Source: www.usccb.org

Latest News Releases from USCCB
  1. Catholic Bishops’ Pro-Life Chairman Praises House for Passing Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act

    WASHINGTON–Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, thanked and praised the House of Representatives for passing the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act today with a bi-partisan vote of 241-183.

    "As Chairman of the United States Bishops' Committee, I offer gratitude and praise to the House of Representatives for passing the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (H.R. 4712). This common-sense legislation offers a simple and widely supported proposition: a child born alive following an abortion should receive the same degree of care to preserve her life and health as would be given to any other child born alive at the same gestational age. I call on the Senate to pass this bill as well and ensure that the lethal mentality of Roe does not claim new victims – vulnerable human beings struggling for their lives outside the womb."

    Nearly sixteen years ago, Congress passed the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act with nearly unanimous support. The Act provides – for the purpose of federal law – that the words "person," "human being," "child," and "individual" shall include "every infant member of the species homo sapiens who is born alive at any stage of development." The measure also codifies the definition of "born alive" found in the laws of most states – evidence of heartbeat, respiration, and/or voluntary movements after the infant's complete expulsion from the mother.

    However, this law provides no specified mechanism for holding an abortionist accountable for denying care to babies who survive abortions. And there is sufficient evidence that abortionists do not always provide care to babies who survive an abortion and are born alive.

    The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act would remedy this problem by requiring any health care practitioner present when a child is born alive following an abortion to exercise the same degree of care to preserve the life and health of the child as would be given to any other child born alive at the same gestational age. And following exercise of such care, it requires the practitioner to ensure that the child is immediately transported and admitted to a hospital.

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    Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, Committee on Pro-Life Activities, Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protections Act, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, abortion, born alive, infants, human being, child, individual, person, abortionists, accountable, preservation of life and health.

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    Media Contact:
    Judy Keane
    202-541-3200

  2. Bishops’ Conferences Look to Youth to Bring Hope for a Better Future in the Holy Land

    WASHINGTON—Noting the deteriorating prospects for peace in the Holy Land, representatives of bishops' conferences from several countries, including the United States, acknowledged the struggle of the young people they met but called them the "hope for a better future."

    The bishops made their annual solidarity visit to the Holy Land January 13 – 18, 2018. They visited Gaza, met with school children there and in the West Bank and in Israel as well as with students at Hebrew University and Bethlehem University. They also visited l'Arche in Bethlehem and a home of the elderly in Beit Emmaus.

    In a communique issued at the end of their visit, the bishops cited the many challenges (unemployment, discrimination, and lack of opportunity) faced by youth, particularly those living in the West Bank and Gaza. But in their discussions with Israeli youth, the bishops found that many shared with their Palestinian counterparts the "same aspirations for peaceful coexistence."  

    For the bishops, it was clear that it is the youth from West Bank, Gaza and Israel who are resilient and courageous in keeping alive the hope for a peaceful resolution to the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  

    The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops along with bishops from other nations on this solidarity visit have long decried violence as a way to resolve conflict but instead strongly supported a two-state solution in which a secure Israel coexists with a viable and independent Palestinian state.

    The bishops called on communities in their respective countries to act in solidarity with youth who have an essential role in promoting peace through actions such as prayer, and supporting programs that create jobs, provide housing and foster dialogue.

    The Coordination of Episcopal Conferences in Support of the Church of the Holy Land has met every January since 1998 to pray and act in solidarity with the Christian community in the Holy Land. Bishops representing Europe, North America, and South Africa participated in this visit.

    The bishops' statement is available at http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/global-issues/middle-east/israel-palestine/holy-land-coordination-communique-january-2018.cfm

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    Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Holy Land, Gaza, West Bank, Israel, Bethlehem, L'Arche, Beit Emmaus, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, youth, violence, independent Palestinian state, dialogue

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    Media Contact:
    Judy Keane 
    202-541-3200


  3. Chairmen Applaud New HHS Initiatives on Conscience and Religious Freedom

    WASHINGTON–Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, chair of the USCCB's Committee for Religious Liberty, offered the following joint statement in response to the creation of a new Division on Conscience and Religious Freedom within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights and other related administrative actions:

    "We applaud HHS for its significant actions to protect conscience rights and religious freedom. For more than forty years—dating back to the Church amendment of 1973—Congress has enacted federal laws protecting rights of conscience in health care. We are grateful that HHS is taking seriously its charge to protect these fundamental civil rights through formation of a new division dedicated to protecting conscience rights and religious freedom. For too long, we have seen medical professionals, including pro-life nurses like Cathy DeCarlo, who have been coerced by their employers into participating in abortion. And we have seen states like California, New York, and Oregon demand that even religious organizations cover elective abortions in their health plans. These violations of federal law require a remedy from HHS. 

    We are pleased to see HHS's proposed regulation to enforce civil rights laws to protect Americans involved in HHS-funded programs, and we look forward to filing more detailed public comments on this proposal.  We also appreciate the Administration's action to rescind a 2016 guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that required states to provide Medicaid funding to family planning providers like Planned Parenthood that perform abortions.

    Conscience protection should not be subject to political whims, however. Permanent legislative relief is essential. We urge Congress to pass the Conscience Protection Act in order to give victims of discrimination the ability to defend their rights in court. No one should be forced to violate their deeply held convictions about the sanctity of human life."

    A list of current federal laws protecting conscience rights can be found here: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/conscience-protection/upload/Federal-Conscience-Laws.pdf

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    Keywords: Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, HHS, conscience, religious freedom, religious liberty

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    Media Contact:
    Judy Keane
    202-541-3200

  4. Cardinal Dolan Invites Nationwide Participation in '9 Days for Life' Prayer, Action Campaign

    WASHINGTON—Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities, is inviting Catholics and others to join the nationwide 9 Days for Life campaign.

    "We bring many needs to God this month, including care for displaced persons, racial harmony, Christian unity, and the protection of all human life," Cardinal Dolan said. "I invite our brothers and sisters in Christ to join me and my brother bishops in 9 Days for Life from Thursday, January 18 through Friday, January 26. Our prayers matter. Every prayer matters, and if you can't start at the beginning, jump in when you can!"

    9 Days for Life is the U.S. bishops' annual, pro-life prayer and action campaign surrounding the anniversary of the 1973 Supreme Court decisions legalizing abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy.

    The overarching intention of the centerpiece novena is the end to abortion, and each day treats a different aspect of respecting the dignity of the human person—from the beginning of life to its natural end. This year, as part of the "Share the Journey" campaign supporting displaced persons, one day addresses human trafficking, something migrants and refugees are particularly at risk of suffering.

    By responding to the U.S. bishops' invitation, participants can make a "digital pilgrimage." Joining tens of thousands nationwide, they can build a culture of life through prayer and action, and share their experiences on social media with the hashtags #9DaysforLife and #OurPrayersMatter. There's also a Facebook frame participants can use on their profile picture to show their support for life.

    The website, www.9daysforlife.com, features a video with Cardinal Dolan calling the campaign "a great way to put our faith into action." The site offers a print version of the novena, as well as four ways to automatically receive the daily prayers, reflections, and suggested actions in either English or Spanish: free "9 Days for Life" mobile app (with customizable reminders), email, text message, and a Facebook event.

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    Keywords: USCCB, Catholic, U.S. bishops, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Roe v. Wade, abortion, anniversary, Pro-Life, Prolife, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, 9 Days for Life, People of Life, #9daysforlife, #OurPrayersMatter, Share the Journey, migrants, refugees, human trafficking, "digital pilgrimage", prayer, novena

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    Media contact:
    Judy Keane
    202-541-3200

  5. U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Emphasize Human Beings All Made in the Likeness of God

    The following statement has been issued by James Rogers, Chief Communications Officer for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), emphasizing the USCCB position that all human beings are made in the image and likeness of God and therefore deserving of our respect and compassion.

    Full statement follows:

    "Reports of recent disparaging remarks about African countries and Haiti have aroused great concern. As our brothers and sisters from these countries are primarily people of color, these alleged remarks are especially disturbing. All human beings are made in the image and likeness of God, and comments that denigrate nations and peoples violate that fundamental truth and cause real pain to our neighbors. It is regrettable that this comes on the eve of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and could distract from the urgent bipartisan effort to help Dreamers and those with Temporary Protected Status. As a vigorous debate continues over the future of immigration, we must always be sure to avoid language that can dehumanize our brothers and sisters."

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    Keyword: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; USCCB; Chief Communications Officer; James Rogers; Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals; DACA; Temporary Protected Status; TPS; Dreamers; Martin Luther King Jr. Day

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    Media contact:
    Judy Keane
    202-541-3200