WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 17, 2014)—The visit of Pope Francis to Philadelphia in September 2015 for the World Meeting of Families will be a “joyful moment,” said Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Pope Francis made his intention to travel to the United States public, November 17, in an address to the Colloquium on the Complementarity of Man and Woman at the Vatican.
News Release (USCCB): Pope Francis Announces 2015 Visit to Philadelphia for World Meeting of Families; USCCB President Says Papal Visit Will Be ‘Joyful Moment’
News Release (Catholic Rural Life and UST): Top Vatican Official to Lead U.S. Symposium on Faith and Farming
For immediate release
Cardinal Peter Turkson, who is drafting a papal encyclical on the environment, will participate in the Nov. 5 to 7 event.
St. Paul, Minn. (October 7, 2014)–One of world’s leading Catholic officials will bring Pope Francis’ message of faith-based ecology to the United States this fall. Cardinal Peter Turkson will deliver the keynote address and participate in working sessions at the Faith, Food & the Environment Symposium, a groundbreaking event that will confront the challenges of 21st century agriculture from a faith-based perspective.
News Release (USCCB): USCCB General Counsel Submits Comments on Latest Version of HHS Contraceptive Mandate
WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 8, 2014)—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) submitted comments October 8 to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and two other federal agencies on the Obama administration’s latest version of “Rules on Coverage of Certain Preventive Services Under the Affordable Care Act,” commonly known as the HHS contraceptive mandate. The comments were submitted by Anthony Picarello, USCCB general counsel, and Michael Moses, associate general counsel.
News Release (USCCB): Cardinal O’Malley: Government Report Confirms Bishops’ Concern on Abortion Coverage
Investigative agency finds over a thousand health plans covering abortion on demand
Promised “separation” of abortion funds from tax dollars not implemented
Abortion-related abuses under Affordable Care Act require corrective action
WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 16, 2014)—A new report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) “confirms the U.S. bishops’ longstanding concern about abortion coverage” in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), said Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
News Release (USCCB): Archbishop Kurtz to President Obama: Plight of Religious Minorities in Iraq Requires Increased Support
USCCB President thanks Obama for aid, protection already provided
Repeats call of Pope Francis for international community to help
Notes U.S. dioceses have set aside August 17 as day of prayer for Iraq
WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 14, 2014)—Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, urged President Obama to answer the call of Pope Francis for the international community “to do all that it can to stop and to prevent further systematic violence against ethnic and religious minorities” in Iraq. Archbishop Kurtz made the appeal in an August 13 letter, in which he assured President Obama of the prayers and support of the U.S. bishops in these efforts.
Archbishop Wenski reiterates Pope Francis’ call for an inclusive economy
Says college debt, lack of stable jobs keeping young people from starting families
Calls for increased solidarity, more and better jobs, immigration reform
WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 13, 2014)—The high unemployment rate of young adults, both in the United States and around the world, is the focus of the 2014 Labor Day Statement from the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami. The statement, dated September 1, draws on Pope Francis’ teaching against an “economy of exclusion” and applies it to the millions of unemployed young adults in the United States.
News Release (USCCB): Bishop Pates Asks Bishops, Parishes to Offer Special Prayer on August 17 for Peace in Iraq
WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 7, 2014)—The chairman of the Committee of International Justice and Peace of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) asked the U.S. bishops to invite the people of their dioceses to pray for peace in Iraq on Sunday, August 17. Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, made the request, August 6, sending the bishops the text of a prayer written by the Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Iraq, His Beatitude Louis Rafael Sako.
News Release (USCCB): ‘More Respect for Religious Freedom’ Needed After Failed Senate Vote to Curtail It
WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 16, 2014)—Today the U.S. Senate voted against considering S. 2578, a bill empowering the federal government to override the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and other federal conscience laws when it mandates including any “item or service” in health plans.
News Release (USCCB): USCCB President, Diverse Religious Leaders Come Together To Urge Congress To Protect Religious Freedom Restoration Act
RFRA passed in 1993 with overwhelming bipartisan support
All religious faiths, including the most vulnerable, protected by federal law
Americans should be free to live and work according to their faith
WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 1, 2014)—A coalition of leaders of diverse U.S. religious denominations and faiths, including Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has announced that they “are united in [their] staunch support” for protecting the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which passed with nearly unanimous bipartisan support in 1993. The coalition sent a letter to Congressional leadership June 30 asking that they “not amend or repeal RFRA, one of our nation’s most vital legal protections for the religious freedom and rights of conscience of every person of every faith.”
A Great Day for the Religious Freedom of Family Businesses
WASHINGTON—The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision today in favor of Hobby Lobby Stores and Conestoga Wood Specialties means “justice has prevailed,” said Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty. The Court ruled that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) “preventive services” mandate violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) as applied to these employers to the extent that it would have forced them to provide insurance coverage for drugs and devices that violate their religious convictions on respect for human life.
The statement follows:“We welcome the Supreme Court’s decision to recognize that Americans can continue to follow their faith when they run a family business. In this case, justice has prevailed, with the Court respecting the rights of the Green and Hahn families to continue to abide by their faith in how they seek their livelihood, without facing devastating fines. Now is the time to redouble our efforts to build a culture that fully respects religious freedom.“The Court clearly did not decide whether the so-called ‘accommodation’ violates RFRA when applied to our charities, hospitals and schools, so many of which have challenged it as a burden on their religious exercise. We continue to hope that these great ministries of service, like the Little Sisters of the Poor and so many others, will prevail in their cases as well.”
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