Are you currently engaged in advocacy for our immigrant brothers and sisters? Are you interested in learning more to become a better advocate? You are invited to the annual Catholic Immigration Summit at Seattle University on Saturday, August 27. Register here. There is no registration fee to attend this conference, and a virtual option is also available. The WSCC's executive director, Mario Villanueva, will be presenting at the summit.
Election day is around the corner! Click here to register to vote or update your voter information. The 18-day voting period begins on October 21. Deposit your ballot by Tuesday, November 8 at 8 pm in an official ballot box, or be sure your ballot is postmarked by November 8 if sending it through the mail. Contact your country elections department to locate official ballot box locations near you. The USCCB offers Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility from the Catholic Bishops of the United States, a teaching document on the political responsibility of Catholics. The publication includes Church teachings on numerous public policy issues, including respecting life, promoting peace, economic justice, immigration, racial justice, caring for creation, religious liberty, and more.
This week the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) released a statement urging Congress to pass policies that support families and serve the common good. Specifically, the statement called for, ". . . all our elected officials to take action to reach consensus and pass an expanded child tax credit, a refundable adoption tax credit, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, a federal paid family leave policy, further supports for the health and well-being of pregnant and parenting women, assistance with nutrition and affordable housing, environmental restrictions on chemicals that cause birth defects, and provisions to assist low-income families." The bishops further note, "Care for creation is also integral to care for human life, and we encourage continued efforts to advance proposals that will protect our common home and promote the well-being of human life and the environment for years to come." Click here for additional background and to read the text of the statement.
This week Bishop Paul S. Coakley, Chair of the USSCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, wrote this letter to the Senate to encourage passage of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, which includes provisions to protect the environment and improve health care affordability. Click here to read the letter and learn more about the act.
Last week the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, Catholic Charities, Catholic Relief Services, and the Catholic Health Association signed this letter, urging passage of H.R. 6552, the "Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act of 2022." This bill includes measures to combat human trafficking and assist survivors. Ending human trafficking and assisting impacted individuals are legislative priorities of the WSCC.
At the 19th Plenary Assembly of the Symposium of Episcopal Conference of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM), Bishop David J. Malloy of Rockford, chair of the USCCB Committee on International Justice and Peace, announced the release of a new document, A Renewed Call to Solidarity with Africa, recommitting the Church's solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Africa. A prayer and resource action guide to accompany the document may be found here.
Proposed regulation revisions to Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act create religious liberty concerns for Catholic health care organizations and Catholic providers. The proposed revisions would force Catholic health care organizations and workers to perform elective abortions and gender transition procedures. Read the USCCB response here. Further USCCB resources on religious liberty concerns about action from the current Administration may be found on this USCCB webpage. Visit the site to learn more and receive action alerts related to executive agency regulations that conflict with religious freedom.
The 108th World Day of Migrants and Refugees is September 25. Pope Francis' message to mark the day, "Building the Future with Migrants and Refugees," may be found here. Visit the USCCB's Justice for Immigrants website to learn more about Catholic Social Teaching on migration and the Church's work to advocate for immigrants.
October is Respect Life Month, a time to build a culture of life, pray for the unborn, and serve mothers and families in need. Access resources for individuals and parishes here. Learn about accompanying and serving families in need through the Pregnancy and Parenting Support (PREPARES) program. PREPARES is a nurturing response of the Catholic community in Washington state providing meaningful, local and sustainable support to mothers, fathers, and families as they nurture their children through pregnancy and early childhood. Respect Life Month is also an opportune time to learn about and support local pro-life pregnancy resource centers in your area.