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Michigan Catholic Conference
(800) 395-5565
(517) 372-3940
510 S. Capitol Ave.
Lansing, MI 48933

The Word from Lansing

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.

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Freedom of Religion and the Value of Interfaith Collaboration

The freedom of religion has long been upheld in America as a right for every person, regardless of their religious beliefs. This month’s The Word from Lansing column focuses on the importance of defending religious freedom for all people, as well as the importance of coming together in interfaith collaboration to address pressing issues in society. Read more…

Close-up of a priest's hands as he places the Host in the palm of a parishioner

Taking Steps to Overcome Racism

Recognizing the dignity of every person, regardless of differences in race, ethnicity, or background, is a core element of the Catholic faith. Last month, after divisive speech and racially-motivated violence that left three dead in Charlottesville, Virginia, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) called for the creation of an Ad-Hoc Committee Against Racism. The new chairman of this committee, Most Reverend George Murry of Youngstown, Ohio, has challenged Catholics across the country to stand against racism and intolerance, accompanying statements of solidarity with concrete action. Read more…

Two Christo Rey students study together

Health and Safety Matter for All Michigan Students

In recent years, the Michigan Legislature has taken several steps to ensure the health and safety of all Michigan students, including the approval of $2.5 million to reimburse nonpublic schools for complying with state health and safety mandates. Unfortunately, legal pressure has challenged this funding, and opponents of the appropriation have articulated misleading information about nonpublic schools. The Word from Lansing column for August addresses these erroneous claims and highlights why Michigan should care for and protect students at all schools as a matter of fairness. A similar version of this column first ran in The Detroit News on July 26, 2017. Read more…

2017 Legislative Reception Invocation at the Michigan State Capitol

Promoting the Common Good—A Look Back

The Catholic Church and people of faith are called to meet and to serve those on the periphery of society. Throughout the 2017–2018 legislative session, the Michigan Catholic Conference has brought to the State Capitol a concern for those in need, seeking to protect human dignity and to uplift those who are struggling. The Word from Lansing column for July reflects on a number of MCC-supported policies that have been approved by lawmakers during the first half of this year. Read more…

Happy children running in a park

Raising Awareness About the Dignity of Children

All children have dignity, and the promotion of that dignity should be a critical priority in society. During the month of June, several days have been designated to raise awareness about threats to children, including the International Day of Innocent Child Victims of Aggression and the World Day Against Child Labor. In the last fifteen years, the Catholic Church has taken a leading role in efforts to protect young people and is continuing to take steps to improve safety in its institutions. In The Word from Lansing for June, Michigan Catholic Conference details more about this role and other legislative efforts to improve the situations of children and families. Read more…

Man using a forklift to move a pallet of bottled water at Catholic Charities of Shiawassee and Genesee Counties

Religious Freedom—An American Right for All

Early in May, a presidential Executive Order was signed to address religious liberty. One aspect of the Order directed the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to issue amended regulations regarding conscience-based objections to the HHS contraceptive mandate. Michigan Catholic Conference welcomed the shift in policy and encouraged discussions to continue to alleviate unnecessary restrictions on people and organizations of faith. The Word from Lansing for May discusses the freedom of these same individuals and organizations to serve others, motivated by their religious beliefs. The column also touches on the need for further action at all levels of government to protect conscience rights. Read more…

Friends showing support to a man with substance abuse problems

Confronting Michigan’s Growing Opioid Crisis

In 2016, Pope Francis described the deep wound drugs have inflicted on our society, calling addiction a “new form of slavery.” Far too many individuals, families, and communities across Michigan are struggling with the painful reality of opioid and prescription drug abuse. The Word from Lansing column for April outlines the impact of the opioid crisis on Michigan and speaks to the need for greater collaboration in combatting abuse and the problems underlying addiction. Read more…

Children in a classroom in Detroit

Promoting the Freedom to Serve Others

The Catholic Church offers education, health care, and social services to those in need, working to uplift the dignity of all who come through its doors. MCC recently produced three short films as part of a statewide television and digital project called Freedom to Serve. The effort addresses the right for Catholic organizations to provide services to the general public in accordance with their faith mission, without unnecessary or burdensome intervention from the government. Visit www.CatholicsServe.com to view the films and the two commercials on television this month. Read more…

Blueprint of the Michigan Capitol

A Blueprint for the Common Good

MCC continually seeks the adoption of policies at the State Capitol that defend the dignity of all and that serve Michigan’s people well, especially the poorest and most vulnerable. In February’s The Word from Lansing column, MCC President and CEO Paul Long discusses the Catholic Church’s rich history in the public realm and outlines the organization’s guiding advocacy principles for the 2017–2018 legislative session. Read more…

Michigan State Capitol Building

A Time to Reflect, a Time to Take Action

During the recent legislative session, Michigan elected officials approved conscience protections for faith-based child placement agencies, provided support to nonpublic schools for the cost of state health, safety, and welfare mandates, prohibited abortion coercion, and passed additional state energy assistance to help Michigan individuals and families, among other measures. Michigan Catholic Conference’s The Word from Lansing column for January highlights several public policy successes from the 2015–2016 legislative session, as well as the importance of continued engagement and action in the 2017–2018 legislative session at the State Capitol. Read more…

More The Word from Lansing

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For a complete list of all The Word from Lansing columns, please visit the archives.

Michigan Catholic Conference
(800) 395-5565
(517) 372-3940
510 South Capitol Avenue
Lansing, Michigan 48933
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