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CAN is an outreach of the Michigan Catholic Conference, the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in Michigan
January 22, 2021
 

  In This Update:  
 
  • On 48th Anniversary of Legalized Abortion, Take Action 
  • USCCB Comments on Inauguration of President Biden
  • MCC Issues Guiding "Blueprint" Document for 2021-2022 Advocacy
  • U.S. Bishops Welcome End of Immigration and Refugee Ban from Certain Countries
  • Catholic Leaders Hopeful with Announcement of U.S. to Rejoin Paris Climate Change Agreement
  • Michigan House of Representatives Names Committee Assignments 
 
  On 48th Anniversary of Legalized Abortion, Take Action  
 
Today, January 22, marks the 48th anniversary of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, which legalized abortion through all nine months of pregnancy. For Catholics, it is as critical as ever that we raise our voices against abortion, seek greater protection for the unborn, offer more wraparound support for mothers, and pray for all those impacted by abortion. Here are a few upcoming opportunities:
  • On Thursday, January 21, American Catholics began a nine-day series of prayers (also known as a novena) for the protection of human life. Each day's intention is accompanied by a short reflection and suggested actions to help build a culture of life. To find and share the prayers, reflections, and graphics from 9 Days for Life visit www.respectlife.org/9-days-for-life
     
  • For those who feel comfortable and are able to join, the Michigan March for Life will be held at 1:00 pm on Wednesday, January 27 at the State Capitol. Most Reverend Earl Boyea, the Bishop of the Diocese of Lansing, invites Michigan Catholics and people of goodwill to attend. Those who are not able to attend in-person can pray for the Michigan March for Life's intentions.
     
  • Participate virtually in the Nationwide Prayer Vigil for Life from January 28-29 or find other pro-life events taking place virtually across the United States over the next week.
     
  • Read about Walking With Moms in Need and explore ways to join the effort in your local area at www.walkingwithmoms.com/.
 
  USCCB Comments on Inauguration of President Biden  
 
On Wednesday, January 20, Joseph R. Biden, Jr. became the 46th President of the United States of America. Most Reverend José H. Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles and president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) offered prayers for President Biden and reaffirmed the Church's commitment to stand up for its values and the common good in the public realm.

"Our duty to love and our moral principles lead us to prudential judgments and positions that do not align neatly with the political categories of left or right or the platforms of our two major political parties. We work with every President and every Congress. On some issues we find ourselves more on the side of Democrats, while on others we find ourselves standing with Republicans. Our priorities are never partisan. We are Catholics first, seeking only to follow Jesus Christ faithfully and to advance his vision for human fraternity and community. I look forward to working with President Biden and his administration, and the new Congress. As with every administration, there will be areas where we agree and work closely together and areas where we will have principled disagreement and strong opposition...

At the same time, as pastors, the nation's bishops are given the duty of proclaiming the Gospel in all its truth and power, in season and out of season, even when that teaching is inconvenient or when the Gospel's truths run contrary to the directions of the wider society and culture. So, I must point out that our new President has pledged to pursue certain policies that would advance moral evils and threaten human life and dignity, most seriously in the areas of abortion, contraception, marriage, and gender. Of deep concern is the liberty of the Church and the freedom of believers to live according to their consciences."
Read the full statement here.
 
  MCC Issues Guiding "Blueprint" Document for 2021-2022 Advocacy  
 
Catholics are called to a life of charity and justice, which includes engagement in the democratic process and in decisions that impact local communities. In this spirit, Michigan Catholic Conference exists as the advocacy voice of the Church in Michigan, standing up for justice and dignity during the formation of statewide public policy. Within its February FOCUS publication, A Blueprint for the Common Good, MCC outlines ten principles that will inform the organization's upcoming work at the State Capitol during the 2021-2022 legislative session: 
  1. Human Life and Dignity
  2. Preferential Option for the Poor and Regulatory Policies
  3. Religious Liberty and the Freedom to Serve
  4. Education
  5. Children and Families
  6. Health Care
  7. Restorative Justice
  8. Immigration and Refugees
  9. Care for Creation
  10. Federal Issues
 
  U.S. Bishops Welcome End of Immigration and Refugee Ban from Certain Countries  
 
On Wednesday, January 20, President Joseph Biden issued a Proclamation reversing the Trump Administration's policy that prohibited immigrants and refugees from several Muslim-majority and African countries to come to America. In response, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops applauded the action with this statement:

"We welcome yesterday's Proclamation, which will help ensure that those fleeing persecution and seeking refuge or seeking to reunify with family in the United States will not be turned away because of what country they are from or what religion they practice. This policy reversal signifies the United States' renewed commitment to our vulnerable brothers and sisters around the world who are in need. It is important to remember that the United States has welcomed the newcomer and those suffering violence and religious persecution for more than 240 years. We look forward to working with this new Administration in accompanying immigrants and refugees and continuing the welcoming tradition, which has helped make the United States the diverse and prosperous nation it is today."

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops offers assistance to immigrants and refugees through its Migration and Refugee Services (MRS) Office. Learn more at www.usccb.org/committees/migration/resettlement-services.
 
  Catholic Leaders Hopeful with Announcement of US to Rejoin Paris Climate Change Agreement  
 
In 2015, 195 nations came together to sign the Paris Agreement, an international treaty aimed at addressing global climate change. It went into effect in November 2016, but the Trump administration withdrew the United States from the agreement. This week, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops commented on President Biden's decision for the United States to rejoin the Paris Agreement:

"It is our hope that the United States will not only seize this challenge to meet the goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, called for by the U.S. bishops in 2017, but also become the global climate leader by implementing successful policies that both preserve the environment and promote economic development through innovation, investment and enterprise. On the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement, Pope Francis called for 'a culture of care, which places human dignity and the common good at the center.' The environment and human beings everywhere, especially the poor and vulnerable, stand to benefit from the care of our common home. For this reason, we urge the United States to do more to help poorer nations adapt to the changes in climate that cannot be prevented. The Second Vatican Council asserted that 'nothing genuinely human fails to raise an echo in' the hearts of Christians. Climate change is a genuine human concern that affects all peoples, and the decision to rejoin the Paris Agreement is an important step in the path of care for the environment and respect for the human family."
 
  Michigan House of Representatives Names Committee Assignments  
 
Out of an abundance of caution for the safety of lawmakers, staff, and the public, legislative session was cancelled for this week due to credible threats of violence. However, the Michigan House of Representatives did release a list of committees that will meet over the next two years and consider legislation, as well as their chairmen and women. View that list here.

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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