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Catholic Spirit: Minnesotans want more choice in education

(by Shawn Peterson)
May 6, 2015

School choice opponents often argue that creating more options for parents will allow non-public schools to skim the cream of students from public schools, leaving everyone else behind. But a recent study underwritten by the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice shows that a majority of Minnesotans do not agree that school choice is an “us vs. them” issue. Rather, Minnesotans believe that everyone can benefit from more choice in education.

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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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The Wanderer: Bishop Sirba Of Duluth . . . Outlines “Throwaway Culture” And How To Answer It

(by Peggy Moen)
May 12, 2015

MINNEAPOLIS — Bishop Paul Sirba of Duluth, Minn., addressed about 250 pro-lifers at St. Helena’s here on “The Gospel of Life in a Throwaway Culture,” borrowing Pope Francis’ theme. The occasion was the parish’s 30th “Evening Affirming Human Life and the Family.”

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Duluth News Tribune: With debt paid, Minnesota felons be allowed to vote to give them stake in society

Daris Nordby, shown near Duluth’s CHUM homeless shelter, has had a difficult year: He left his girlfriend, lost his job, and doesn’t have anywhere to live. But, he says, “By the grace and power of God, I stayed sober through it all.” (Bob King / rking@duluthnews.com)

Daris Nordby, shown near Duluth’s CHUM homeless shelter, has had a difficult year: He left his girlfriend, lost his job, and doesn’t have anywhere to live. But, he says, “By the grace and power of God, I stayed sober through it all.” (Bob King / rking@duluthnews.com)

(by Chuck Frederick)
May 4, 2015

Daris Nordby’s life has been filled with mistakes, and if he’s due any credit at all, it can be for his willingness to own up to them and take responsibility. His first felony conviction, for possession of methamphetamine, came at age 16. His first of 890 days behind bars came in 2010 after he threatened a guy while under the influence of meth. Another felony followed after a domestic dispute and a regrettable push to the neck, again while on meth.

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News Release (USCCB): USCCB President Comments on Supreme Court’s Oral Arguments on Marriage

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 28, 2015)—The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments April 28, on the constitutionality of states defining and recognizing marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

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News Release (USCCB): Faith Leaders Reaffirm Commitment to Marriage and Religious Liberty

WASHINGTON D.C. (April 23, 2015)—A few days before the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments on the rights of states to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman, more than 30 religious leaders representing diverse faith communities throughout the United States have reaffirmed their shared commitment to marriage and religious freedom. An open letter entitled “The Defense of Marriage and the Right of Religious Freedom: Reaffirming a Shared Witness” was issued to all in positions of public service on April 23.

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Catholic Spirit: Washing our hands of religious liberty

(by Jason Adkins)
April 9, 2015

The debate over the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act has brought us clarity. If you have wondered to what extent some advocates for “tolerance” will “tolerate” genuine pluralism of opinion about the nature of marriage, gender and human sexuality, you have your answer: very little.

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Catholic Spirit: Physician-assisted suicide part of ‘throwaway culture’

(by Archbishop John C. Nienstedt)
April 9, 2015

It was a terrible shock to learn that the reason behind the crash of Germanwings Airbus A320 airliner on March 30, 2015, in the southeastern French Alps may have been the intentional decision of the co-pilot to kill himself and all 149 passengers as well.

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Catholic Spirit: Inside a week at the Minnesota Capitol

(by Jason Adkins)

March 26, 2015

Minnesota Catholic Conference staff is often asked to describe a typical day at the office. Though every day is different, we are blessed that it is only the rare occasion on which MCC’s policy team spends the whole day behind a desk. This is how it should be, because public policy advocacy requires an entrepreneurial spirit and lots of relationship building —which is not much different from the dynamics of those who work in sales.

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MPR Capitol View: Time running out on felon voting bill

Jason Adkins of the Minnesota Catholic Conference urged Minnesota House leaders to take action this session on a bill to restore the voting rights of felons. Tim Pugmire / MPR News

Jason Adkins of the Minnesota Catholic Conference urged Minnesota House leaders to take action this session on a bill to restore the voting rights of felons. Tim Pugmire / MPR News

(by Tim Pugmire)
March 18, 2015

A coalition of groups working to restore the voting rights of convicted felons is growing concerned about the prospect of passing a bill this session.

Legislation allowing felons to vote once they’re out of jail, rather than waiting until they’re off probation, is poised for a floor vote in the Minnesota Senate. But it does not yet have a scheduled hearing in the House. The committee deadline is Friday.

During a news conference Wednesday, Jason Adkins, executive director of the Minnesota Catholic Conference said the bill enjoys broad bipartisan support.

“All we’re looking for is to move this bill forward in the House,” Adkins said. “There’s very little legislative opposition. We need to meet committee deadlines soon, and we’re asking House leaders and the House of Representatives to move this bill forward this year and pass this legislation.”

The Restore the Vote Coalition estimates there are 47,000 Minnesotans who live in the community but are unable to vote due to a felony conviction.

Demetria Carter said she recently served 79 days in adult detention but cannot vote until her probation ends in 10 years.

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