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USCCB President Appoints New Member of National Review Board

WASHINGTON - Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has appointed Dr. Julie H. Rubio to serve on the National Review Board (NRB). The NRB was established as part of the Charter for Protection of Children and Young People and advises the bishops’ Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People adopted by the U.S. bishops in 2002 to address allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy.

In his letter of appointment to Dr. Rubio, Archbishop Gomez emphasized the role of the National Review Board as playing “a vital role as a consultative body assisting the bishops in ensuring the complete implementation and accountability of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. As stated in the Charter, ‘The whole Church, especially the laity, at both the diocesan and national levels, needs to be engaged in maintaining safe environments in the Church for children and young people.’”

Dr. Rubio is a professor of Christian Social Ethics at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University. She is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Divinity School and earned a Ph.D. in Religion and Social Ethics from the University of California. She was a professor of Christian Ethics and Women’s and Gender Studies for 19 years at St. Louis University.

In addition to teaching and other speaking engagements, Dr. Rubio has an extensive list of publications she has authored, including several books and articles in professional journals. She has also investigated the ethics of sexual violence and participates in research on clerical sexual abuse.

Information on the National Review Board and its functions may be found at: National Review Board | USCCB.

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Media Contacts:
Chieko Noguchi or Miguel Guilarte
202-541-3200

View this release on the USCCB website.

USCCB President and Migration Chairman Statement on Arrival of Afghan Special Immigrant Visa Applicants

WASHINGTON—Since 2001, the United States has been involved in Afghanistan, and later Iraq, in military and a nation-building capacities. During that time, Afghan and Iraqi nationals have assisted U.S. troops, diplomats, and government humanitarian personnel in the region by providing translation, interpretation, security, transportation, and other vital services, often at great risk to themselves and their families. In 2006, the U.S. Congress first authorized a bipartisan humanitarian program to provide Special Immigrant Visas (SIV) for nationals from Afghanistan and Iraq that include resettlement services and legal permanent residence for the approved principal applicants, their spouses, and children.

Since the creation of the program, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Migration and Refugee Services (MRS) team has worked with the U.S. Department of State, the Office of Refugee Resettlement and other nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to provide resettlement services to some of the over 73,000 Afghan SIV holders and their families. The USCCB has also advocated periodically before Congress to extend and improve the program.

On July 14, the White House announced the emergency relocation of Afghan SIV applicants in their final stages of processing to the United States, in an effort aided by US Partners and MRS and its community partners. The first group arrived in the United States today.

Additionally, Congress passed a bipartisan emergency supplemental appropriations bill on July 29, which allocates over $1 billion for humanitarian support and assistance, authorizes an additional 8,000 visas for the SIV program, and makes certain changes to streamline the application process. This follows support from the USCCB on similar measures considered by Congress in recent weeks.

Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the USCCB, and Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of Washington and chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Migration, issued the following statement, responding to these events and welcoming the Afghans:

“We are proud to have the opportunity to welcome and assist those who have kept Americans safe in Afghanistan. By working with the United States, each of these individuals have put their lives and those of their family and friends at risk. As they now leave everything behind to begin new lives here, the many sacrifices they’ve made should not go unacknowledged.

“The Catholic Church teaches that each person is created in the image and likeness of God and that we must uphold the inherent dignity of every person. Our Holy Father, Pope Francis has emphasized welcoming the newcomer, saying it is ‘an invitation to overcome our fears so as to encounter the other, to welcome, to know and to acknowledge him or her. It is an invitation which offers the opportunity to draw near to the other and see where and how he or she lives.’

“The U.S. bishops, through Migration and Refugee Services, and together with Catholic Charities, are grateful for the opportunity to partner with the government and other NGOs to ensure the warm welcome, safe relocation, and resettlement of those who have already contributed greatly to our nation. We also applaud Congress for coming to an agreement on the emergency supplemental appropriations bill to help ensure that all Afghans who are in danger because they assisted the U.S. receive protection and welcome.”

Learn more about the work of the U.S. bishops on migration and the Special Immigrant Visa program.

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Media Contacts:
Chieko Noguchi or Miguel Guilarte
202-541-3200

U.S. Bishops’ Chairmen Respond to House Vote to Force Taxpayers to Fund Abortion Overseas 

WASHINGTON- On Wednesday evening, the House voted 217 to 212 in favor of H.R. 4373, the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (SFOPs) appropriations bill. H.R. 4373 excludes the Helms Amendment, which says that “no foreign assistance funds may be used to pay for the performance of abortion as a method of family planning or to motivate or coerce any person to practice abortions.”   

Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee for Religious Liberty, Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Bishop David J. Malloy of Rockford, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on International Justice and Peace, issued the following statement:    

"By eliminating the Helms Amendment, H.R. 4373 could force recipient countries that have strong legal and cultural opposition to abortion to embrace it in order to receive desperately needed help for their people. Pope Francis has referred to this type of situation as ideological colonization. Moreover, this legislation pays for abortions and abortion advocacy with the hard-earned tax dollars of Americans—75 percent of whom say their tax dollars should not be used to pay for abortion overseas. While this legislation contains many positive provisions that provide assistance to the poor and vulnerable worldwide, including protection of refugees, increases to humanitarian assistance, and protection of the environment, nothing can justify subsidizing the taking of innocent human life.  

We call on the Senate to stand against the coercive pro-abortion policies of H.R.4373 and for Congress to ultimately pass appropriations bills that respect conscience and the lives of all the vulnerable, both here and abroad.”  

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Media Contacts:
Chieko Noguchi or Miguel Guilarte
202-541-3200

U.S. Bishops’ Chairmen Respond to House Vote to Force Taxpayers to Fund Elective Abortions

WASHINGTON - Today, the House voted 219 to 208 in favor of H.R. 4502, a package of appropriations bills that currently excludes the 46-year-old Hyde Amendment and other longstanding, bipartisan provisions like the Weldon Amendment. Eliminating these provisions would force taxpayers to pay for elective abortions and would have the effect of forcing health care providers and professionals to perform and refer for abortion against their deeply-held beliefs, as well as forcing employers and insurers to cover and pay for abortion. 

Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee for Religious Liberty, and Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities, issued the following statement:  

“The House has voted in a way that is completely out of step with the will of the American people who overwhelmingly oppose taxpayer-funded abortion. The Hyde Amendment has saved at least 2.4 million lives since its enactment. Without it, millions of poor women in desperate circumstances will make the irrevocable decision to take the government up on its offer to end the life of their child. 

“To be certain, this bill includes provisions that help vulnerable people, including pregnant moms. As we have said before, ‘being “right” in such matters can never excuse a wrong choice regarding direct attacks on innocent human life.’ In truth, ‘the failure to protect and defend life in its most vulnerable stages renders suspect any claims to the “rightness” of positions in other matters affecting the poorest and least powerful of the human community.’[i]

“The injustice in HR 4502 extends to removing conscience protections and exemptions for healthcare providers who believe abortion is wrong, or whose faith drives them to serve and heal lives, instead of taking them.  

“Funding the destruction of innocent unborn human lives, and forcing people to kill in violation of their consciences, are grave abuses of human rights. We call on the Senate to redress this evil in H.R. 4502, and for Congress to ultimately pass appropriations bills that fully support and protect human dignity, and the most vulnerable among us.”


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Media Contacts:

Chieko Noguchi or Miguel Guilarte
202-541-3200


[i] United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Living the Gospel of Life, #22 (1998)

Statement on USCCB General Secretary

WASHINGTON - On Monday, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops became aware of impending media reports alleging possible improper behavior by its general secretary, Monsignor Jeffrey Burrill.

What was shared with us did not include allegations of misconduct with minors. However, in order to avoid becoming a distraction to the operations and ongoing work of the Conference, Monsignor Burrill has resigned, effective immediately.

The Conference takes all allegations of misconduct seriously and will pursue all appropriate steps to address them.

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Media Contact:
Chieko Noguchi
202-541-3200

Pope Francis Accepts Resignation of Bishop Randolph Calvo of the Diocese of Reno; Appoints Bishop Daniel Mueggenborg as Successor

WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Randolph R. Calvo from the pastoral governance of the Diocese of Reno and has appointed Bishop Daniel H. Mueggenborg, auxiliary bishop of Seattle, as Bishop of Reno. The appointment was publicized in Washington, D.C. on July 20, 2021, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Bishop Mueggenborg’s biography may be found here.

The Diocese of Reno is comprised of 70,852 square miles in the State of Nevada and has a total population of 734,093 of which 89,838 are Catholic.

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Media Contacts:
Chieko Noguchi or Miguel Guilarte
202-541-3200

U.S. Bishops’ Migration Chairman Urges Congress to Act After Court Ruling on DACA

WASHINGTON—On July 16, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas ruled the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to be unlawful. DACA allows certain undocumented individuals brought to the United States as children—known as Dreamers—to remain in the country. DACA provides temporary protection from deportation and grants work authorization; it does not create a pathway to citizenship. Not all Dreamers are eligible for DACA, nor have all DACA-eligible individuals received protection through the program. Today, there are approximately 650,000 active DACA recipients in the United States and around 3.6 million Dreamers total.

Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of Washington and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration, issued the following statement in response to the court’s ruling:

“While we are disappointed with this ruling, we know that DACA was never meant to be a permanent solution for Dreamers. This ruling is simply the most recent development in a long list of events warranting action by Congress. The Senate currently has multiple bills before it that would grant permanent relief to Dreamers, including the American Dream and Promise Act passed by the House of Representatives in March.

“Dreamers contribute to our economy, serve in our armed forces, and raise American families, but they are prevented from becoming full members of our society. All Dreamers, not just those receiving DACA, deserve the opportunity to achieve their God-given potential in the only country most of them have ever known. This is not only a matter of human dignity but also family unity, considering the 250,000 U.S.-citizen children with Dreamers as parents. Current DACA recipients continue to receive protection, but for how long?

“My brother bishops and I urge the Senate to join the House of Representatives in passing legislation that would provide legal status and a path to citizenship for all Dreamers. In doing so, we recall the words of Pope Francis: ‘Immigrants, if they are helped to integrate, are a blessing, a source of enrichment and new gift that encourages a society to grow.’”

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Media Contacts:
Chieko Noguchi or Miguel Guilarte
202-541-3200

U.S. Bishops’ President and International Justice and Peace Chairman Respond to Recent Events in Cuba

WASHINGTON – In response to the recent events in Cuba, Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and Bishop David J. Malloy of Rockford, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on International Justice and Peace, issued the following statement:

“As protests continue in Cuba and among the diaspora in the United States, we would like to express our solidarity, as well as that of our brother bishops in the United States, with our brothers in the Cuban episcopate, and with all men and women of goodwill in Cuba.

“As the Cuban bishops declared in their July 12 statement, ‘A favorable solution will not be reached by impositions, nor by calling for confrontation, but through mutual listening, where common agreements are sought and concrete and tangible steps are taken that contribute, with the contribution of all Cubans without exception, to the building-up of the Fatherland.’

“In the same spirit as the Cuban bishops, we urge the United States to seek the peace that comes from reconciliation and concord between our countries. For decades, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, in conjunction with the Holy See and the Cuban bishops, has called for robust cultural and commercial engagement between the United States and Cuba as the means to assist the island in achieving greater prosperity and social transformation.

“We pray that Our Lady of Charity, our mother, watches over her children in Cuba, and that, together, our countries can grow in friendship in the interests of justice and peace.”


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Media Contacts:
Chieko Noguchi or Miguel Guilarte
202-541-3200

 

U.S. Bishops Conference President Responds to Holy Father’s Apostolic Letter Motu Proprio “On the Use of the Roman Liturgy Prior to the Reform of 1970”

WASHINGTON – Earlier today, Pope Francis issued an apostolic letter, Traditionis custodes modifying the norms regulating the use of the 1962 Roman Missal issued before the reforms of the Second Vatican Council. Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued the following statement in response: 

Today Pope Francis published Traditionis custodes, an Apostolic Letter issued motu proprio on the use of Latin liturgical texts approved prior to the reform of 1970. I welcome the Holy Father’s desire to foster unity among Catholics who celebrate the Roman Rite.

“As these new norms are implemented, I encourage my brother bishops to work with care, patience, justice, and charity as together we foster a Eucharistic renewal in our nation.”

 

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Media Contacts:
Chieko Noguchi or Miguel Guilarte
202-541-3200

Bishop Chairmen Respond to Extreme Abortion Push in Appropriations Bill

WASHINGTON – This week, the House Committee on Appropriations will mark up the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) appropriations bill, which currently excludes the 46-year-old Hyde Amendment and other longstanding, bipartisan provisions including the Weldon Amendment. Eliminating these provisions would force taxpayers to pay for elective abortions and force health care providers and professionals to perform and refer for abortion against their deeply-held beliefs, as well as force employers and insurers to cover and pay for abortion.

Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee for Religious Liberty, and Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities, issued the following statement: 

This is the most extreme pro-abortion appropriations bill that we have seen, effectively mandating healthcare professionals to participate in abortion, and forcing American citizens to pay for abortion with their tax dollars. By eliminating the Hyde Amendment, and other Hyde-like policies, the financial fruits of Americans’ labor would advance the destruction of the smallest, most vulnerable humans. Eliminating the Weldon Amendment would be an egregious violation of conscience rights by forcing individuals and entities to perform, pay for, or otherwise participate in an abortion against their beliefs. Abortion is not healthcare nor a ‘human service’ to anyone.  Rather, abortion is inhumane.  It is a painful death to an innocent baby, and often leaves women physically harmed and emotionally devastated.

“We implore the House Committee on Appropriations to reverse course on these bills that currently expand taxpayer funding of abortion, and to restore the longstanding, bipartisan Hyde provisions and Weldon Amendment that have saved millions of lives and protected conscience rights. These bills include many other provisions and funding for critically-needed services that we support. Americans’ tax dollars should be used for the common good and welfare of all, not to finance abortion or force Americans to violate deeply-held beliefs.  

“Further, we ask all Catholics and all people of good will to contact their legislators and make their voices heard. The lives of millions of vulnerable children, and the well-being of their mothers, depend on our advocacy.”   

The Committee on Pro-Life Activities has sponsored a petition to legislators asking them to preserve the Hyde Amendment. All are encouraged to sign it at NoTaxpayerAbortion.com.

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Media Contacts:
Chieko Noguchi or Miguel Guilarte
202-541-3200