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CAN is an outreach of the Michigan Catholic Conference, the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in Michigan
May 22, 2020
 

  In This Update:  
 
  • Michigan Dioceses Set Timeline, Safety Guidelines for Liturgical Services
  • The Word from Lansing: Living Care for One Another
  • Michigan House Approves Minor DNR Bills
  • 2020 Census Resources Offered in Almost 60 Languages
  • Laudato Si' Week Brings Catholics Together to Protect Common Home
  • Department of Labor Issues Directive and Guidance on Religious Liberty
  • Memorial Day Honors Service and Sacrifice
 
  Michigan Dioceses Set Timeline, Safety Guidelines for Liturgical Services  
 
Over the course of the next several weeks, Michigan's seven dioceses are beginning to make in-person liturgical services available. To do so, each diocese has mentioned the importance of implementing new safety guidelines, including capacity limitations, to protect the health of clergy, staff, and parishioners. For the latest news on this topic in your area, visit your local diocesan webpage:
Michigan Catholic Conference (MCC) thanks you in advance for actions to keep those around you safe.
 
  The Word from Lansing: Living Care for One Another  
 
Over the past few months, federal and state lawmakers have passed a variety of aid in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These bills have included support for hospitals, food assistance, unemployment benefits, schools, and small businesses, among other aspects. The Word from Lansing column for May explains the recent legislation, as well as encourages Michiganders to reflect upon their shared responsibility for one another. 
 
  Michigan House Approves Minor DNR Bills  
 
This week, the Michigan House of Representatives passed three measures with strong bipartisan support to allow a parent to execute a do-not-resuscitate (DNR) order on behalf of his or her medically frail (minor) child. House Bills 5417-5419 would:
  • Allow a DNR for a child under 18 who is diagnosed with an advanced illness by a physician.
  • Require the order to be signed by the parent(s), the minor's physician, and two adult witnesses. 
  • Provide rules for school districts about receiving, filing, and following a minor's DNR orders. 
As mentioned previously, MCC worked closely with the National Catholic Bioethics Center and the bill sponsors to ensure the language adequately protected children and prevented abuse. The bills will now be sent to the Senate Families, Seniors, and Veterans Committee.
 
  2020 Census Resources Offered in Almost 60 Languages  
 
From now through the end of October 2020, Michiganders have the opportunity to respond to the U.S. 2020 Census at https://www.2020census.gov/. This counting process occurs every ten years and matters for the state because population numbers:
  1. Determine Michigan's representation in Congress for the next decade.
  2. Influence the way federal and state legislative lines are drawn.
  3. Inform emergency preparedness and public safety plans across Michigan.
  4. Guide how federal funding is distributed to communities for local needs.
To assist in the completion of the questionnaire, the U.S. Census Bureau provides materials in English and Spanish, as well as translated web pages and guides in almost 60 non-English languages, braille, and large print. Those who need these resources can visit https://2020census.gov/en/languages.html
 
  Laudato Si' Week Brings Catholics Together to Protect Common Home  
 
Five years ago, Pope Francis issued his second encyclical, Laudato Si': On Care For Our Common Home. The document addresses the Catholic Church's teaching on care for creation and urges all people of good will to join together in action that protects both the dignity of the environment and of all living creatures. In recognition of that anniversary, Catholics have been celebrating Laudato Si' Week, an opportunity to unite in solidarity for a more just and sustainable future. MCC also offers a webpage for individuals, parishes, and other institutions, which provides reflections from Laudato Si' as well as opportunities for action: www.micatholic.org/LaudatoSi.
 
  Department of Labor Issues Directive and Guidance on Religious Liberty  
 
Late last week, the U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia provided a directive and guidance to explain how the federal administration's Executive Order 13798 applies to the Department of Labor (DOL). The Executive Order from 2017, "Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty," had addressed the ability of faith-based organizations partnering with the federal government to maintain their deeply-held religious beliefs. Specifically, the order instructed that "all executive departments and agencies (agencies) shall, to the greatest extent practicable and to the extent permitted by law, respect and protect the freedom of persons and organizations to engage in religious and political speech." 

The newly issued DOL directive and guidance clarify the religious protections that exist for federal grant applicants and recipients, allowing faith-based organizations both to defend their rights and also participate in programs offered by the department.  MCC is pleased to see these actions, which will better protect First Amendment freedoms across the country.
 
  Memorial Day Honors Service and Sacrifice  
 
On Monday, May 25, Americans will honor the memory of all men and women who have died in service to their country. Here is a prayer from Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers for individuals and families to say on this day:

"God of power and mercy, you destroy war and put down earthly pride. Banish violence from our midst and wipe away our tears, that we may all deserve to be called your sons and daughters. Keep in your mercy those men and women who have died in the cause of freedom and bring them safely into your kingdom of justice and peace. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen." 

Note: Each year, the Archdiocese of Military Services broadcasts its Mass of Memorial to commemorate this occasion. To better protect public safety in light of COVID-19, the Archdiocese announced it would be delaying this year's Mass of Memorial until September 6.

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Michigan Catholic Conference, 510 South Capitol Avenue, Lansing, Michigan 48933 Michigan Catholic Conference: The Official Public Policy Voice of the Catholic Church in Michigan Phone: (517) 372-9310, Fax: (517) 372-3940, publicpolicy@micatholic.org