FLCAN E-Update
Inside this issue
  Constitution Revision Commission Finishes Its Work  
  After holding numerous public hearings and committee meetings over the past year, the full Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) met in April to hold final votes on proposed amendments to the Florida Constitution. The CRC finished its work after approving eight proposed amendments for the November 6 general-election ballot. Six of the eight ballot measures bundle multiple subjects that were debated and advanced by the commission. The CRC's eight proposals will join five other measures on the ballot, including three approved by the Florida Legislature and two approved in petition initiatives, bringing the total number of proposed constitutional amendments that will go before voters to 13. Look for more information from the FCCB on these amendments as the election nears.

When the full CRC convened earlier this month, the following two proposals of interest to the FCCB remained under consideration:

Employment Eligibility Verification
This FCCB-opposed proposal was defeated by the CRC in a 12-24 vote. The proposal would have required the Florida legislature to establish an employment verification process "to ensure that all employees in the state are legally authorized to work under applicable federal immigration law."
While the overarching goals of employment verification systems may be meritorious, such a mandatory expansion of the system should only be implemented at the federal level as part of a larger legislative effort on immigration reform. Archbishop Wenski outlined the FCCB's opposition to the proposal in a letter to the CRC's Style and Drafting Committee.

Rights of Crime Victims
Referred to as Marsy's Law after Marsalee (Marsy) Nicholas who was tragically murdered in 1983, the proposal aims to codify victims' rights into the state constitution. As with other CRC proposals, Marsy's Law has been combined with multiple proposals into one constitutional amendment.

Among the various provisions of Marsey's Law, the FCCB is concerned about one in particular that would establish hard deadlines for the completion of state-level appeals in capital cases.
A letter from executive director, Michael Sheedy, to CRC Chairman Carlos Beruff highlighted that:
  • of the six other states that have passed similar laws, none included hard deadlines for the completion of appeals;
  • having already exonerated more persons from death row than any other state, Florida cannot risk speeding the appellate process in handing down the most extreme of sentences; and
  • similar hard deadlines have already been stricken by the Florida Supreme Court.
Proposals Previously Engaged by FCCB
Other proposals of interest to the FCCB were withdrawn or postponed earlier in the process. These included two FCCB-supported proposals: restoration of the privacy clause to its original intent to limit broad application to abortion and removal of a prohibition on funding of religious entities. Additionally, FCCB expressed concern with a proposal that sought to deregulate the hospital certificate of need process. For more information on these proposals, visit the FCCB website.


  FLCAN Postcard Collections Underway in Florida Parishes  

Parishes across the state are engaging in efforts to promote the Florida Catholic Advocacy Network (FLCAN). By conducting postcard collections during weekend Masses and increasing participation in the network, parishes are able to help grow the Catholic voice in the public square. FLCAN is an online community that connects, educates, and mobilizes Catholics across Florida's seven dioceses, providing parishioners with the opportunity to fulfill the responsibility to faithful citizenship.

The parish project is an initiative of the bishops of Florida. Parishes that have yet to participate are urged to do so in the coming weeks. FLCAN subscribers can encourage their pastors to implement the postcard initiative by speaking to the educational value of the network and the ability to easily contact lawmakers and government officials on issues vital to the protection of human life and dignity.

To schedule a collection, pastors should complete the Parish Postcard Initiative Request Form. Postcards and all the necessary resources, including bulletin and pulpits announcements, are provided by the FCCB.

For more information on the postcard initiative, contact Alejandro (Alex) Capote, Outreach Coordinator, at acapote@flaccb.org or (850) 201-6819.


  EWTN to Air Documentary on the Florida Martyrs on June 6, 2018  

Famed "Miracle Hunter" Michael O'Neill's original EWTN series They Might Be Saints will air a special one-hour episode on Wednesday, June 6, 2018 at 10:00 p.m. EDT featuring the proposed Martyrs of la Florida. The episode will focus on some of the courageous and heroic witnesses who gave their lives for the Catholic faith during the Spanish missionary period.

The cause for the Martyrs of la Florida was formally opened on October 12, 2015 in Tallahassee and is currently being prepared for submission to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Rome. Officially designated as the cause of the Servants of God Antonio Cuipa and Companions, this cause includes 17 priests and religious, 7 Spanish lay men and women, and over 60 Native Americans who come from six of the seven dioceses in Florida.

More information about the Martyrs of La Florida can be found at www.martyrsoflafloridamissions.org.


  Recent News from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)  


April 25, 2018

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Words of Wisdom

"While I continue to pray unceasingly for peace, and invite all people of good will to do the same, I renew my appeal to all those with political responsibilities to ensure that justice and peace prevail."

-- Pope Francis
April 15, 2018

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