Lansing Update
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CAN is an outreach of the Michigan Catholic Conference, the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in Michigan
July 17, 2020

  In This Update:  
  • Continued Action Needed to Support Catholic Schools
  • The Word from Lansing: Do Justice, Love Goodness, and Walk Humbly 
  • Federal Executions Resume: Speak Out Against the Death Penalty
  • USCCB Opposes Proposed Rule Eliminating Protection for Asylum Seekers
  • Learn About "Walking with Moms in Need" Initiative
  Continued Action Needed to Support Catholic Schools  
Earlier this week, Michigan Catholic Conference (MCC) called for individuals across the state to email their federal Senators and Representatives, urging any new COVID-19 emergency relief passed at the federal level to consider the needs of nonpublic schools-including Catholic schools-and families who attend them. Thank you to the hundreds who have already acted on this critical issue. 
  The Word from Lansing: Do Justice, Love Goodness, and Walk Humbly  
Discussions around the country regarding race, injustice, and police reform provide critical opportunities for mutual understanding and positive change. Within these discussions, Catholics and other people of faith must be willing to move beyond the rhetoric, to listen to one another, and to truly address the root causes of racism. The Word from Lansing column for July highlights the important role the Catholic community can play in efforts to combat racism. 
  Federal Executions Resume: Speak Out Against the Death Penalty  
In 2019, the U.S. bishops approved a new guidance on capital punishment, saying that "the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person" (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2267). In 2015, Pope Francis spoke out against the practice, recognizing that it does not provide victims with justice "but rather foments revenge." Sadly, in spite of this reality, the Administration has resumed federal executions for the first time in seventeen years. Attorney General William Barr scheduled four executions for death row inmates this month. Two have already taken place. People of faith have the opportunity to remind society that the value of the human person is not destroyed when a crime is committed. 
  • Take a few minutes to raise your pro-life voice now and urge Attorney General William Barr to stop the executions, which undermine human dignity. Thank you for your action.
  USCCB Opposes Proposed Rule Eliminating Protection for Asylum Seekers  
On June 15, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Department of Justice issued new proposed rules on asylum, which would impact individuals seeking refugee status in this country. Among other aspects, the proposed rules would 1) allow immigration judges to summarily deny applications before the asylum-seeker sees a judge; 2) redefine the term "particular social group" in asylum law to effectively eliminate asylum for those fleeing domestic violence or gangs; and raise standards for initial asylum interviews. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) highlighted the negative impact the proposed rule would have on asylum seekers:

"These proposed asylum regulations will have devastating consequences for those seeking protection in the United States who are fleeing domestic violence or persecution from gangs in their home countries. The Catholic Church teaches us to look at the root causes of migration, poverty, violence, and corruption. Pope Francis reminds us that 'we must . . . keep our eyes open ..., keep our hearts open ..., to remind everyone of the indispensable commitment to save every human life, a moral duty that unites believers and non-believers.' We cannot turn our backs on the vulnerable."
  • These new rules are not final. A public comment period is currently underway and will end on July 15. Comments have been submitted by the USCCB.
  Learn About "Walking with Moms in Need" Initiative  
This year, the U.S. Catholic bishops have launched a year of service focused on mothers. Through this initiative, Catholic parishes and communities are encouraged to "walk in the shoes" of local women in need who are pregnant or in the process of parenting. The goal of the year is to assist moms in difficult circumstances whenever possible. That assistance includes referring moms to local pregnancy or parenting resources where they exist or creating new resources, based on the gifts of the parish community in that area. 
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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,