Michigan Catholic Conference (MCC) is echoing the call this week from our U.S. bishops to all the faithful to redouble efforts to pray, fast, and offer up sacrifices for a just decision in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization U.S. Supreme Court case after a draft opinion in the case leaked out to the public this week.
Furthermore, MCC and the U.S. bishops are also calling for a continued effort by all Catholics to support women in difficult pregnancies, regardless of whatever final decision comes from the Supreme Court.
The leaked draft indicated a majority of justices on the Supreme Court are considering support of a proposed ruling that would fully overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that allowed for nationwide access to abortion.
However, the draft opinion - which has been labeled authentic by the Supreme Court - is by no means final, as the opinion could change, and so could the votes cast by the justices. No decision is final until it is officially released by the court.
With that in mind, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) earlier this week said the leaked opinion "reminds us of the urgent need for prayer and action at this pivotal moment in our country."
The U.S. bishops earlier this year also urged all dioceses, parishes, Catholic agencies and institutions "to redouble our efforts to accompany women and couples who are facing unexpected or difficult pregnancies, and during the early years of parenthood, offering them loving and compassionate care."
Now, more than ever, the Church must advocate for and live out a vision for our society in which the legal protection of human life is accompanied by profound care for mothers and their children.
We must continue to pray, fast and work toward making sure all human life enjoys legal protection. We must remain vigilant against future attacks on human life, through the legislative process, the ballot box or the court room. Some of those attacks have already started, signaling that the work to build up a social order that respects human life is never finished.
And we must continue our commitment to care for the mothers most in need, from pregnancy to birth and beyond, and demonstrate to women they do not need to live in fear, but rather to know their lives are sacred and must be protected and honored alongside their children.
Access to decent housing is a human right, the Catholic Church proclaims, and one reason why MCC is supporting a $1.65 billion proposed investment to improve Michiganders' access to affordable and healthy homes.
The $1.65 billion proposal backed by a coalition known as MI Affordable, Healthy Homes is intended to ensure all Michiganders have access to affordable, healthier housing options that are also easier on the environment.
Coalition leaders today on a press call this week talked about why housing is a big issue in Michigan: People are paying more to rent, buy and live in their homes than ever before. Many low-and moderate-income Michiganders are living in substandard housing with lead paint, inadequate insulation, asbestos and other harmful conditions.
MCC works closely with St. Vincent de Paul societies -- charitable volunteer groups who work directly with people in need -- and they've said housing is almost unanimously the largest need in every community.
"Having the security to live in a stable, healthy home is a basic need and it is so crucial to work, to go to school and to protect your family," said Tom Hickson, vice president of public policy and advocacy for MCC, who was one of the panelists on the MI Affordable, Healthy Homes press call this week.
Hickson pointed out in his comments that people are forced to live in substandard housing, motels, cars or in unsafe situations for their family if they can't afford better homes or rising rent costs at all.
He also cited a University of Michigan Poverty Solutions report that said 2.2% of Michigan's K-12 age students are homeless. In some rural counties over ten percent of students are homeless.
"This is unacceptable," Hickson said.
For more information and how you can encourage our elected officials to improve access to affordable and healthy homes through this proposal, visit the coalition website.
The legislation would set up an Opioid Advisory Commission, consisting of experts with experience in substance abuse prevention, health care, mental health, law enforcement or similar fields.
The commission would be tasked with reviewing initiatives related to education, prevention, treatment and services for those affected by substance use and their families, in order to recommend to the Legislature how best to use the funds.
The Governor this week announced 150 schools will receive $10 million in state school safety grants. Of that amount, $1.2 million is going to nonpublic schools, of which $527,000 was allocated to 17 Catholic schools. Here's the full list.