Advocacy News

Revised HHS Mandate Regulations Met With “Disappointment,” Says USCCB President

On Friday, August 22 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced it had issued revised guidelines to its mandate that requires employer health plans to provide for contraception, sterilization and drugs that can cause an abortion. Shortly after, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), released a statement saying the regulations would “effectively reduce, rather than expand, the scope of religious freedom.” Archbishop Kurtz also indicated a more detailed analysis of the revised policy would be forthcoming from USCCB. Read more…

Cardinal Edmund Szoka, Former Chairman of MCC Board of Directors, Has Died

His Eminence Edmund Cardinal Szoka, former Archbishop of Detroit and Chairman of the Michigan Catholic Conference Board of Directors from 1981–1990, died last night at the age of 86. "We mourn the loss of a dedicated shepherd," said current Detroit Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron, who had served as a priest under Cardinal Szoka in the 1980s. "For sixty years Cardinal Szoka gave himself totally to his priestly service of Christ and his Church. He has gone home to the Heavenly Father with our prayers. May the Lord give him the reward of his labors." Cardinal Szoka oversaw the Vatican City State under both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. He was made President of the Governatorate of Vatican City State in 1997, and president of the Vatican City State in 2001. Funeral arrangements for Cardinal Szoka are still pending. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. Requiescat in pace. Read more…

Unemployment Among Young People Focus of 2014 USCCB Labor Day Statement

WASHINGTON—The high unemployment rate of young adults, both in the United States and around the world, is the focus of the 2014 Labor Day Statement from the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami. The statement, dated September 1, draws on Pope Francis’ teaching against an “economy of exclusion” and applies it to the millions of unemployed young adults in the United States. “For those fortunate enough to have jobs, many pay poorly. Greater numbers of debt-strapped college graduates move back in with their parents, while high school graduates and others may have less debt but very few decent job opportunities,” wrote Archbishop Wenski. “Pope Francis has reserved some of his strongest language for speaking about young adult unemployment, calling it ‘evil,’ an ‘atrocity,’ and emblematic of the ‘throwaway culture.’” Read more…

MCC Op/Ed “Immigrant Children Deserve Security and Compassion”

Responding to the humanitarian crisis that is taking place with thousands of unaccompanied children crossing the U.S./Mexico border, MCC President and CEO Paul A. Long composed an opinion article for the Detroit Free Press urging security and compassion for the children. According to the article: “Frustration over failed immigration policy is understandable, but this is not the time to hold children accountable for a failed American border policy or a foreign country’s economic and political problems.” The article also highlights the work that is being undertaken by Catholic Charities and volunteers to assist migrants with food, shelter and medicine. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has also weighed in on the border crisis with a statement urging the administration to reconsider its policy of returning the children without proper due process. Click here to read the full Free Press op/ed article from Michigan Catholic Conference.…

The Word from Lansing Column: The Moral Urgency of Immigration Reform

In light of thousands of unaccompanied minors recently fleeing from areas of extreme poverty and violence to come to the United States, this month’s The Word from Lansing column focuses on the importance of policies that address family reunification and the root causes of migration. While the Catholic Church teaches that the nation has the right to secure its borders and enforce its laws, action must be taken to address a failing immigration system in a comprehensive way and respect the dignity of all human persons, citizen or foreigner. In 2011, the Michigan bishops released a statement on immigration and the guidelines for reform. Read more…

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