First, I’d like to welcome the new subscribers to our Iowa Catholic Conference Legislative Network. This fall I’ve had the opportunity to speak in several parishes around the state and encourage those in attendance to sign up for our legislative alerts. I hope you find them useful.
ELECTION DAY AND FAITHFUL CITIZENSHIP FOR IOWA CATHOLICS
During these last days before an election I have had many contacts from people who are looking for more information before they vote. One of the places I always direct them toward is the “Faithful Citizenship for Iowa Catholics” flier on our website at www.iowacatholicconference.org. I urge you to review it again.
I’ve posted on our website an opinion piece I wrote for the Des Moines Register in support of a constitutional convention.
Let’s get out and vote on Nov. 2nd! If you vote – the choice is yours. If you don’t vote – the choice is theirs.
RECAP OF IOWA INSTITUTE FOR SOCIAL ACTION
Many thanks to those who attended the 2011 Iowa Institute for Social Action earlier this month. For a few photos of the event, check out the “Iowa Institute for Social Action” group page on Facebook.
Last Friday I attended the Iowa Board of Medicine’s public hearing on telemedicine and the issue of “telemed” abortions. These abortions are conducted by video conference, where the woman is on one end of the connection and the doctor on the other. The doctor dispenses two abortion pills by pushing a button and a drawer opens on the other end. The woman takes one pill right away and one later. The woman generally delivers a dead baby later at home.
The Board of Medicine is reviewing its policies on telemedicine. It seems unlikely that the board will take any action soon to address concerns about standards of care. For our part, the Iowa Catholic Conference opposes all abortions, no matter the method. However, if these abortions are to take place, the safety and informed consent of the women involved should be among the chief concerns.
REVIEW OFFERS ROAD MAP FOR RENEWAL OF CCHD
A new document affirms the Catholic Campaign for Human Development’s Catholic foundations and priority for the poor. “The Review and Renewal of CCHD” also responds to concerns about CCHD funding policies and makes 10 commitments to strengthen CCHD as a faithful and effective expression of Catholic teaching and the Gospel mandate to defend the lives and dignity of those who are poor in our nation.
Established in 1969, CCHD provides self-help grants to groups of low-income people who are working to overcome poverty by addressing its root causes in their own lives and communities. The executive summary and full report, along with additional material, are now available online at: www.usccb.org/cchd/reviewandrenewal.shtml. Many dioceses will be taking up the CCHD collection in November.
NATIONAL SOCIAL MINISTRY GATHERING IS FEB.13-16
The 2011 theme for the annual Catholic Social Ministry Gathering in Washington, DC, is “Protecting Human Life & Dignity: Promoting a Just Economy”. You can join social ministry leaders and a score of Catholic national organizations as they explore common issues and concerns of global and domestic policy on human life, justice and peace that challenge our nation and world.
This annual event includes a visit to Capitol Hill to meet with your elected officials and discuss issues in the light of Catholic social teachings. For more information visit www.catholicsocialministrygathering.org.
Very soon after the election we will follow-up with an announcement of the Iowa Catholic Conference 2011 legislative concerns. Thanks for being a part of our legislative network!
Iowa Catholic Conference
The measure also streamlines the procedure for accessing adoption records and directs DPW to establish a statewide confidential registry of medical and social history for all Pennsylvania adoptions.
The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference supported this revision to the Adoption Act. It significantly improves services for those involved in the adoption process. The new law has two key components. First, it recognizes and establishes procedures for voluntary open adoption agreements, whereby a prospective adoptive parent can enter into a voluntary agreement with a birth relative of a child to permit continuing contact between the child and a birth relative.
Many Catholic Charities and Social Services agencies in Pennsylvania offer adoption services.
ARIZONA CATHOLIC CONFERENCE BISHOPS’ STATEMENT
Read more . . .
Read the Bishops’ statement online or download a printer friendly version.
The foundational principle of all Catholic social teaching is the affirmation of the dignity of the human person. One does not need Catholic faith to understand this, but the light of faith helps those of us who are believers to understand this truth more clearly and profoundly, given especially our belief that God created us in His own image and likeness (Gen 1:26).
One of the important consequences of this principle is the need to care for our bodies. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “Life and physical health are precious gifts entrusted to us by God. We must take reasonable care of them, taking into account the needs of others and the common good.” (No. 2288) In the upcoming election, California voters will have to decide on a ballot proposition which threatens to seriously erode the good these principles uphold.
There is certainly relief that Legislators and the Governor were able to finalize the state’s budget for FY 2010-2011. Having said that, however, the signed, sealed and delivered budget appears to be an expedient solution, which only solves the immediate problems of averting the issuance of IOUs, facilitating state borrowing, meeting payroll and paying the state’s vendors.
Sadly the Governor’s line-item vetoes introduce more problems for the poor and the vulnerable. In his zeal to create a $1.3 billion reserve, the Governor cut funding for child-care supporting welfare to work and reduced funding for mental health programs. The impacts of these decisions will be felt dramatically in the lives of those who are already challenged to survive in our severe economic times.
CANDIDATE QUESTIONNAIRES – 2010 General Election
CANDIDATE INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTS
VOTER GUIDE BULLETIN INSERT (2 pages)
Viewpoint newsletter – Fall 2010 issue
Maryland Catholic Conference - Respect for Life
The Respect for Life Department works to uphold the dignity of every individual from conception until natural death.
Mr. Stephen Mikochik
Human Life in the Balance: Health Care Rationing and Disabled People
Mr. Mikochik will discuss current threats to the dignity of persons with disabilities. Mr. Mikochik is the chair of the National Catholic Partnership on Disability and a professor at Temple Law School in Philadelphia. Before coming to Temple, he was an attorney with the Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice, where he worked to enforce the rights of disabled people.
Dr. Marie Hilliard
Threats to Persons with Disabilities, at the Hand of the Very Society Charged with Protecting its Members
Dr. Hilliard will examine the implications of the passage of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act how it will impact ethical health care issues. Dr. Hilliard is Director of Bioethics and Public Policy for the National Catholic Bioethics Center and chairs the Ethics Committee of the National Catholic Partnership on Disability. She has been published with numerous awards over her career and including the Meritorious Service Medal for her 20 years as a registered nurse and Colonel. Dr. Hilliard is a canon lawyer and the former director of the Connecticut Catholic Conference.
Mental Illness: The Overlooked Disability
Ms. Rakitan will discuss supporting the spiritual and social needs of people with mental illness. Rakitan, a member of the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Commission on Mental Illness, is the founder of Faith and Fellowship, a support group for people with severe mental illness. Over the past 30 years, Ms. Rakitan has worked with countless people with mental illness, and has found that for many, faith is the only relief they can obtain.
Health care administrators, nurses, physicians, chaplains, priests, deacons and anyone serving people with disabilities should plan to attend.
October 25th, 2010 Boniface Hall, St. Alexius Hospital Bismarck, FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO REGISTER Log on to ndcatholic.org or Call 701-223-2519 Toll Free 1-888-419-1237
Fr. David McCauley Announced as New Interim Executive Director of MCC * Fr. David McCauley Announced as New Interim Executive Director of MCC
Many of you will remember me as Director of the Conference from 1995 – 2001. Questioning my sanity in saying yes has moved on to a sense of excitement at being here. I look forward to sharing a mission once again with those of you with whom I worked in the past, and the opportunity to meet and be with those who have come to be our friends since 2001.
I wish all the best for Chris in his new endeavors, and ask your patience with me as I find my way around once again.
With all good wishes and offering peace to you, I am
(Rev.) David McCauley
Executive Director (interim)