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STATEMENT FROM THE DIOCESE OF DULUTH ON NEW ECOLOGY ENCYCLICAL FROM POPE FRANCIS

Bishop Paul Sirba, ninth bishop of the Diocese of Duluth, released the following statement today marking the release of Laudato Si’, an encyclical by Pope Francis on “caring for our common home”:

“Pope Francis has released his greatly anticipated encyclical Laudato Si’, which takes its name from the invocation of Saint Francis of Assisi — ‘Praise be to you, my Lord’ — and reminds us all that the earth is our common home. The encyclical is developed around the concept of integral ecology, as a paradigm able to articulate the fundamental relationships of the person: with God, with oneself, with other human beings, with creation. Read More…

Faith Leaders Speak Out Regarding the Clean Power Plan and Clean Energy

April 2015   (PDF Version)

Governor Mark Dayton
Office of the Governor
116 Veterans Service Building
20 W 12th Street
St. Paul, MN 55155

Dear Governor Dayton,

We write today with gratitude for your service, and with urgency on behalf of the world that sustains us all. Our voices represent a diverse range of spiritual, wisdom, and faith traditions that contribute immensely to the rich tapestry of our state, and whose people share a common concern for the earth and all its creatures. These are times of unprecedented peril and promise. The challenges we face exist simultaneously with unparalleled capacity to innovate, collaborate, and respond with courage and moral power. Remembering that care for the environment is also care for the economy (which comes from the word for “household”), and that climate justice is also about social, economic, and racial justice, our calls for action are both visionary and pragmatic, expressions both of our faith and of sound science.

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Opposition to CHEER Act Amendment to SF 1458 (S1458A62)

Jason Adkins (PDF version)
April 28, 2015

UNCONSTITUTIONAL:  The federal rule on which the CHEER Act is based has been held to insufficiently protect the conscience rights and religious liberty of those who object to providing the mandated drugs and services.  This week, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered a second federal court of appeals to reconsider its ruling to uphold the federal rule on which the CHEER Act is based.[1]  This indicates that it does not satisfy federal protections for religious freedom.  The CHEER Act would also likely be found unconstitutional under the Minnesota Constitution, which applies the same test.

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Letter from Archbishop Nienstedt on Restore the Vote legislation

April 22, 2015

Dear Legislator,

The Minnesota Catholic Conference, of which I am president, has been proud to play a leading role in the Restore the Vote coalition. We believe that giving those who have offended an opportunity to participate in important decisions affecting their community will 1) help renew the lives of those who have offended; 2) reduce recidivism; 3) help foster the political participation of minority communities disproportionately affected by the current criminal justice system; and 4) conserve public resources.

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The Defense of Marriage and the Right of Religious Freedom: Reaffirming a Shared Witness

An Open Letter from Religious Leaders to All in Positions of Public Service            (PDF Version)

Released April 23, 2015

Dear Friends:

At this significant time in our nation’s history with the institution of marriage before the United States Supreme Court, we reaffirm our commitment to promote and defend marriage—the union of one man and one woman. As religious leaders from various faith communities, we acknowledge that marriage is the foundation of the family where children are raised by a mother and a father together. Our commitment to marriage has been expressed on previous occasions, including the Letter of Shared Commitment and Letter on Marriage and Religious Liberty. This commitment is inseparable from affirming the equal dignity of all people and the necessity of protecting their basic rights.

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Testimony from Kathryn Mollen Opposing Private Divorce Program, H.F. 1348

(PDF Version)

Testimony for H.F. 1348 
Cooperative Private Divorce Program
April 21, 2015

Madame Chair and Members of the Committee:

My name is Kathryn Mollen, and I am the Policy and Outreach Coordinator for the Minnesota Catholic Conference, the public policy voice of the Catholic Church in Minnesota. I am here today to speak in opposition to HF 1348.

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Letter to legislators regarding MinnesotaCare

April 20, 2015 (PDF Version)

Dear Members of the House HHS Finance Committee:

As you craft and vote on your final omnibus proposal for Health and Human Services funding, we understand that you face difficult choices, a scarcity of resources, and the competing needs of so many important programs.  Therefore, the Catholic Health Association of Minnesota and the Minnesota Catholic Conference urge you to consider the following principles that we believe provide the framework for just and effective healthcare policy.

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Testimony of Bishop Andrew Cozzens in support of H.F. 97, provisional driver’s license for immigrants

House Transportation Policy and Finance Committee (PDF Version)
March 25, 2015

Chairman Kelly and Members of the Committee:

Good afternoon.  My name is Bishop Andrew Cozzens and I am an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul Minneapolis and also serve as the Archdiocese’s chief minister to the Latino community.  I am here today speaking on behalf of the Minnesota Catholic Conference, which is the public policy voice of the Catholic Church in Minnesota.  The Minnesota Catholic Conference supports House File 97.

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St. Cloud Times: Bishop Donald J. Kettler – Your Turn: U.S. is no longer welcoming to new ideas, immigrants

(by Most Rev. Donald J. Kettler)
July 26, 2014

Misconceptions in the area of immigration policy, like in other areas of life, often lead to lack of understanding, resentment and unwillingness to compromise. As people of faith, we must open not only our hearts, but our minds to see the whole story.

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Pioneer Press: Bishop Andrew Cozzens – Immigration reform: a human rights test that provides opportunity for American renewal

(by Bishop Andrew H. Cozzens)
July 23, 2014

The Roman Catholic Bishops of Minnesota and around the United States have long been concerned about the nation’s immigration policy. It is inconsistent, ineffective, and does not promote the common good. The current humanitarian crisis of unaccompanied children fleeing from violence to the U.S./Mexican border is a deeply troubling reminder of how serious the situation has become.

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