Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, communities have recognized the important role water plays in protecting community health. As a result, Michigan implemented early pauses to water shutoffs throughout the state through an executive order, especially to encourage and facilitate frequent handwashing. State lawmakers passed legislation, which MCC supported, to again implement this temporary assistance measure for residents.
The Word from Lansing is a regular column written by Michigan Catholic Conference (MCC) staff for Catholic news outlets. Through these columns, MCC outlines current advocacy issues of importance to the Conference and discusses the Catholic position and role in the political process. This publication complements the more regular updates provided by Michigan Catholic Conference’s Catholic Advocacy Network.
Within the Catholic Church, all are called to care for one another and to protect one another from harm. Sadly, a recent report released by the Vatican about abuse reminds of the need to be vigilant. In light of the report’s release, MCC has written a new column to share many of the protocols that have been implemented in the Church over the past two decades to protect against and to report incidents of abuse. MCC’s Word from Lansing column also calls leaders and lay members to action, as all are needed in the work to create safe environments.
On Tuesday, November 3, Michiganders will participate in the 2020 Election. The Church does not endorse candidates, but it highlights the Catholic responsibility to be active in the public realm, including through voting. As Catholics consider their voting choices, they are called to consider candidate positions on a wide range of issues important to the common good, while also weighing each according to its moral importance. As the U.S. bishops outline, all issues do not bear the same moral weight on one’s conscience.
Together, people of faith have the opportunity to elevate the tone of political discussions and contribute to a greater sense of civility this election season. The Word from Lansing column for September addresses the importance of committing to such actions, especially through the nonpartisan Civilize It campaign. It also highlights resources to help Catholics prepare for voting, including ten insights from Catholic saints that apply to action in the public realm.
Over the summer, Michiganders have faced many challenges. Recent circumstances have highlighted the need for continued advocacy, especially regarding the concerns of those who are vulnerable or struggling in society. In The Word from Lansing for August, MCC shares why faith and action are critical in supporting the state’s women and children, assisting nonpublic school families, and fighting against expansions to the payday lending system.
Discussions around the country regarding race, injustice, and police reform provide critical opportunities for mutual understanding and positive change. Within these discussions, Catholics must be willing to move beyond the rhetoric, to listen to one another, and to truly address the root causes of racism.
In May, Catholics celebrated the five-year anniversary of Pope Francis’s encyclical, Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home. The document called for people of faith to respect the dignity of nature and of all living creatures. The Word from Lansing column highlights several themes articulated in the encyclical, their relevance today, and resources to help Michigan Catholics live out this teaching.
Over the past few months, federal and state lawmakers have passed a variety of aid packages in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These bills have included support for hospitals, food assistance, unemployment benefits, schools, and small businesses, among other aspects. The Word from Lansing for May explains the recent legislation, as well as encourages Michiganders to reflect upon their shared responsibility for one another.
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has reemphasized the importance of civility and actions that care for one another. Leading up to the November election, Catholics will have many additional opportunities to exercise civility and care as they engage in discussions that are critical for the country. This election season, the U.S. bishops encourage participation in “Civilize It,” a nonpartisan campaign to treat all with dignity and kindness.
A bill before state lawmakers would allow payday lenders to offer $2,500 loans, up from the $600 limit. During this difficult time of the Coronavirus outbreak, MCC remains concerned about HB 5097, which would trap struggling Michiganders in a cycle of debt. The Word from Lansing highlights issues with expanding payday lending, as well as the importance of focusing on alternatives that improve financial literacy.