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U.S. Bishops’ Domestic Chairman Reacts to Bipartisan Carbon Pricing Bill

WASHINGTON—After the introduction of the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2019 (EICDA) yesterday, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, welcomed the legislation as an important step forward in addressing climate change.  

The full statement follows:  

“This bipartisan bill is a hopeful sign that more and more, climate change is beginning to be seen as a crucial moral issue; one that concerns all people. If enacted, this proposal is expected to result in significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. At a time when the dangerous effects of climate change are becoming increasingly apparent, the need for legislative solutions like this is more urgent than ever.

Fundamentally, this bill is about ensuring that the full spectrum of costs associated with greenhouse gas emissions—economic, social, and environmental—are accounted for. Failing to consider the health and well-being of people, including future generations and the planet, means that ‘businesses profit by calculating and paying only a fraction of the costs involved’ (Laudato Si’, no. 195). This proposed legislation is one possible remedy to addressing these imbalances.

While it is well-known that putting a price on carbon will increase energy prices, a phenomenon that can have a disproportionate impact on the poor, it is encouraging that initial analyses suggest that low-income individuals will overwhelmingly benefit from this policy. Additional in-depth and independent analysis is still needed to fully understand the potential impacts on poor and vulnerable persons, families and their communities. Supplemental support for these households may be needed to further alleviate potential financial burdens. Climate change can only ever be adequately addressed if it is done with an eye towards ‘the least of these.’”


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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Frank J. Dewane, Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (EICDA), climate change, carbon pricing, greenhouse gas emissions, environment, Laudato Si’


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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 

World Day for Consecrated Life Celebrates the Diversity and Beauty of Consecrated Vocations

WASHINGTON – The Catholic Church will hold its annual celebration of the World Day for Consecrated Life on February 2, 2019. This celebration is a special time for individual parishes and the greater Church to celebrate the beauty of the consecrated vocation, highlight its various forms, and reflect on the unique Christ-centered witness that consecrated men and women bring to the Church and the surrounding community.

Instituted by St. Pope John Paul II in 1997, World Day for Consecrated Life will be formally recognized during a Mass offered by Pope Francis at the Vatican on February 2, 2019. The day is celebrated in conjunction with the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, also known as Candlemas Day, which commemorates through the blessing and lighting of candles that Christ is the light of the world. In the same way, consecrated persons, by belonging exclusively to Christ, act as the true hands and feet of Jesus by bringing his love and the light of the Gospel to all those they encounter in their life and work.

Each form of consecrated life is distinct and inspired by the Holy Spirit to serve the Church through a particular charism. Discerning consecrated life involves a process of identifying the unique way in which Christ is calling a person to love. Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., Chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations offered encouraging words for those discerning a vocation to consecrated life: “Oftentimes, those discerning a vocation search for the perfect community. The Lord, who created every heart, knows of the way he is calling each person to serve him. Trust that he will lead you to the vocation that is perfect for you.”

The Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) is retained each year by the Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations to conduct a survey of those solemnly professed in the United States in the past year. This year’s CARA Study identified 240 men and women religious who professed perpetual vows in 2018. Of these 240 religious, 162 responded with 92 sisters and nuns and 70 brothers and priests participating in the study. Some of the major findings are:

  • On average, responding religious report that they were 19 years old when they first considered a vocation to religious life, but half were 18 or younger when they first did so.
  • Eucharistic Adoration, retreats, and the rosary are the most common types of formative prayer experiences, reported by two-thirds of religious of the Profession Class of 2018. Nearly six in ten reported participating in spiritual direction.
  • Of those surveyed, 23% of respondents earned a graduate degree before entering their religious institute. More than 71% entered their religious institute with at least a bachelor’s degree (65% for women and 79% for men).
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The entire CARA survey, Prayers of the Faithful, and a bulletin quote for World Day for Consecrated Life, as well as information about the different forms of consecrated life and the work of the Secretariat on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations is available at http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/vocations/consecrated-life/index.cfm
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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, World Day for Consecrated Life, Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, Feast, Presentation of the Lord, Candlemas Day, Charism, Clergy, Consecrated Life, Vocations, Religious, Consecrated Hermits, Consecrated Virgins, sisters, brothers, Profession Class of 2018, Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA), Eucharistic Adoration, rosary, retreats, priest, nuns, Catholic education, vocations, St. Pope John Paul II, Pope Francis.


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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 

Pope Francis Names New Auxiliary Bishops of Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA

WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has appointed the Rev. Joseph Coffey and Rev. William Muhm as Auxiliary Bishops of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA.

The appointments were publicized today in Washington, DC, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States.

Rev. Coffey is a priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and currently serves as a Chaplain and Captain in the United States Navy. Rev. Muhm is a priest of the Archdiocese of New York and up until now, served as Administrator of Most Precious Blood Parish in Walden, NY.

Father Coffey was born May 31, 1960 in Minnesota. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from LaSalle University, Philadelphia (1982), and spent one semester at the Sorbonne, Paris. He attended St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia where he earned a Master of Divinity degree in 1995. He was ordained a priest on May 18, 1996. In 2002, Rev. Coffey received a Master Administration in Moral Theology from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Philadelphia in 2002. For one year, after university and before seminary, Rev. Coffey was an auto salesman in Europe, selling cars to American serviceman in Germany and Belgium.

Assignments after ordination include: Parochial Vicar at St. Katherine of Siena Parish, Philadelphia Spiritual, 1996-2001. From 1997 to 2001, Rev. Coffey was the Director of the Legion of Mary (Holy Family Curia) Military Chaplain. During this time, he was assigned to the United States Naval Reserve (1998-2001); Chaplain, Department of AIDS Ministry (1999-2001); Board Member, Archdiocesan Council of Priests (2000-2001). Since 2001 to present, he has been U.S. Navy Chaplain and a Recruiter for the Chaplain Corps.

Father Coffey’s Naval assignments have included: Chaplain to Combat Assault Battalion of the Marine Corps, Okinawa, Japan; MAG-39 at Camp Pendleton, CA; Coast Guard Recruit Training center in Cape May, NJ; Chaplain Recruiter for U.S. Navy; Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego; Coast Guard recruit center in Cape May and deployments with both the Marines and Navy, including to Afghanistan.

Father Coffey received the Distinguished Service Award (Chaplain of the Year) in 2004 from the Military Chaplains Association.

 Rev. William J. Muhm was born June 27, 1957, in Billings, Montana. He was ordained a priest on May 30, 1995 at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York by Cardinal John O’Connor.

Father Muhm attended Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO, (1977); Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, (1980) and then he graduated in 1995 from St. Joseph Seminary, Yonkers, NY (STB, Master Divinity). He served in the Navy for some time before entering the seminary.

 Assignments after ordination include: Parochial Vicar at St. Ann Parish, Ossining, NY, (1995-1996); Parochial Vicar at Holy Family Parish, Staten Island, NY (1996-1998), and since 1998 to present, he has been Chaplain and Captain in the United States Navy.

Rev. Muhm’s assignments as U.S. Navy Chaplain have included: 2008-2009: Deployment with 1stMarine Regiment, RCT 1, Anbar Prov., Iraq. Since 2009 to 2012, he was Catholic Chaplain at U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD and from 2012 to 2018 he served at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Jacksonville, NC. He voluntary managed the Navy priests’ retreat the last several years and was on sabbatical June – November 2018.  From November 2018 to present, he has served as Administrator of Most Precious Blood Parish, Walden, NY.

Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., is the current Archbishop for the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA.

The Archdiocese for the Military Services serves U.S. Catholics of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Department of veterans Affairs and those in Government Service outside the USA.  It was created by Pope John Paul II to provide the Catholic Church’s full range of pastoral ministries and spiritual services to those in the United States Armed Forces. This includes more than 220 installations in 29 countries, patients in 153 V.A. Medical Centers, and federal employees serving outside the boundaries of the USA in 134 countries. Numerically, the AMS is responsible for more than 1.8 million men, women, and children. 

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Keywords: Bishops appointments, Pope Francis, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio, Rev. Joseph Coffey, Rev. William Muhm, Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA,  Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D.

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

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U.S. Bishops President Along with Chairman of Bishops’ Migration Committee Issue Statement Urging the President and Lawmakers to End the Shutdown

WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, of Houston, Texas, President of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and Bishop Joe S. Vásquez, of Austin, Texas, Chairman of USCCB Committee on Migration, issued the following joint statement in response to the President’s January 19th remarks:

“We urge the President and lawmakers to end the shutdown. Political leaders must come together to ensure a bipartisan solution is reached which recognizes the economic struggle that many families are facing including those dependent on federal workers and those assisted by critical nutrition and housing programs.

We are encouraged by the President’s openness to providing legislative relief for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders and existing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) recipients. However, we understand that the President’s proposal would only provide temporary relief, leaving many in a continued vulnerable state. We believe that a permanent legislative solution for TPS holders and for all Dreamers is vital. Moreover, the proposal calls for the construction of a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico, a proposal that our brother bishops on both sides of the U.S. border with Mexico oppose, and it suggests changes in current law that would make it more difficult for unaccompanied children and asylum seekers to access protection.

Throughout our parishes, there are many DACA youth and TPS holders, who have lived substantial parts of their lives in the U.S. contributing to this country. We listen and understand the fear and uncertainty they and their families face and the anguish that they are currently experiencing as their existing immigration protections hang in the balance and come to an end. Temporary relief will not ease those fears or quell that anxiety. It is for this reason that we have long advocated for comprehensive immigration reform; reform that will provide permanent solutions: including border security, protection for vulnerable unaccompanied children and asylum seekers, and a defined path to citizenship to enable our immigrant brothers and sisters to fully contribute to our society.

We look forward to reviewing the President’s proposal in detail and hope to work with the White House and Congress to advance legislation that shows compassion, keeps us safe, and protects the vulnerable.”

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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Bishop Joe S. Vásquez, President Donald J. Trump, lawmakers, government shutdown, federal workers, Temporary Protected Statues (TPD), Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA), U.S. border, Mexico, safety, unaccompanied children, border security, defined path to citizenship, immigrants, White House, U.S. Congress

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200

Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs Issues Invitation to Celebrate Annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

WASHINGTON--Bishop Joseph C. Bambera of Scranton, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, invites all to celebrate the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which takes place January 18-25, 2019. This week provides an opportunity to join together and pray as Jesus did “that they may all be one.” (John 17:21) The practice, originally called the Christian Unity Octave, was first observed in 1908 by Fr. Paul Wattson and Sr. Lurana White, co-founders of the Society of Atonement. Today, it is a collaborative project by the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches.

This year’s theme is “Justice, Only Justice, You Shall Pursue.” (Deuteronomy 16:20). It was chosen by Christians from Indonesia, highlighting the unique opportunity the call for justice plays in our ecumenical efforts. According to Graymoor Ecumenical & Interreligious Institute (GEII) who promotes the Week of Prayer in the United States, Christian communities "become newly aware of their unity as they join in a common concern and a common response to an unjust reality. At the same time, confronted by these injustices, we are obliged, as Christians, to examine the ways in which we are complicit. Only by heeding Jesus’s prayer 'that they all may be one' can we witness to living unity in diversity. It is through our unity in Christ that we will be able to combat injustice and serve the needs of its victims."

Further information and other resources for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity are available at http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/ecumenical-and-interreligious/events/week-of-prayer-for-christian-unity.cfm
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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, Bishop Joseph C. Bambera, Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 

Pro-Life Committee Chairman’s Roe v. Wade Anniversary Statement Encourages Faithful to be “Witnesses of Merciful Love”

WASHINGTON—Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City called on the faithful "to pray for an end to the human rights abuse of abortion, and for a culture of life, where through God’s grace all will come to know they are made in His Divine Image.”

His statement on January 18 marks the 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion in all 50 states. Archbishop Naumann, who gave the opening prayer at the March for Life the same day, chairs the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

“Protecting the life of the unborn children is the pre-eminent human rights issue of our time, not only because of the sheer magnitude of the numbers, but because abortion attacks the sanctuary of life, the family,” wrote Archbishop Naumann. “Every abortion not only destroys the life of an innocent child, but it wounds and scars mothers and fathers...in reality, the welfare of parents and their child are always intimately linked.”

Naumann also made it clear that pro-life Catholics “are concerned about the life and dignity of the human person wherever it is threatened or diminished,” and highlighted the sexual abuse crisis within the Church as an example of “grave injustice” to this dignity. “The abuse of children or minors upends the pro-life ethic,” the Archbishop explained, because it is an “egregious offense against the dignity of the human person.”

The Archbishop spoke of a Church “devastated by the scandal of sexual misconduct by clergy and of past instances of the failure of bishops to respond with compassion to victims of abuse and to protect adequately the members of their flock.” He urged the Church and the faithful to “seek justice for all of God’s children.”
“We must do all we can to be God’s witnesses of merciful love in the world,” the Archbishop continued. “We know and give thanks for the great dignity God has given to us from the moment of conception, to be made in his image. We also must pray for the grace to remind others of this inherent dignity, in our words and in our actions.”

The Archbishop encouraged all Catholics to take part in the National Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of the Unborn on January 22: “Let us pray that we can be great and effective witnesses for life, witnesses for love, witnesses for mercy.”

The full text of Archbishop Naumann's message is available online at http://www.usccb.org/about/pro-life-activities/january-roe-events/2019/2019-statement-on-the-anniversary-of-roe-vs-wade.cfm
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Keywords: USCCB, Pro-Life, Abortion, Archbishop Naumann, March for Life, protection of life, human person, mercy, human dignity, National Day of Prayer
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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 

President Trump Announces Commitment to Uphold Pro-Life Laws

WASHINGTON— Today, President Trump reiterated his enduring support for pro-life laws or policies. Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, chairman of the U.S. Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities responded with the following statement:

“As Chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, I commend President Trump for announcing at today’s March for Life that he will oppose repealing or weakening any existing pro-life laws or policies. These pro-life laws and policies reflect the convictions of millions of Americans, many of whom attended today’s March, that taxpayers should not be forced to fund abortions, or organizations that promote abortion, or participate in any way in the deliberate destruction of unborn human life.

We are deeply grateful for the President’s pro-life commitment, and for all the actions this administration has taken to protect unborn children and their mothers from the violence of abortion. We look forward to working with Congress and the Administration to advance policies that value human life and dignity from conception to natural death.”

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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops USCCB, Pro-Life

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 

USCCB President Says Society Needs “Artisans of Peace” by Following Dr. King’s Example

WASHINGTON— The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, has issued the following statement in relation to the observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day on January 21.

Cardinal DiNardo's full statement follows:

“Today more than ever, our societies need ‘artisans of peace’ who can be messengers and authentic witnesses of God the Father, who wills the good and the happiness of the human family.”
Pope Francis’ words, given in his 2019 World Day of Peace address, remind us how Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was such an artisan of peace. Dr. King was a messenger and true witness to the power of the gospel lived in action through public life. This year, as we again mark the anniversary of his life, and reflect upon the 51st anniversary of his death, we are thankful for the path forged by Dr. King and the countless others who worked tirelessly and suffered greatly in the fight for racial equality and justice.
As a nation and as a society, we face great challenges as well as tremendous opportunities ahead.

This past November, the entire body of Catholic bishops approved Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love— A Pastoral Letter Against Racism. The letter’s goal is to again name and call attention to a great affliction and evil that persists in this nation, and to offer a hope-filled Christian response to this perennial sickness. Racism is a national wound from which we continually struggle to heal. As we wrote in the pastoral letter, “Racism can only end if we contend with the policies and institutional barriers that perpetuate and preserve the inequality—economic and social—that we still see all around us.”

Today, remembering how Dr. King contended with policies and institutional barriers of his time, many which persist today, we renew our pledge to fight for the end of racism in the Church and in the United States. We pledge our commitment to build a culture of life, where all people are valued for their intrinsic dignity as daughters and sons of God. We encourage Catholics and all people of good will to study the pastoral letter, and to study and reflect upon Dr. King’s witness against the destructive effects of racism, poverty and continuous war.  

We call on everyone to embrace our ongoing need for healing in all areas of our lives where we are wounded, but particularly where our hearts are not truly open to the idea and the truth that we are all made in the image and likeness of God. As Dr. King said, "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools."  
USCCB Pastoral Letter on racism and other information about the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism can be found at: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/racism/
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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops USCCB, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Racism

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 

Holy Land 2019 Coordination Communiqué: Christians in Israel – Challenges and Opportunities

WASHINGTON—Representatives of bishops' conferences from several countries, including Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio, Chairman of the International Justice and Peace Committee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, met in the Holy Land January 12-17, 2019. Together, they have issued their annual communiqué in which they acknowledge the challenges and opportunities that Christians face in Israel. In the communiqué, the bishops call for prayer, pilgrimage and practical solidarity on behalf of Christians in Israel to help keep hope for the future alive.

Noting that Israel was founded on the principle of equality for all citizens, representatives of bishops’ conferences from several countries, including the United States, acknowledged that Christians in Israel face challenges and opportunities. In the final communiqué of the Holy Land Coordination, the bishops called for prayer, pilgrimage and practical solidarity to help Christians in Israel keep their hope for the future alive.

Nineteen bishops from Europe, the United States, Canada and South Africa made the annual solidarity visit which included time spent in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Haifa, and villages meeting with Christian mayors, villagers, and migrants to hear of their stories of living and working in Israel.
In their communiqué, the bishops note that many Christians, along with Palestinian Arabs and migrants, face systematic discrimination and are marginalized. In particular they noted that Israel’s Nation State Law passed in 2018 creates “a constitutional and legal basis for discrimination” against minorities and supported “all those challenging discrimination.”

After visiting a United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) camp and school in Jenin, the bishops also called for their governments to help fund health care, education and other basic services for Palestinian refugees. This was in response to the U.S. government’s decision to withdraw funding for the Palestinians and call for the closing of UNRWA.

The bishops expressed admiration for their sisters and brothers in the Holy Land for not losing hope and committed themselves to help keep that hope alive.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops along with bishops from other nations on this solidarity visit continue to decry violence as a way to resolve conflict but instead strongly support a two-state solution in which the two democratic sovereign states of Israel and Palestine exist in peace.

The Coordination of Episcopal Conferences in Support of the Church in the Holy Land has met every January since 1998 to pray and act in solidarity with the Christian community in the Holy Land.
The bishops’ 2019 communiqué is available at: www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/global-issues/middle-east/israel-palestine/holy-land-coordination-communique-january-2019.cfm
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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Holy Land Coordination, Archbishop Timothy Broglio, Committee on International Justice and Peace, Holy Land, Israel, Christians, pilgrimage, solidarity, communiqué, United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), Palestine, sovereign states

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 

USCCB PRO-LIFE SECRETARIAT EXPRESSES DEEP DISAPPOINTMENT AT SENATE FAILURE TO PASS NO TAXPAYER FUNDING FOR ABORTION ACT

WASHINGTON— “Taxpayer dollars should not pay for abortion. The majority of Americans, including many who consider themselves pro-choice, agree on this,” said Kat Talalas, spokeswoman on abortion for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), responding to the Senate’s vote today on the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2019” (S. 109).

The Senate voted (48-47) in favor of the bill, but Talalas expressed deep disappointment that it did not receive the 60 votes needed for passage in the Senate. The Senate held its vote on January 17, the day before the annual March for Life in Washington.

The bill would codify a permanent, government-wide policy against taxpayer subsidies for abortion and abortion coverage. It would also require health plans offered under the Affordable Care Act to disclose the extent of their coverage for abortion and the amount of any surcharge for that coverage to consumers. Archbishop Joseph Naumann, chair of the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities at the USCCB, wrote to Congress prior to the vote, urging support for the legislation. Naumann said that “abortion is a false and violent response to an unplanned pregnancy that turns a woman in crisis and her unborn child against each other,” and that the federal government “should not force taxpayers to subsidize this violence.”

“The USCCB urges the House and Senate to work together to pass legislation that reflects the will of the American people, and prevents tax dollars from funding elective abortion,” Talalas said.
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Keywords: USCCB, Catholic, U.S. bishops, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Roe v. Wade, abortion, anniversary, Pro-Life, Prolife, Archbishop Naumann, 9 Days for Life, People of Life, #9daysforlife, No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2019, H.R. 7, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, Congress, March for Life, funding, Affordable Care Act
 
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