the Archdiocese of Washington. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting (1985) from University of Maryland, College Park and M. Div., and M.A., in Church History from Mt. St. Mary Seminary, Emmitsburg, MD (1990).   

Assignments after ordination include: Parochial Vicar at Sacred Heart Parish in La Plata, MD, (1990-1995); Pastor, Sacred Heart in Hillcrest Heights, from 1995-1999. Msgr. Fisher was then Pastor of St. John Neumann Parish in Gaithersburg (1999-2005). From 2005-2006, he was Vicar General (residing in St. Mark Parish, Hyattsville, MD). Since 2006 to present, he has served as Vicar for Clergy and Secretary for Ministerial Leadership for the Archdiocese.

In 2005, Msgr. Fisher was named Chaplain of His Holiness, with title of Monsignor. He has been a member of Priest Retirement Board, Priest Council, College of Consultors Diaconate Review Board, Deacons Council, Formation Board, Continuing Formation Board, Priest Convocation Board and Chairman of the Clergy Personnel Board.

In 2006, Msgr. Fisher was Ecclesiastical Consultor to members of the Foundation Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice. Since 2016, he has also served on the Redemptoris Mater Seminary Pastoral Council.

The Diocese of Rockville Centre is comprised of 1,198 square miles in the state of New York and has a total population of 2,889,841 of which 1,524,639 or 52 percent, are Catholic.

Bishop John O. Barres, is the current bishop of Rockville Centre.

The Archdiocese of Washington is comprised of 2,104 square miles in the District of Columbia and Montgomery, Prince George's, St. Mary's, Calvert and Charles Counties in Maryland. It has a total population of 2,980,005 of which 655,601 or 22 percent, are Catholic.

Donald Cardinal Wuerl, is the current Archbishop of Washington.  

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Keywords: Bishops appointment, Pope Francis, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio,

Rev. Msgr. Richard G. Henning, Diocese of Rockville Centre, Rev. Msgr. Michael Fisher, Archdiocese of Washington, Auxiliary Bishop, Donald Cardinal Wuerl, Bishop John O. Barres

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200

U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference Spring General Assembly, June 13-14, to be Live Streamed, Carried via Satellite

06/06/2018 - 7:07am

Washington—The 2018 Spring General Assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) being held in Fort Lauderdale, will be live streamed on the Internet, June 13-14, 2018. The livestream will be available at:  www.usccb.org/meetings. News releases, texts of addresses, presentations and other materials will also be posted on this page as they become available.  

Follow live conversation on Twitter with #USCCB18. Press conferences will also be streamed live on Facebook and Twitter.

Media outlets interested in taking the meeting's satellite feed may request coordinates by email at media-relations@usccb.org.

The live stream and satellite feed is expected to run from 8:45am (assembly starting time) to 5pm on Wednesday, June 13. On Thursday, June 14, the satellite feed will run from 8:45am to 2:00pm.

During the assembly, the full body of bishops will address a variety of topics including ethical and religious directives for Catholic healthcare services, a pastoral response to Asian and Pacific Island Catholics in the US, and the upcoming Synod on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment as well as the V National Encuentro.

Bishop Robert J. McManus, Chairman of the Committee on Doctrine's Subcommittee on Health Care, will discuss proposed revisions to the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services regarding collaboration with non-Catholic entities in the provision of health care services. Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Chairman of the Committee for Religious Liberty, will give a brief update on activities of the Committee, including the committee's promotion of Serving Others in God's Love: Religious Freedom Week.

Items for discussion and votes will also include proposed revisions for the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. Discussion and votes will also be proposed regarding new translations of various components of the Liturgy of the Hours including certain antiphons and intercessions. This will be one of several votes due to occur for this project over the next few years. Translations of the Liturgy of the Hours Grail Psalms have already been approved for U.S. dioceses.    

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Spring General Assembly, Fort Lauderdale, live stream, satellite

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane

202-541-3200

Fr. Matthew O’Donnell is Winner of 2018 CCHD Cardinal Bernardin New Leadership Award

06/06/2018 - 6:00am

WASHINGTON—Fr. Matthew O'Donnell has been named as the winner of the 2018 Cardinal Bernardin New Leadership Award, sponsored by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD). CCHD is the anti-poverty program of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).  Fr. O'Donnell will be honored at a reception Wednesday, June 13, during the bishops' annual Spring General Assembly in Ft. Lauderdale.

Fr. O'Donnell is the pastor of St. Columbanus Parish in the Park Manor neighborhood of Chicago's South Side. In this role, he has helped the parish food pantry become the one of the city's largest, implemented efforts to address the systemic causes of poverty, created a new parish Community Service Center that offers GED prep, employment readiness, and career counseling; and, with the help of a CCHD grant, is opening a café to provide job training and hospitality. Fr. O'Donnell also works to counter neighborhood violence through parish efforts to console loved ones and lead prayers for peace after local shootings, and by regularly hosting events at the parish that bring together community members and law enforcement officers.

"At St. Columbanus, Fr. Matt O'Donnell has built a living example of Pope Francis' vision of a field hospital church that exists to serve humankind and spread the Gospel of a loving God. By his caring presence, his limitless energy for good works and his compassionate ministry, he has made St. Columbanus a beacon of hope in its community and an example of faith in action far beyond its borders," said Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago.

Each year, the Cardinal Bernardin New Leadership Award honors a Catholic between the age of 18 and 40 who demonstrates leadership in fighting poverty and injustice in the United States through community-based solutions. It is named for the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, who served as archbishop of Chicago from 1982 till his death in 1996. He served as the first general secretary of the U.S. bishops from 1968-1972 and as third president of the U.S. bishops from 1974-1977.

More information about the award is available online: www.usccb.org/about/catholic-campaign-for-human-development/cardinal-bernardin-new-leadership-award.cfm.

Fr. O'Donnell's remarks will be available at www.togoforth.org on June 13 following the award reception. 

If you would like a photo image of Fr. O'Donnell, please contact media-relations@usccb.org


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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Father Matthew O'Donnell, Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, Archdiocese of Chicago, Catholic Campaign for Human Development, Cardinal Bernardin New Leadership Award, New Leadership Award, June General Assembly, poverty, injustice, Pope Francis, community

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200

World Youth Day Cross and Icon to travel around United States

06/05/2018 - 6:07am

WASHINGTON—The official World Youth Day (WYD) Cross and Marian Icon, entrusted to the youth and young adults of the world by St. John Paul II in 1984, will make a multi-city tour of the United States in August 2018, the first time in twenty-five years such a coordinated journey has occurred.

The USCCB Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth (LMFLY), in particular its World Youth Day USA (WYDUSA) initiative, is coordinating the national tour.

The Cross and Icon will travel across the country from Sunday, August 19 to Monday, August 27, 2018. The five stops along its U.S. journey will include, in order: Chicago, Illinois; Miami, Florida; Houston, Texas; Washington, D.C.; and Los Angeles, California. 

Archbishop José Domingo Ulloa Mendieta, O.S.A., Metropolitan Archbishop of Panama and host of the next international World Youth Day gathering in January 2019, extended the Latin American tour of the WYD symbols to include the United States.

Bishop Frank Caggiano of Bridgeport and WYD Episcopal Liaison for the USCCB, said, "We are grateful for this opportunity to host these incredible and unifying symbols in our country. I hope that young people and young adults will have an encounter with Christ and his mother Mary through the Cross and Icon, just as many have during World Youth Day. This summer tour is also very timely because August 2018 marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the last time the pilgrim cross made a journey across the United States in advance of WYD 1993 in Denver."  

The Cross has traveled around the globe since 1984, when St. John Paul II gave it to young people. It has been part of every World Youth Day celebration beginning with the first official WYD event in Rome in 1986. In 2002, the Cross came to Ground Zero in New York City for a brief visit to bring comfort to the nation's young people in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In 2003, St. John Paul II presented the world's youth and young adults with a Marian Icon, under the title of Salus Populi Romani, which has accompanied the WYD Cross for the past fifteen years.

The USCCB is coordinating efforts with local dioceses, institutions, and pastoral leaders in each of the five hosting locations. More information about the nationwide journey of the WYD symbols will be released, as details are known, on the USCCB's World Youth Day website, www.wydusa.org and social media channels (@wydusa).

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, World Youth Day, WYD, Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth (LMFLY), World Youth Day USA, St. John Paul II, World Youth Day (WYD) Cross, Marian Icon, Archbishop José Domingo Ulloa Mendieta, Bishop Frank Caggiano, youth, young people, 9/11, tour

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200

USCCB Chairmen Applaud Supreme Court’s Respect for Religious Liberty in Masterpiece Cakeshop Decision

06/04/2018 - 11:59am

WASHINGTON—Today, the U.S. Supreme Court decided the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The case involves a Christian baker named Jack Phillips who declined in 2012 to create a custom wedding cake for a same-sex ceremony. State officials sought to compel Phillips to create such cakes under Colorado's public accommodations law. The Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in favor of Phillips under the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Chairman of the Committee for Religious Liberty, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., of Philadelphia, Chairman of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, and Bishop James D. Conley of Lincoln, Chairman of the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), issued the following joint statement:

"Today's decision confirms that people of faith should not suffer discrimination on account of their deeply held religious beliefs, but instead should be respected by government officials. This extends to creative professionals, such as Jack Phillips, who seek to serve the Lord in every aspect of their daily lives. In a pluralistic society like ours, true tolerance allows people with different viewpoints to be free to live out their beliefs, even if those beliefs are unpopular with the government."

The USCCB filed an amicus curiae brief supporting Masterpiece Cakeshop, which can be found here: http://www.usccb.org/about/general-counsel/amicus-briefs/upload/16-111-tsac-USCCB.pdf.

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, Archbishop Charles Chaput, Bishop James Conley, Supreme Court, Masterpiece Cakeshop, Colorado Civil Rights Commission, religious freedom, religious liberty, freedom of conscience, marriage

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200

David Spesia Named as Executive Director of the Secretariat of Evangelization and Catechesis for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

06/04/2018 - 6:34am

WASHINGTON—David Spesia has been appointed as Executive Director of the Secretariat of Evangelization and Catechesis for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

Monsignor Brian Bransfield, USCCB Secretary General, made the appointment, which will take effect July 2, 2018.

Since 2010, Dr. Spesia has served as Secretary of Evangelization and Catechesis for the Diocese of Joliet. Prior to his most currently role, he was principal of St. Joseph Catholic School in Joliet from 2007-2010. From 1998-2007, he served as a Theology teacher and department chair at the Joliet Catholic Academy and additionally served as Managing Editor for Communio: International Catholic Review for five years. Throughout each role, Dr. Spesia has demonstrated a firm understanding of and deep personal commitment to evangelization. He has also overseen numerous programs and personnel along with inspiring students in his witness to the beauty of the Church and its teachings.

"Dr. Spesia brings to the Conference a wealth of both academic knowledge and lived experience in the realms of missionary discipleship, collaborate leadership, and evangelization," said Msgr. Bransfield. "I am grateful to him for accepting this important position in service to the bishops and to the Conference."

David Spesia graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Notre Dame in 1988. He earned his Master of Arts in Religious Studies from the University of Chicago—Divinity School in 1991. He also earned a Master of Arts in Education in 2005, a Master of Science in Educational Leadership in June 2008, and a doctorate of education in August 2016, all from the University of St. Francis.

For more information on the USCCB Secretariat of Evangelization and Catechesis, please visit: http://www.usccb.org/about/evangelization-and-catechesis/.

If you would like a photo image of Dr. Spesia, please contact media-relations@usccb.org

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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Secretariat of Evangelization and Catechesis, David Spesia, PhD., Msgr. Brian Bransfield

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200

U.S. Bishops’ Migration Chairman Urges Administration to Keep Families Together

06/01/2018 - 12:15pm

WASHINGTON—The Department of Homeland Security has recently acknowledged implementation of the policy of separating families arriving at the U.S./Mexico Border. Most Reverend Joe S. Vásquez, Bishop of Austin and Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on Migration, issued the following statement in response:

"Forcibly separating children from their mothers and fathers is ineffective to the goals of deterrence and safety and contrary to our Catholic values. Family unity is a cornerstone of our American immigration system and a foundational element of Catholic teaching. 'Children are a gift from the Lord, the fruit of the womb, a reward.' (Psalm 127:3) Children are not instruments of deterrence but a blessing from God.

Rupturing the bond between parent and child causes scientifically-proven trauma that often leads to irreparable emotional scarring. Accordingly, children should always be placed in the least restrictive setting: a safe, family environment, ideally with their own families.

My brother bishops and I understand the need for the security of our borders and country, but separating arriving families at the U.S./Mexico border does not allay security concerns. Children and families will continue to take the enormous risks of migration—including family separation—because the root causes of migration from the Northern Triangle remain: community or state-sanctioned violence, gang recruitment, poverty, and a lack of educational opportunity. Any policies should address these factors first as we seek to repair our broken immigration system."

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Joe S. Vásquez, Committee on Migration, MRS, Department of Homeland Security, migrants, migrant children, safety, family unity, border security, U.S./Mexico border,

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Media Contacts:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Release 2017 Annual Report on the Protection of Children and Young People

06/01/2018 - 6:51am

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection has released their 2017 Annual Report – Findings and Recommendations on the Implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

The 2017 report for audit year July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017, states that 654 adults came forward with 695 allegations. Compared to 2015 and 2016, the number of allegations has decreased significantly due to fewer bankruptcy proceedings and statute of limitations changes. Also, it notes that 1,702 victim/survivors received ongoing support. All dioceses and eparchies that received an allegation of sexual abuse during the 2017 audit year reported them to the appropriate civil authorities.

The report also notes the ongoing work of the Church in continuing the call to ensure the safety of children and vulnerable adults. In 2017, over 2.5 million background checks were conducted on Church clerics, employees, and volunteers. Over 2.5 million adults and 4.1 million children have also been trained on how to identify the warning signs of abuse and how to report those signs.

Twenty-four new allegations came from minors. As of June 30, 2017, six were substantiated and the clergy were removed from ministry.  These allegations came from three different dioceses.  Four of the six allegations were against the same priest.  Eight allegations were unsubstantiated as of June 30, 2017.  Three were categorized as "unable to be proven" and investigations were still in process for five of the allegations as of June 30, 2017.  

Regarding Charter Compliance, the report noted the following:

  • Two eparchies and one diocese did not participate in the audit this year.
  • 191 dioceses were found compliant with the Charter.
  • All diocese/eparchies participating in the 133 data collection audits were found compliant with the data collection process.
  • Of the sixty-one dioceses/eparchies participating in the on-site audits, all were found compliant except for three eparchies.
  • All three eparchies were found non-compliant with Article 2 for the 2017 audit period.
  • One eparchy was also found non-compliant with Articles 12 and 13.

The Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People continues to emphasize that the audit and the maintaining zero-tolerance policies are two important tools in the Church's broader program of creating a culture of protection and healing that exceeds the requirements of the Charter.

This is the fifteenth such report since 2002 when the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops approved the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, making a promise to protect and a pledge to heal.

The full Annual Report can be found here: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/child-and-youth-protection/upload/2017-Report.pdf

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People, 2017 Annual Report – Findings and Recommendations, children, young people, vulnerable adults, dioceses/eparchies, sexual abuse, religious orders, Charter compliance, Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, safety, protection, healing.

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200

Pope Francis Names the Most Reverend Milan Lach, SJ, as Bishop of the Ruthenian Eparchy of Parma

06/01/2018 - 2:00am

 WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has appointed as Bishop of the Ruthenian Eparchy of Parma, the Most Reverend Milan Lach, SJ, who up until now served as apostolic administrator of the Eparchy.

The Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Parma is the Catholic eparchy governing most Ruthenian Catholics in the mid-western United States. It is headquartered in Parma, Ohio.

The appointment was publicized in Washington, DC, June 1, 2018 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Bishop Lach, 44, was born in Kežmarok, Slovakia in 1973. In 1992, he was admitted to the Greek-catholic seminary in Prešov and in 1995 entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus in Trnava, Slovakia. He continued his studies at Trnava University and also studied at the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome, where he obtained a master's degree from the Eastern Church Sciences and later, a doctorate degree. In 2009, he began working at the Center of Spirituality East – West of Michal Lacko in Košice, Slovakia.

He was ordained a deacon of the Society of Jesus on November 11, 2000 and was ordained a priest on July 1, 2001. He was appointed auxiliary bishop of Prešov and titular bishop of Ostracine on April 19, 2013. He was ordained as auxiliary bishop of Prešov and titular bishop of Ostracine, June 1, 2013.  On June 24, 2017, Pope Francis named Bishop Lach as apostolic administrator of the sede vacante (vacant see) of the Epharcy of Parma for the Ruthenians.

The Eparchy of Parma for the Ruthenians was erected February 21, 1969. Currently, the Eparchy of Parma encompasses the geographical area of Ohio (except the eastern border counties), Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. Byzantine Catholics living in those states are members of the local Church of Parma.

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Keywords: Pope Francis, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio, Bishop Milan Lach, SJ, Eparchy of Parma for the Ruthenians, Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Parma, Ruthenian Catholics.

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200