Advocacy

News Releases

Raise the Age Legislation Seeks a ‘Smart’ Approach to Juvenile Crime

Michigan would join 41 other states in the country that no longer automatically prosecute 17-year-olds as adults for a crime committed, according to legislation before the House Criminal Justice Committee supported by Michigan Catholic Conference. The multi-bill package, which would also prohibit juveniles from being housed with adult prisoners, is supported by both Republicans and Democrats and pursues a “smart on crime” approach to criminal justice. This legislation takes into account U.S. Supreme Court decisions such as Roper v. Simmons, Graham v. Florida, and Miller v. Alabama, which recognize academic and scientific research showing the differences in cognitive development between juveniles and adults. The legislation also seeks to provide greater rehabilitation services to youth who have committed crimes. “Where possible, efforts should be made to rehabilitate juvenile offenders and present an opportunity for youth to positively contribute to their communities upon release,” said Michigan Catholic Conference Vice President for Public Policy and Advocacy Tom Hickson. Read more…

Catholic Church in Michigan Stands Ready to Assist Refugees

This past weekend following the terrorist attacks overseas Governor Rick Snyder issued a directive suspending Michigan’s effort to accept new refugees to the state. Gov. Snyder highlighted his priority to “protect the safety of our residents” and that state leaders will be in dialogue with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security regarding security and future resettlement efforts. Michigan Catholic Conference President and CEO Paul A. Long responded today to the Governor’s direction by articulating the Church's readiness to continue assisting refugees and the most vulnerable once resettlement continues. Read more…

U.S. Supreme Court Will Hear Non-Profit Arguments Against HHS Mandate

This afternoon the United States Supreme Court announced it has agreed to hear arguments from non-profit religious organizations opposed to the mandated requirements of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to include morally objectionable services — including abortifacients and contraceptives — in their employee health benefit plan. As a separate litigant against the federal government on this matter, Michigan Catholic Conference offered the following response to today’s news from the Supreme Court: “We are very pleased that the nation’s highest court will hear from non-profit organizations as to how their First Amendment rights are being violated by this burdensome mandate. Michigan Catholic Conference looks forward to the day this matter is resolved in a manner that fully protects the rights of faith-based institutions to operate according to their conscience.” Read more…

Advocacy News

The Word from Lansing Column: Standing Up Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

In May, Pope Francis asked Catholics to join with him in prayer for the dignity of women to be respected in all aspects of life. He also urged individuals to condemn sexual violence against women. Unfortunately, too many in Michigan struggle against sexual and domestic violence in their lives, both women and men. In 2014, the Michigan State Police reported 3,016 victims of sexual assault, with women accounting for 97% of the victims, and 91,147 victims of domestic violence, with women accounting for 71% of the victims. This month’s column for Catholic newspapers, The Word from Lansing, focuses on recent bipartisan legislative actions to address sexual assault and domestic violence. These measures, supported throughout the legislative process by Michigan Catholic Conference (MCC), have the tools to assist victims, better protecting their privacy and holding those who commit such offenses accountable for their actions. Read more…

The Word from Lansing Special Edition: Just Governance: A Lesson in Loving Our Neighbors

Each month, Michigan Catholic Conference’s President and CEO Paul Long writes a column for Catholic newspapers about a current issue of interest to Catholics across the state. This month’s The Word from Lansing, however, is a special edition piece, written by another MCC staff member who recently traveled to Panchgani, India. While there, she participated in a forum on just governance and working with the marginalized, as well as visited a local convent and school run by the Catholic Daughters of the Cross. This month’s piece is about her experiences in Panchgani and the importance of listening to and loving one’s neighbor. During this Year of Mercy, Pope Francis has continued to highlight ways to listen to the needs of those who are vulnerable or ignored in society, and he has called for all people of goodwill be an example of mercy and love to those in the community around them. Read more…

Pope Francis Releases Apostolic Exhortation on Love in the Family

Pope Francis has issued a new apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love). The purpose of this document is to communicate the pope’s conclusions from recent synods on marriage and the family to the Catholic Church as a whole. First, in October 2014, Catholic bishops from around the world came together for a synod on “the pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelization.” Then, in October 2015, the bishops met to discuss “the vocation and mission of the family the Church and in the contemporary world.” Amoris Laetitia incorporates the discussions and recommendations of these two events, with a particular emphasis on love and what it means in the day-to-day reality of marriage and family life. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) welcomed the new document and encouraged all Catholics to take the time to read the exhortation. Bishop Richard Malone of Buffalo, NY, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, called the document “an inspirational aid” to those accompanying couples, both in their marriage preparation and throughout their married life. Read more…

Lansing Update

Lansing Update, May 27, 2016

ACTION NEEDED! Protect the Health and Safety of All Michigan Students; MCC Case Against Federal HHS Mandate Returns to Lower Court; Termination of Parental Rights Bill Headed to Governor’s Desk; Coercive Abortion Prevention Act One Step Away From Becoming Law; Senate Committee Considers and Approves Criminal Justice Measures; Domestic Violence Bills to Modify Cell Phone Plan Pass House Committee; MCC Opposes Legislation That Limits Energy Choice; Bill Before Michigan Senate; USCCB Offers New Video On Behalf of the Federal Conscience Protection Act. Read more…

Lansing Update, May 20, 2016

USCCB President Reacts to Supreme Court Decision on HHS Mandate; The Word from Lansing: Standing Up Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault; Revenue Estimating Conference Forecasts Lower Than Expected Revenues; House Members Approve, Send Human Trafficking Expungement Bills to Senate; Bill Terminating Parental Rights Passes Senate With Unanimous Support. Read more…

Lansing Update, May 13, 2016

MCC Emphasizes Need to Keep All Michigan Students Safe and Healthy; House Passes Bill Regarding the Role of Successor Judges in Parole Decisions; Reciprocity for Foreign Drivers Licenses Measure Amended, Passed by House; USCCB Blog Highlights 10 Tips from Pope Francis to Improve Dialogue. Read more…