December 2, 2020  
  Election Updates  
  Election Results  
 

The Washington State Catholic Conference (WSCC) congratulates all who have been elected and re-elected to office in Washington state.  We look forward to working with you to serve the common good.  Local and federal election results for Washington state may be obtained from the Office of the Secretary of State.  To determine your legislative district, check the Washington State Legislature website.  Please note that current legislators are reflected on that website, and newly elected officials will assume office on January 11, 2021.
 
  Washington State Legislature to Convene January 11  
  The Washington State Legislature will convene January 11, 2021, and the legislative session will run for 105 days through April.  Be sure to check the Washington State Legislature website and the WSCC website for policy updates throughout the session.  During the legislative session the Catholic Advocacy Bulletin will be published weekly.  If you did not receive this bulletin directly, please join our network to receive updates via email.  
  Referendum 90 (R-90) Results  
  Thank you to the voters and advocates who worked to reject the new Comprehensive Sexual Health Education (CSHE) law, also known as SB 5395.  The diligent work of advocates resulted in a record number of signatures collected for R-90 in the spring.  While R-90 sought to overturn the CSHE law, Washingtonians voted in favor of the new CSHE law. The CSHE law will now be enacted.
 
  Life and Justice  
  USCCB Fall General Assembly  
 

On November 16-17 the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) convened the Fall 2020 General Assembly virtually.  Bishop Thomas Daly, bishop of the Diocese of Spokane and the Washington State Catholic Conference, was voted as the new chairman-elect of the Committee on Catholic Education.  The USCCB also selected seven other chairmen for standing committees, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) board members, and a new Secretary General.  More specifics may be found here.  Additionally, the full body of bishops passed three action items: approval of the 2021-2024 USCCB strategic plan, "Created Anew by the Body and Blood of Christ: Source of Our Healing and Hope"; renewal of the Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism; and the 2021 Proposed Budgets.
 
  The Moral Permissibility of COVID-19 Vaccines  
  The USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities issued guidance regarding the moral permissibility of COVID-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer Inc. and Moderna: "Neither the Pfizer nor the Moderna vaccine involved the use of cell lines that originated in fetal tissue taken from the body of an aborted baby at any level of design, development, or production."  At the same time, it was noted that there is a "relatively remote" connection of the vaccines to abortion.  One of the tests used by the companies to confirm that their vaccines work relied upon an abortion-tainted cell line.  The guidance also provides information about Catholic moral teaching related to vaccines.  
  USCCB Statement on Undocumented Immigrants and Congressional Apportionment  
 

Oral arguments were heard this week for Trump v. New York, the Supreme Court case challenging the administration's memorandum instructing that undocumented immigrants be excluded from the apportionment of US Congressional seats. Bishop Mario Dorsonville, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration, weighed in on the case in a statement, affirming the dignity of all human life: "The Church's teaching is clear: human dignity is most sacred, regardless of legal status.  For that reason, we once again affirm the need to count all persons in the census, as well as in the apportionment of congressional representatives."  Last month the USCCB also filed an amicus curiae brief on the case, along with other Catholic organizations.
 
   
   
  January Pro-Life Activities  
  As we remember the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision on January 22, there are a number of pro-life activities in January:
  • January 21-29:  9 Days for Life novena: Visit 9daysforlife.com to receive daily novena prayers and learn more about the protection of life. Additional information on planning pro-life activities at your parish may be found here.
  • January 22:  Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Children: Pray for the unborn on the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision.
  • January 24:  Walk for Life in Spokane, WA
  • January 28-29:  National Prayer Vigil for Life: This prayer vigil is held on the eve of the March for Life every year.  Due to the pandemic the vigil will be closed to the public but will be televised on EWTN
  • January 29:  National March for Life in Washington, DC
 
  USCCB Renews Call To End Executions  
 
As the federal government carried out another execution in November, USCCB chairmen of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities and the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development called for the administration to end federal executions.  In 2020 federal executions were resumed for the first time in 17 years.  Two executions are scheduled for December.  As the archbishops emphasized in their statement, "We are now on pace for ten federal executions in 2020, more than double the previous record of four in 1938." Click here to urge Attorney General Barr to end federal executions.  For more information on the death penalty visit the Catholic Mobilizing Network.
 
  Upcoming Events  
  Access Advent Resources and Reflections  
 


USCCB's Advent resources are available here.

Catholic Relief Services offers daily reflections of Scripture, quotes, and images filled with hope while reflecting on the needs of our displaced global family members.

Northwest Catholic will email weekly Advent inspirations.

The Catholic Mobilizing Network (CMN) provides a weekly reflection of the Sunday Gospel.  CMN advocates for the end of the death penalty and restorative justice.
 
  Save the Date: March 23 Virtual Catholic Advocacy Day  
  Save the date of March 23, 2021 for Catholic Advocacy Day (CAD).  This year CAD will be conducted virtually and will include opportunities to pray, meet with your legislators, and participate in a social media campaign.  
   
   
   
   
  Important Dates  
  December 5    Archdiocesan Our Lady of Guadalupe Mass, livestream at   
                       11 am
December 5    Simbang Gabi Mass, St. Peter Claver Catholic Church,
                       Diocese of Yakima at 5 pm
December 12  Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe
December 12  Archdiocese Simbang Gabi Commissioning Mass at 11 am  
                        via livestream
December 17  Pope Francis's Birthday
December 25  Christmas
January           January is Poverty Awareness Month
January 1        World Day of Peace
Jan 18-25        Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
Jan 21-29        9 Days for Life
January 22      Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Children
Jan 28-29        National Prayer Vigil for Life
January 29      National March for Life in Washington, DC
January 31      Catholic Schools Week begins
March 23         Virtual Catholic Advocacy Day

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