In this issue of the Advocacy Bulletin
, you will find information on:
October: Respect Life Month
- Resources for Respect Life Month
- Initiatives on the November ballot
- Cornerstone update
- Upcoming events: Mass for Life & Catholic Advocacy Day
- New video series on Catholic Social Teaching (CST)
During the month of October, the US Catholic Bishops ask us to study and reflect upon the life and dignity of the human person, in all its myriad manifestations. To help us, the USCCB Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities prepares a collection of resources. This year, these include articles on:
- How to support families who receive a prenatal diagnosis
- A woman with terminal brain cancer rejects assisted suicide
- A mother finds inspiration in her child with special needs
- 10 ways to support her when she's unexpectedly expecting
The 2015-2016 Respect Life Program also includes a prayer and program guide that will help your parish and school to make the most of the materials. Catholics and all people of good will in the United States are invited to participate in Respect Life Month. Please visit www.usccb.org/respectlife
to learn more about this year's Respect Life Program.
Rosary for World Peace
October is also the month of the Holy Rosary. In his official proclamation
of the 2015-2016 Year of Mercy
, the Holy Father wrote, "Mary attests that the mercy of the Son of God knows no bounds and extends to everyone, without exception. Let us address her in the words of the 'Salve Regina,' ('Hail Holy Queen') a prayer ever ancient and new, so that she may never tire of turning her merciful eyes toward us, and make us worthy to contemplate the face of mercy, her son Jesus." In solidarity with our Holy Father, please consider contemplating the life of Jesus by praying the Rosary
for world peace.
Two Statewide Initiatives on November Ballot
On the November ballot in Washington State, there will be two statewide initiative and four advisory votes.
Ballot Title: Initiative 1366
concerns state taxes and fees. This measure would decrease the sales tax rate unless the legislature refers to voters a constitutional amendment requiring two-thirds legislative approval or voter approval to raise taxes, and legislative approval for fee increases.
If approved, I-1366 would cut the state retail sales tax from 6.5 percent to 5.5 percent on April 15, 2016, unless the legislature first proposes a specific amendment to the state constitution. The proposed amendment would require that for any tax increase, either the voters approve the increase or two-thirds of the members of each house of the legislature approve the increase. If the legislature proposes the constitutional amendment before April 15, 2016, then the state retail sales tax would stay at 6.5 percent.
The Office of Financial Management, which prepared the fiscal impact statement for I-1366 concluded that if the legislature does not refer a constitutional amendment to voters for consideration at the November 2016 general election, the retail sales tax rate drop to 5.5 percent would decrease revenue for the general fund by $8 billion over the next six fiscal years.
The Washington State Constitution requires that constitutional amendments be initiated in the legislature, pass by a two-thirds vote in both houses, and be referred to the people for a vote. In 2010, voters approved an initiative requiring a supermajority vote of the legislature to increase revenue. In 2013, the state Supreme Court found this requirement unconstitutional.
WSCC Position on I-1366:
WSCC does not support the initiative because it could have a profound negative impact on people in poverty due to the loss of social services.
Ballot Title: Initiative 1401
concerns trafficking of animal species threatened with extinction. This measure would make selling, purchasing, trading, or distributing certain animal species threatened with extinction, and products containing such species, a gross misdemeanor or class-C felony, with exemptions for certain types of transfers.
I-1401 would make it a crime to sell, offer to sell, purchase, trade, barter for, or distribute parts of elephant, rhinoceros, tiger, lion, leopard, cheetah, pangolin, marine turtle, shark or ray or products containing or made from those animals. I-1401 also includes five exceptions when it would not apply.
The WSCC has not taken a position on I-1401.
Update on the Cornerstone Catholic Conference
It has been nearly a year since the first Cornerstone Catholic Conference and the WSCC has received many inquiries about when the next one will be held. We hope soon to confirm a date in October, 2017, and have already formed a planning committee. The Bishops of Washington State remain committed to the Cornerstone mission: "to inspire and educate Catholics and others to continue working together to protect human life: the unborn, individuals who live in poverty or on the margins of society, and people at the end of life."
2016 Mass for Life: West & East
In Western Washington
, the annual Mass for Life will be celebrated by Archbishop J. Peter Sartain on Tuesday, January 19, 2016. The Mass for Life will begin at 9:30 am at Saint Martin's University in Lacey. The March for Life, organized by the Washington State March for Life, begins at noon at the State Capitol in Olympia. These events commemorate the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade
and Doe v. Bolton
decisions in 1974 that legalized abortion throughout the country.
In Eastern Washington
, for the first time, there will be a Mass for Life in Spokane on Saturday, January 16. Bishop Thomas Daly will celebrate the Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes, beginning at 9:00 am. There will be a Walk for Life Northwest, starting at 11:00 am in Riverfront Park.
To learn more about Roe v. Wade
and its aftermath, visit www.endroe.org
Register for Catholic Social Ministry Gathering
With the theme, "Called to Live Mercy in Our Common Home" join over 500 Catholic leaders around the country at the 2016 Catholic Social Ministry Gathering
(CSMG) on Jan. 23-26, 2016, The Early Bird registration rate ends Nov. 13.
USCCB/CRS Video Series on Catholic Social Teaching: CST 101
The second video in USCCB/CRS's new video series focuses on the life and dignity of the human person and features Bishop Robert Barron, Jonathan Reyes, and Helen Alvaré. Watch it now
and share it with others during Respect Life month. The series is being jointly produced by Catholic Relief Services and the USCCB Dept. of Justice, Peace and Human Development (JPHD). The first video in the series, on Care for God's Creation
, became available after the release of Pope Francis' encyclical, Laudato Si'
. Other videos in the series will continue to be released over the next several months.
Save the Date - Catholic Advocacy Day, February 8, 2016
Catholic Advocacy Day 2016 will be held on Monday, February 8, in Olympia. The day will begin at 9:00 am at St. Michael's parish with legislative briefings and Mass, followed by important meetings with legislators at the Capitol.
Recent WSCC Action Alerts
Here are the most recent action alerts issued by WSCC. If you haven't acted on them yet, click on one of the ones listed below:
to view previous WSCC advocacy bulletins. Click here
to view this bulletin on the WSCC website.
The Washington State Catholic Conference (WSCC) is the public policy voice of the Catholic Bishops of Washington State. [-] less