Perspectivas: Impulso para proteger a los “Soñadores” (Dreamers); Avanza proyecto de ley de abortos químicos

Beneficiarios de DACA – Manteniendo vivo el sueño americano

Desde el 2012, el programa de Acción Diferida para personas llegadas en la infancia, o DACA (por sus siglas en inglés), ha concedido permisos de trabajo y protección contra la deportación a jóvenes inmigrantes indocumentados que llegaron al país cuando eran niños. Hoy, más de un cuarto de los 800,000 beneficiarios de DACA, a quienes frecuentemente se les llama “Soñadores” (Dreamers), viven en California. Aunque hayan llegado a los Estados Unidos por distintos caminos, su dedicación a las comunidades donde viven es muy similar.

(Baje un archivo PDF de este artículo apto para utilizarse como encarte en el boletín  o para enviar mensaje al Congreso.)

Uno de esos Soñadores (Dreamers) es Jesús Limón, que fue traído a los EE.UU. desde México cuando tenía ocho años de edad. Limón ha dicho que sus años de crianza en California estuvieron repletos de momentos de temor e incertidumbre debido a su estatus migratorio. Pero Limón atribuye a su fe en Dios la fortaleza que le ayudó a superar los tiempos difíciles.

Él también cree que el poder aportar a la comunidad es de capital importancia. En el pasado, Limón trabajó como redactor profesional de subvenciones y como instructor voluntario. “He entendido cómo la alfabetización puede potenciar a las comunidades,” dijo. Después de que se promulgó DACA, Limón obtuvo su título de Maestría y empezó a trabajar como profesor asistente y ponente de la materia de inglés en las universidades del área de Sacramento.  “Hubo un cambio enorme en cuanto a mi situación económica,” dijo.

Continúe leyendo

 

No hay grandes sorpresas en el presupuesto que el Gobernador propone

Al anunciar las últimas propuestas para el presupuesto, de sus cuatro términos como Gobernador del Estado Dorado, el Gobernador Jerry Brown parece mezclar los ahorros con inversiones y está garantizando su legado a la vez que “ata” los cabos sueltos.

En lo que para él ha sido típico últimamente, el Gobernador ha advertido que la actual recuperación económica pronto podría convertirse en una de las más largas de la historia del Estado, pero que la recuperación no puede durar eternamente.

Sumando a la cantidad ordenada por los votantes en la Proposición 2, añadió $3,5 mil millones al fondo de ahorros para los malos tiempos, lo cual llevará a cumplir su meta 100 por ciento para finales del año 2019.  El Gobernador hizo la observación de que la nueva ley Federal de impuestos aumentó la incertidumbre para el futuro fiscal del Estado, justificando así su contribución suplementaria a ese fondo.  

En lo que equivale a una estrategia de “mantenimiento”, el Gobernador Brown destacó un aumento en los fondos para la educación de los niveles K-12; una continuación en los fondos para el seguro médico para los niños y programas de Medi-Cal, no obstante la incertidumbre que existe a nivel nacional; e “inversión” en los campos como la infraestructura (Por ejemplo, el mantenimiento de las carreteras a través del nuevo impuesto sobre la gasolina), las líneas ferroviarias de alta velocidad que él caracteriza como mejorías en el corredor para “las personas que viajan diariamente a sus trabajos de una ciudad a otra’ y programas de vivienda que la legislatura aprobó el año pasado.

Continúe leyendo

 

Avanza proyecto de ley de abortos químicos en los planteles universitarios

Continuando su campaña para promover el aborto, los partidarios del proyecto de ley SB 320 (Leyva, D-Chino) pasaron su proyecto sin impedimentos por el Consejo de Educación del Senado esta semana y el mismo ahora se dirige al Consejo de Asignación de Fondos del Senado. Este proyecto de ley requeriría que los centros de salud localizados en los planteles de las universidades públicas, en California, ofrezcan fármacos para inducir el aborto o que obtengan transporte para que las estudiantes sean llevadas a un proveedor de abortos cercano.

Pulse aquí para enviar una carta dirigida a su Senador estatal de California para decirle que nunca debería haber un incentivo  para abortar a una criatura, y que usted se opone a este proyecto de ley tendencioso.  Pulse aquí para mayor información sobre el proyecto SB 320.

Obispos emprenden campaña de “9 Días por la Vida” el 18 de enero

 

El 18 de enero, la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de los EE.UU.  emprenderá la campaña nacional de “9 Días por la Vida” haciendo un llamado a los católicos y a los fieles para que se unan en una “peregrinación digital” de 9 días enfocada en la valoración del don de la vida humana desde el momento de la concepción hasta la muerte natural.

 

Vea una lista de importantes acontecimientos relacionados a la vida por celebrarse próximamente en California.

 

La campaña abarca la Jornada de Oración para la Protección Legal de los Niños Aún No Nacidos , la cual tiene lugar en el aniversario de la decisión de la Corte Suprema, Roe v. Wade—la cual legalizó el aborto en los Estados Unidos durante todo el embarazo. Se les pide a los participantes que oren y que participen en una gestión unificada centrada en la intención específica del día y podrán subscribirse para recibir mensajes diarios enwww.9daysforlife.com. Los materiales para los líderes, incluyendo dossier de prensa, disponibles en www.usccb.org/9-days-for-life-toolkit

 

Obispos se pronuncian sobre la terminación del programa TPS para los salvadoreños

El 8 de enero, el Departamento de Seguridad Nacional (Department of Homeland Security – DHS) anunció que dará por terminado el Estatus de Protección Temporal (TPS, por sus siglas en inglés) para El Salvador. TPS es un programa migratorio humanitario autorizado estatutariamente, temporal, y renovable, que permite a las personas permanecer y trabajar legalmente en los EE.UU. durante un periodo en que se considera es peligroso para sus ciudadanos regresar a ese país. La gran mayoría de los beneficiarios del TPS en los EE.UU. son salvadoreños.

En una declaración publicada, el Arzobispo José H. Gómez lamentó las graves injusticias que esta decisión inducirá diciendo: “Ahora estas familias enfrentan una difícil decisión sobre su futuro — ya sea permanecer juntos y regresarse a El Salvador para posiblemente enfrentar la violencia y la explotación o separarse, posiblemente de manera permanente, para que los niños puedan quedarse aquí, en un entorno seguro, con todos los beneficios de ser ciudadanos de los EE.UU.”.

“Esta es una elección inhumana que nadie tendría que hacer,” dijo.

Actualmente hay 200,000 residentes con estatus de TPS viviendo en los EE.UU., que tienen a 193,000 hijos que son ciudadanos de los EE.UU.

Según el Obispo Kevin Vann de la Diócesis de Orange, “Esta es una decisión más, mal planteada, de una administración que hace caso omiso de las enormes contribuciones que los inmigrantes han hecho a nuestro país y que ha perdido de vista la larga historia de los Estados Unidos de ser un refugio seguro para las personas que huyen del peligro en el extranjero”.  

Continúe leyendo

 12 de enero de 2018
Tomo 11, No. 2

Article source: http://www.cacatholic.org/espanol/perspectivas/perspectivas-impulso-para-proteger-los-%E2%80%9Cso%C3%B1adores%E2%80%9D-dreamers-avanza-proyecto-de

Insights: Push to Protect Dreamers; Chemical Abortion Bill Advances

DACA Recipients – Keeping the American Dream Alive

Since 2012, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, has granted work permits and protection from deportation to young undocumented immigrants who arrived to the U.S. as children. Today, more than a quarter of DACA’s 800,000 recipients, often referred to as “Dreamers,” live in California. Although their paths to the United States may have been different, the dedication to the community in which they live is quite similar.

(Download a PDF file of this story suitable for use as a bulletin insert or send a message to Congress.)

One such Dreamer is Jesus Limón, who was brought to the U.S. from Mexico when he was eight-years-old. Limón said his time growing up in California was filled with moments of fear and uncertainty due to his residency status. But, Limón credits his faith in God for helping him through hard times.

He also believes giving back to the community is paramount. In the past, Limón worked as a grant writer and as a volunteer tutor. “I learned the way literacy can empower communities,” he said. After DACA was enacted, Limón earned his Master’s degree and began working as an Assistant Professor and English Lecturer at Sacramento area colleges.  “There was a tremendous shift in terms of economics,” he said.

Continue Reading

 

No Big Surprises in Governor’s Budget Proposal

Governor Jerry Brown, announcing the final budget proposals of his four terms as Governor of the Golden State, appears to be mixing savings with investing and insuring his legacy while “wrapping up” loose ends.

In what has been typical for him of late, the Governor cautioned that the current economic recovery might soon become one of the longest in the State’s history but that recoveries do not last forever. 

In addition to the amount mandated by voters in Prop 2, he added $3.5 billion to the rainy day fund which will bring it to 100 percent of its target by the end of 2019.  The new Federal tax law added uncertainty to the State’s fiscal future noted the Governor, in further justifying the supplemental contribution to the fund.

In what amounts to a “maintenance” approach, Governor Brown highlighted increased funding for K-12 education; continued funding for the Children’s Health Insurance and Medi-Cal programs despite the uncertainty at the national level; and “investment” in such areas as infrastructure (e.g. road maintenance through the new gas tax), high-speed rail which he characterizes as “commuter’ corridor enhancements and housing programs which the legislature approved last year.

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College Chemical Abortion Bill Advances

In the continuing quest of advocates to promote abortions, SB 320 (Leyva, D-Chino) cleared the Senate Education Committee this week and is headed to the Senate Appropriations Committee. This bill would require the on-campus health centers of public universities in California to offer abortion-inducing medication or arrange transportation for students to a nearby abortion provider.

Click here to send a letter to your California State Senator and tell him or her that there should never be an incentive to abort any child, and that you oppose this one-sided bill.  Click here for more information on SB 320.

 

Bishops Launch “9 Days of Life” Campaign on Jan. 18

On January 18, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will launch the national “9 Days for Life” campaign calling Catholics and the faithful together for a 9-day “digital pilgrimage” focusing on cherishing the gift of human life from conception to natural death.

View a list of the major life events upcoming in California.

The campaign surrounds the annual Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children, which occurs on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade—the Supreme court decision that made abortion legal in the United States throughout pregnancy. Participants are called to both prayer and action unified around each day’s specific intention and can subscribe to receive daily messages atwww.9daysforlife.com. Leaders’ resources, including a press kit, are available at www.usccb.org/9-days-for-life-toolkit

 

Bishops Speak Out on Salvadorian TPS Termination

On January 8th, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it is terminating Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for El Salvador. TPS is a temporary, renewable, and statutorily authorized humanitarian migration program that permits individuals to remain and work lawfully in the U.S. during a period in which it is deemed unsafe for nationals of that country to return home. The vast majority of TPS recipients in the U.S. are Salvadoran.

In a released statement, Archbishop José H. Gomez lamented the travesties this decision will induce saying, “Now these families face a hard decision about their future — either stay together and go back to El Salvador to face likely violence and exploitation or separate possibly permanently so that the children can remain here in safety, with all the benefits of U.S. citizenship.”

“This is an inhumane choice that no one should have to make,” he said.

There are currently 200,000 residents with TPS status living in the U.S. who have 193,000 children who are U.S. citizens.

According to Bishop Kevin Vann of the Diocese of Orange, “This is yet another ill-conceived decision by an administration that ignores the immense contributions to our country by immigrants and that has lost sight of the United States’ long history as a safe haven for people who flee danger abroad.”

Continue Reading

 January 12, 2018
Vol. 11, No. 2

Article source: http://www.cacatholic.org/insights-push-protect-dreamers-chemical-abortion-bill-advances

Bishops Speak Out on Salvadorian TPS Termination

On January 8th, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it is terminating Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for El Salvador. TPS is a temporary, renewable, and statutorily authorized humanitarian migration program that permits individuals to remain and work lawfully in the U.S. during a period in which it is deemed unsafe for nationals of that country to return home. The vast majority of TPS recipients in the U.S. are Salvadoran.

In a released statement, Archbishop José H. Gomez lamented the travesties this decision will induce saying, “Now these families face a hard decision about their future — either stay together and go back to El Salvador to face likely violence and exploitation or separate possibly permanently so that the children can remain here in safety, with all the benefits of U.S. citizenship.”

“This is an inhumane choice that no one should have to make,” he said.

There are currently 200,000 residents with TPS status living in the U.S. who have 193,000 children who are U.S. residents.

According to Bishop Kevin Vann of the Diocese of Orange, “This is yet another ill-conceived decision by an administration that ignores the immense contributions to our country by immigrants and that has lost sight of the United States’ long history as a safe haven for people who flee danger abroad.”

Vann, who also serves as chairman of the board of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. continued, “The administration fails to address how it makes the United States any safer to expel people who have been living and working legally as valued residents of our country. Instead of withdrawing their protections, our government should welcome these long-term, settled members of our communities and find ways to give them a permanent path to residency.”

All who have TPS status are employed. California is home to almost 50,000 TPS, the largest number of any state. 

Pope Francis weighed in on the matter imploring that “It must not be forgotten that migration has always existed. Nor should we forget that freedom of movement, for example, the ability to leave one’s own country and to return there, is a fundamental human right.”

The pope went on to call for abandoning “the familiar rhetoric and start from the essential consideration that we are dealing, above all, with persons.”

Article source: http://www.cacatholic.org/bishops-speak-out-salvadorian-tps-termination

California Life Marches and Events 2018

1119 K Street 2nd Floor, Sacramento, CA 95814  |  916 313-4000 | General Email: leginfo@cacatholic.org | © 2017 All Rights Reserved

Article source: http://www.cacatholic.org/policies-issues/reverence-life/abortion-procreation-bioethics-death-penalty-end-life-legal-and

Personas Beneficiadas Por DACA — Manteniendo Vivo El Sueño Americano

Personas Beneficiadas Por DACA — Manteniendo Vivo El Sueño Americano

“… Consideremos lo siguiente: todos somos inmigrantes en nuestro recorrido por la vida, ninguno de nosotros tiene una morada fija en esta tierra, todos tendremos que irnos algún día” – Papa Francisco 

(In English) A partir del año 2012, el programa de Acción Diferida para los llegados en la Infancia, o DACA, ha concedido permisos de trabajo y protegido de la deportación a incontables jóvenes inmigrantes indocumentados que llegaron a los EE.UU. siendo niños. Hoy, más de una cuarta parte de los 800,000 beneficiados por DACA, a menudo llamados “Soñadores” o “Dreamers,” viven en California. Aunque hayan llegado aquí por distintos caminos, su dedicación a las comunidades donde viven es muy similar.

(Decarque un PDF de este articulo para su uso en el boletín parroquial o mande un mensaje al Congreso.)

Uno de estos Soñadores es Jesús Limón, a quien trajeron de México a los EE.UU. cuando tenía ocho años de edad. Limón dice que pasó por momentos de mucho temor e incertidumbre debido a su estatus migratorio, al ir creciendo en California. Pero Limón considera que su fe en Dios es lo que lo ayudó a sobrellevar esos momentos difíciles. “El hecho de haber crecido a la vuelta de la esquina de una iglesia me brindó una estrategia para lidiar con el temor,” dice Limón. Él también cree que aportar a la comunidad es de primordial importancia. Anteriormente, Limón trabajó como redactor de solicitudes para subsidios y como maestro particular voluntario. “Me di cuenta cómo la alfabetización puede potenciar a las comunidades,” afirma. Después de que DACA fue promulgada, Limón recibió su título de Maestría y empezó a trabajar como profesor coadjutor y conferencista de la materia de inglés en las universidades de la zona de Sacramento. “Hubo un cambio tremendo en cuanto a la situación económica se refiere,” afirmó.

Cuando Karina tenía apenas cuatro años de edad, su padre salió del hogar familiar en México para venir a los Estados Unidos y poder proveer una mejor vida para su familia. Dos años después, Karina, sus hermanas y su madre viajaron para reunirse con él. “Reencontrarnos con papá fue muy gratificante,” dijo. Karina opina que, en sus años de crianza en el Valle Central, la fe siempre desempeñó un papel importante en su vida, especialmente cuando asistió a la universidad. “Cuando estaba aprendiendo sobre la política y el poder, supe que tenía que mantenerme cimentada en la Iglesia,” asegura. Karina cree que el aportar a la comunidad es gratificante y le ha ayudado a dirigir una campaña para abogar a favor de las becas universitarias “Cal Grant”.“Quería que otros Soñadores pudieran ingresar a la universidad,” aseveró.

Los padres de Moisés De León lo trajeron a los Estados Unidos cuando él apenas tenía dos años y medio. Cuando asistió a la escuela preparatoria De La Salle High School, él adoptó el lema de, “Entra para aprender, sal para  servir” y vive su vida en base a esas palabras. Cuando ve la oportunidad de ofrecerse como voluntario en su parroquia localizada en el Área de la Bahía de San Francisco, lo hace sin titubear. Él también colabora con la organización “Catholic Relief Services,” ayudando a las personas necesitadas de alrededor del mundo. A De León le entusiasma que pronto recibirá su título de Licenciatura en psicología para poder seguir aportando ayuda. Cuando se le pregunta sobre su recorrido como persona beneficiada por DACA, De León dice: “Sé que existen muchos obstáculos, pero el hecho de saber que Dios está conmigo alivia mi estrés”.

Ahora los Soñadores enfrentan una nueva ola de incertidumbre debido a que la Administración de Trump está eliminando a DACA por fases. Respectivamente, Limón y De León se han reunido con los asistentes de sus congresistas y funcionarios públicos a nivel estatal y federal para abogar a favor de la Ley de los Sueños (Dream Act) y la reforma migratoria. Limón se siente optimista en torno al futuro de DACA. “Por  las conversaciones que he tenido con algunos líderes en la capital de los EE.UU., tengo muchas esperanzas,” expresó. Karina, quien cuenta con una Licenciatura en Ciencia Política, viajó a Washington, D.C. con la organización “Church World Service” y se reunió con dirigentes del Congreso, exhortándoles a que firmen una nueva Ley de los Sueños (Dream Act)—una vía para la ciudadanía de los EE.UU., sin mayores aumentos designados para un muro o la seguridad fronteriza. A la pregunta de por qué ella tiene una opinión tan firme sobre el trabajo que ella promueve, Karina contesta, “Este lugar es mi casa. He contribuido tanto a ésta”.

Para mas informacion, visite estos sitos de web:
Recursos Catolicos para los estudiantes de DACA en California
Recursos de la Arquidiócesis de Los Ángeles

La Iglesia Católica en California sirve y aboga por los pobres, vulnerables, y los necesitados, no porque ellos sean Católicos, sino porque nosotros somos Católicos.

Article source: http://www.cacatholic.org/espanol/noticias-en-espanol/personas-beneficiadas-por-daca-%E2%80%94-manteniendo-vivo-el-sue%C3%B1o-americano

No Big Surprises in Governor’s Budget Proposal

1119 K Street 2nd Floor, Sacramento, CA 95814  |  916 313-4000 | General Email: leginfo@cacatholic.org | © 2017 All Rights Reserved

Article source: http://www.cacatholic.org/no-big-surprises-governor%E2%80%99s-budget-proposal

Senate Committee Gives New Life to POLST Debate

The Pennsylvania Senate Health and Human Services Committee voted unanimously to advance Senate Bill 623 on December 12, 2017, kicking off the legislative process. There are many more steps before it could become law. The measure would codify the use of Pennsylvania Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) and is designed to clarify provisions regarding Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders.

POLST forms have been used in Pennsylvania for years without official legislative authorization. The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference (PCC) and the Pennsylvania Catholic Health Association (PCHA) have been part of a group of stakeholders working to get statutory controls to govern their use.

Fundamentally, SB 623 would bring necessary regulation to POLST; but as proposed, the bill does not go far enough to safeguard human life. PCC and PCHA are asking for amendments that would assure that these documents are only used in appropriate situations.  The law should guarantee that a POLST would be used solely for patients with a qualifying health status, diagnosis and prognosis where their doctor would “not be surprised if they died within the next year.”

Amending the bill to clarify that POLST applies just to patients determined to be in the end stages of life would put important protections into the law. With the current practice, many facilities ask all patients admitted to a hospital, a long term nursing home, or other health care facility to sign a POLST, even without consulting a doctor.  There has also been an increase in POLST use in healthy patients presenting to primary care physicians for their annual wellness visit.   Patients and their families should pay attention to what they are signing and why. Anyone can and should sign a living will; but most patients should not qualify for POLST.

POLST and end-of-life decision making is complex. The PCC and PCHA consulted with Dr. Ferdinando Mirarchi, Principal Investigator of the TRIAD research series and Chief Medical Scientific Officer of the Institute on HealthCare Directives and the Founder of MIDEOTM (My Informed Decision on VidEO) to learn more. Here is a summary of his answers.

What is POLST?

The term POLST stands for the Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment or locally, Pennsylvania Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment. In other states the form might have a different name such as MOLST or Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment.

POLST is meant to serve as a portable, standing medical order that specifies whether life-sustaining treatment is to be used or withheld for a specific patient in various circumstances.

Who uses a POLST and when?

By its true definition, POLST is not for healthy people or even those with chronic conditions. It is only appropriate for those with terminal illness who are expected to die within a year.

NOTE: PCC and PCHA have concerns because Senate Bill 623 has no such limitation. As written, there are no safeguards to prevent an uninformed young person, or the most at risk, a healthy older person from having a POLST.

Who decides if a POLST is appropriate?

When used properly, a physician in consultation with the patient or designated representative should determine when it is appropriate to have a POLST. Based on moral and ethical principles POLST is only appropriate if there is a diagnosis of advanced chronic, life limiting, or terminal illness. And it is only appropriate if the physician and the patient and/or the family or other representative have first had an in depth conversation about what POLST means. To date, both medical practice and research has shown that physician involvement and in depth conversations have been lacking or absent.

NOTE: Senate Bill 623, nor the companion bill, House Bill 1196, do not require a diagnosis nor impose any condition for appropriateness of POLST. The bills do not require a conversation with a physician or even the review of the patient’s medical records by the signing medical professional.

How is POLST different from a living will or a do-not-resuscitate order?

A POLST is an immediately actionable medical order that is different from a living will.  It may or may not contain a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order depending on how it is completed.

The orders outlined in this medical document are supposed to be followed by paramedics, nurses, and other physicians even though they may not have been involved in the creation of the initial medical orders.

The POLST form itself is to be honored in a facility such as the hospital and is transportable so it will also be honored in the post-hospital settings such as skilled nursing facilities or in the pre-hospital ambulance settings.

A living will is different from a POLST.  A living will is a legal document outlining a patient’s treatment preferences which can be honored when the patient cannot speak for him or herself.

A living will gives instructions and preferences, but should not obligate medical professionals to follow them. Consider how a typical last will and testament for your property is used.  Simply creating a will for your estate does not give your family the ability to take your assets.  The will has to be triggered and that trigger is your death.  At the time of your death, and only then, can the assets be divided up according to the instructions contained in your will. A living will is triggered when your health status prompts questions about your medical treatment.  The triggering events are when you are not able to consent for yourself and you have an end stage medical condition or have entered a persistent vegetative state.

A DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order (inside or outside a hospital setting) is different from a living will and may or may not be contained in a POLST.  In Pennsylvania, a DNR order is a medical order that pertains to one specific condition, cardiac arrest.  So if a patient agreed to a DNR order, then he or she wishes not to receive CPR in the event of cardiac arrest.

A significant patient safety risk is posed when patients are asked the question of DNR.  We know from years of research that patients with DNR orders are at risk to receive less than the expected medical care when not in a cardiac arrest situation.  We aggressively try to remind health care providers and patients families that a DNR order is not the same as a do not treat order.

Also, a standard living will and POLST are often misinterpreted as DNR orders regardless of what is documented in those forms.

A Patient to Clinician Video is another form of advance directive that is used increasingly.  This new technology allows you to do this on your own or through a trained physician.  However, be careful to understand that an un-scripted video can pose just as significant a patient safety risk as a vague living will or POLST.  There are definite benefits of video if it is “scripted.”    This is to ensure your wishes are not misunderstood by medical providers in your own community or when traveling.  There are a multitude of companies that have deployed video directives and an increasing number of other programs in development.  As such, if approached to consider this in the physician’s office or prompted via a “Do It Yourself” (DIY) app, consider seeking advice from a physician experienced in this field of medicine and be sure he or she is an expert in Patient Safety Advance Care Planning.

What questions about POLST should people discuss with their doctor or other health care practitioner?

Unless you have an advanced chronic, life limiting, or terminal illness, your physician should not even be asking you about POLST; however discussing an advance directive such as a living will is appropriate.

See Living Will and Health Care Power of Attorney: What you should know about ADVANCE HEALTH CARE DIRECTIVES from the Bishops of Pennsylvania

If you are of advanced age and your doctor has advised you that you are high risk to die within the current year, then your spouse, children or whomever you have appointed as your health care agent should talk to your doctor.  Decide together:

  • How those who are treating you are going to be aware that you have created a POLST?
  • Will those treating you safely understand your choices if you use a POLST?
  • How will you be treated if you experience a sudden cardiac arrest?
  • How do you wish to be treated when not in cardiac arrest?
  • Will this POLST potentially place you at risk when not in cardiac arrest?

Am I required to have one? What if I refuse?

By law, no one is required to have a POLST form. It is to be a voluntary process. If you refuse a have a form completed and you feel pressured to complete a POLST form, you should ask to speak to the administration of that facility.  Be careful of what you sign when you enter a healthcare facility.  Many patients who have a POLST created are not aware that it is being created for them.  Also, if the facility is not honoring your concerns, then you should report the situation to the Department of Health. Call 1-800-254-5164 and visit www.health.pa.gov to download a complaint form.

End-of-life decision making can be confusing from a secular and medical standpoint, but you may also wonder: what does the Catholic Church teach about POLST and end-of-life decision making?

As Catholics, we believe that we have a responsibility to preserve our life. Suicide and/or assisted suicide are always morally wrong. (Declaration on Euthanasia: Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 1980)

However, we also believe there are some limited qualifications to the obligation to attempt to preserve life, such as the refusal of overzealous treatment, including medical procedures that are burdensome, dangerous, extraordinary, or disproportionate to the expected outcome. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #22781995) It is morally permissible to sign a POLST if it follows the documented indications for use, and if it is determined that medical treatments would not offer reasonable hope of benefit or are disproportionately burdensome. “Disproportionately burdensome” means the treatments will impose serious risks or excessive pain to the patient, excessive expense on the family or the community, or other extreme burdens.

Death is not to be feared as the end of our existence, rather it is the doorway to our eternal destiny.

A decision to forego a medical treatment should not be made because a person’s life is judged as not meaningful. If you are approached to sign a POLST document, you should not feel compelled to sign it immediately.  You should discuss your health status with your family and your doctors and then decide if POLST is appropriate for you to complete. To simply complete such documents without knowledge of how they impact your care and treatment is a significant safety risk to you as well as to your family. The most important step in creating a POLST is having a conversation with your medical provider. Make sure your choices are informed and created appropriately for you as an individual.  Take care to outline your end-of-life wishes safely and right.

Article source: https://www.pacatholic.org/senate-committee-gives-new-life-to-polst-debate/

DACA Recipients—Keeping The American Dream Alive

 “…Let us consider this: we are all immigrants on the journey of life, none of us has a fixed abode in this land, we all must go.” – Pope Francis (03/21/2015)

(En Espanol) Since 2012, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, has granted work permits and protection from deportation to young undocumented immigrants who arrived to the U.S. as children. Today, more than a quarter of DACA’s 800,000 recipients, often referred to as “Dreamers,” live in California. Although their paths to the United States may have been different, the dedication to the community in which they live is quite similar.

(Download a PDF file of this story suitable for use as a bulletin insert.)

One such Dreamer is Jesus Limón, who was brought to the U.S. from Mexico when he was eight-years-old. Limón said his time growing up in California was filled with moments of fear and uncertainty due to his residency status. But, Limón credits his faith in God for helping him through hard times.

He also believes giving back to the community is paramount. In the past, Limón worked as a grant writer and as a volunteer tutor. “I learned the way literacy can empower communities,” he said. After DACA was enacted, Limón earned his Master’s degree and began working as an Assistant Professor and English Lecturer at Sacramento area colleges.  “There was a tremendous shift in terms of economics,” he said.

When Karina was just four-years-old, her father left the family’s home in Mexico to come to the United States and provide a better life for his family.  Two years later, Karina, her sisters and their mother joined him. “Reuniting with my father was really rewarding,” she said. Growing up in the Central Valley, Karina said faith always played an important role in her life, especially as she attended college.  “Even as I was learning about politics and power, I knew I had to stay grounded in the church,” she said. Karina says giving back to the community is rewarding and has helped lead a Cal Grant advocacy campaign.  “I wanted other Dreamers to be able to come into the university,” she said.

Moises De Leon’s parents brought him to the United States from Mexico when he was just two-and-a half- years-old. While attending De La Salle High School, he embraced the motto,  “Enter to learn, leave to serve” and lives his life by those words.  Whenever he sees an opportunity to volunteer at his parish in the San Francisco Bay Area, he does so without hesitation. He also works for Catholic Relief Services, helping those in need around the world. De Leon is excited to receive his Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology soon so he can continue giving back.  When asked about his journey as a DACA recipient, de Leon said, “I know there are a lot of obstacles, but knowing God is with me lifts my stress.”

Now Dreamers face a new wave of uncertainty as the Trump Administration is phasing out DACA. Separately, both Limon and De Leon have met with Congressional aides and elected officials on the state and federal level to advocate for the Dream Act and immigration reform. Limon is optimistic about the future of DACA.  “Based on conversations I’ve had with leaders in D.C., I’m really hopeful,” he said. Karina, who has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, traveled to Washington, D.C. with Church World Service and met with Congressional leaders, encouraging them to sign a clean Dream Act—a pathway to U.S. citizenship without increased spending on a border wall or security.  When asked why she feels so strongly about her advocacy work, Karina said, “I’ve found this place to be my home.  I’ve contributed so much.”

For more information

Catholic Resources for DACA Students in California

Archdiocese of Los Angeles DACA Resources

The Catholic Church in California serves and advocates for the poor, vulnerable and those in need not because they are Catholic, but because we are Catholic.

Article source: http://www.cacatholic.org/daca-recipients%E2%80%94keeping-american-dream-alive

National Migration Week January 7-13

1119 K Street 2nd Floor, Sacramento, CA 95814  |  916 313-4000 | General Email: leginfo@cacatholic.org | © 2017 All Rights Reserved

Article source: http://www.cacatholic.org/national-migration-week-january-7-13

Support Professional Development of Teachers

1119 K Street 2nd Floor, Sacramento, CA 95814  |  916 313-4000 | General Email: leginfo@cacatholic.org | © 2017 All Rights Reserved

Article source: http://www.cacatholic.org/support-professional-development-teachers

A.5885-A, Rosenthal / S.6575, Hoylman / S.6722, Rules : In relation to civil and criminal changes to the statute of limitations in cases of child sexual abuse

Published on January 8th, 2018

Memorandum of Opposition

The Catholic Church has zero tolerance for sexual abuse and supports proposals in the New York State Legislature to extend the time allowed under the law to file criminal charges or civil lawsuits against those who abuse children.

Sexual abuse is a societal scourge. It knows no boundaries. Protecting children from sexual abuse and safeguarding the legal rights of victims requires a comprehensive approach. While the Catholic Conference strongly supports efforts to prospectively increase the criminal and civil statute of limitations for child sexual abuse, the above-referenced legislation is seriously flawed in that it contains a statute of limitations “window” to open up previously time-barred civil claims going back indefinitely against not only abusers themselves, but against their employers as well. Therefore, the Catholic Conference must strongly oppose this legislation.

This extraordinary provision would force institutions to defend alleged conduct decades ago about which they have no knowledge, and in which they had no role, potentially involving employees long retired, dead or infirm, based on information long lost, if it ever existed. To be clear, the sponsors’ intent is to allow claims from even the 1940s or 1950s to be resurrected.

Statutes of limitation are an essential protection of American law because they ensure that claims can be fairly adjudicated in a timely manner based on credible evidence. The New York State Bar Association has said:

Over time, evidence is lost or destroyed and witnesses die or become unavailable or, when they are available, their memories are less reliable. These circumstances make proof and defense of such actions extremely difficult, if not impossible, for all parties involved. (New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Civil Practice Law and Rules Legislative Report #8, Feb. 25, 2003)

Moreover, this bill is seriously flawed in that it only raises the criminal statute of limitations by five years, until the victim-survivor’s 28th birthday. At the same time, it raises the civil statute of limitations until the victim-survivor’s 50th birthday, in addition to a retroactive window that allows old lawsuits to be brought no matter how long ago the incident occurred. Clearly the bill’s focus on lawsuits against organizations, rather than punishing predators and removing them from our communities, does not in any way achieve a goal of protecting children today or in the future.

While some legislative and policy disagreements about the ideal approach continue, New York State continues to make laudable progress in protecting children. The criminal statute of limitations on charges of rape or felony sexual abuse of a child has been eliminated. These crimes are now treated with the same gravity as murder.

Still more can and should be done. Currently under consideration is an omnibus child protection bill sponsored by Assembly Member Michael Cusick (D-Staten Island) that would extend the civil statute of limitations for sexual abuse lawsuits another five years to the victim’s 28thbirthday, and would apply equally to public and private institutions. The Cusick bill also eliminates the criminal statute entirely, adds clergy to the list of mandated reporters, and requires criminal background checks for all employees and volunteers who work with children in either public or not-for-profit settings. The Catholic Conference strong supports the Cusick bill as the best legislative remedy available to protect children from abuse today and to give victims more time to seek justice, both criminally and civilly.

To reiterate, while we are in agreement with aspects of A.5885-A, the ill-advised “window” to reopen decades-old claims is, in the end, contrary to justice, because simply too much time has gone by in many cases to mount an effective defense, particularly for institutional defendants. We therefore urge the bill be defeated, and for the legislature to instead pass the NYS Child Protection Act (A.7302).

Article source: http://www.nyscatholic.org/2018/01/rosenthal_cva/

A.1748, Glick / S.2796 Krueger In Relation to Abortion Expansion

Published on January 8th, 2018

This legislation is a re-branded attempt to expand abortion in New York State, similar to the failed tenth plank of the 2013 “women’s equality agenda.” But the language is new; it is bolder in its breadth and extremism. It is not a simple update of New York’s laws. The New York State Catholic Conference opposes this bill.

It’s a late-term abortion expansion.

No matter how the bill is re-worded, the primary objective of this legislation is to expand late-term abortion. Current state law says abortions are legal in New York through 24 weeks of pregnancy (Article 125 Penal Law), but outlawed after that unless they are necessary to save a woman’s life. This bill would repeal the Penal Law references to abortion and insert a “health” exception into the newly-written Public Health Law. Such a “health” exception has been broadly interpreted by the courts to include age, economic, social and emotional factors. As a result, this bill will allow abortion for any reason and at any time during a pregnancy, including into the ninth month. It will encourage more late-term abortionists to come into New York and it will lead to more third-trimester abortions in New York State.

Moreover, the language of this legislation specifically allows the abortionist to determine the “absence of fetal viability”; he could determine viability is absent at 24 weeks gestation, or 29 weeks or even 32 weeks gestation. This language will most certainly result in viable unborn children being aborted.

It empowers non-doctors to perform abortions.

Current New York State statutes and regulations are clear in requiring that only licensed physicians may perform abortions in New York. No federal law has ever given permission to non-doctors to perform abortions. This legislation is very specific in reversing these protections, by stating that any health care practitioner licensed under Title Eight of the Education Law may perform an abortion. Practitioners licensed under Title Eight include nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurse mid-wives, as well as a broad range of other non-physicians. This bill would allow the Education Department to authorize any of these non-doctors to do both chemical and surgical abortions.

Empowering non-physicians to perform abortions is a specific goal of abortion advocates as they seek to boost access in the face of a declining number of doctors willing to perform the procedure. It should stand to reason that allowing non-doctors to perform surgery is dangerous for women and infants.

It could compel participation in abortion.

Because the legislative intent of this bill would ordain abortion as a “fundamental right,” the right to abortion could supersede everything, even the right of conscience. The government would have the task of ensuring that there is no “discrimination” against this fundamental right being exercised. This means that doctors could be compelled to perform abortions or risk losing their license to practice. Hospitals and medical facilities, even religious ones, could be forced to allow abortions on site or risk fines, penalties, loss of funding/operational certificates or other punishment. Likewise, health insurance plans could be forced to cover abortion and employers could be forced to purchase such coverage.

It eliminates protections for pregnant women and their unborn children.

Moving abortion from the Penal Law to the Public Health Law is a major policy shift that removes accountability for those who would harm unborn children outside the context of abortion. The crime of “abortional act” is the only place in New York law that allows for criminal charges for violent attacks against pregnant women and their unborn children, which occur with some frequency in cases of domestic violence.

This legislation would remove all current Penal law protections for pregnant women in cases of illegal or unwanted abortion (Penal Law Sections 125.05, 125.40 and 125.45). Repealing these laws – and proposing no penalties whatsoever for violation of the proposed new law — does a grave disservice to pregnant women, the very-much-wanted unborn children they may carry, and any possibility of justice for them when crimes are committed against them.

It jeopardizes live-born children.

Shockingly, this legislation repeals Public Health Law Section 4164, part of which gives full legal protection to any child who might (mistakenly) be born alive as the result of an abortion. It also requires a second doctor to be available during a late-term abortion to help give medical care to any such child. It is difficult to imagine the motivation of bill sponsors in removing these protections, which have been upheld as constitutional.

In 2013 America saw the face of late-term abortion during the trial of former Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell, who was convicted of numerous crimes, including murdering three infants born alive during attempted abortion procedures. The grand jury report on Gosnell states that “he regularly and illegally delivered live, viable babies in the third trimester of pregnancy, and then murdered these newborns by severing their spinal cords with scissors.”

In addition, there have been documented cases of babies born alive during attempted abortions who were left to die of neglect. The intersection of late-term abortions, the potential for live births, and the recent revelations of the transfer of fetal tissues or whole cadavers from clinics to researchers raise grave concerns.

Thankfully, Kermit Gosnell is serving a sentence of life imprisonment and no longer endangers women and infants. But removing this protection from our statute will send a New York “welcome” signal to other late-term abortionists, who are often notorious for disregarding the health and safety of women and children.

The right to abortion does not extend so far as to justify the denial of fundamental civil rights and protections to born, living human children.

It will increase the state’s abortion rate.

As outlined above, we believe the legislation would have dangerous consequences for women and infants. New York’s abortion numbers have been steadily decreasing, from 118,381 reported induced abortions in 2008 to 93,299 reported induced abortions in 2014, according to the most recent report of the NYS Department of Health. We believe this misguided legislation would reverse this encouraging trend and only increase the tragedy of abortion.

We urge you to pause to consider the curious paradox created by this legislation: In one unit of your public hospital, physicians will be taking extreme measures and heroic actions to save the lives of prematurely delivered viable infants, while in another unit, an abortionist will be destroying infants of the very same age, viable babies who could very well survive outside the womb. Can we, as a society, comfortably live with such arbitrary distinctions and callous inconsistencies regarding who lives and who dies?

We strongly urge you to oppose this legislation.

Article source: http://www.nyscatholic.org/2018/01/a-1748-glick-s-2796-krueger-in-relation-to-abortion-expansion/

A.7637-A, Crespo / S.6009-A, Ranzenhofer: In relation to including private and religious schools in school energy efficiency collaboration programs

Published on January 8th, 2018

The above-referenced legislation amends Chapter 403 of the laws of 2016, in relation to including private and religious schools in school energy efficiency collaboration programs.

The New York State Catholic Conference supports this legislation.

New York’s religious and independent schools make considerable efforts to improve the energy efficiency of their facilities. Their efforts, however, are often hampered by limited funding and the difficulties in accessing state and federal energy efficiency programs. This legislation will enable the state’s religious and independent schools to more fully participate in the collective effort to be smarter about our energy use.

Not only will this measure help our schools in the stewardship of their school budgets, but a greater benefit will accrue to all utility rate payers.

For the above reasons, we urge your favorable action on this bill.

Article source: http://www.nyscatholic.org/2018/01/a-7637-a-crespo-s-6009-a-ranzenhofer-in-relation-to-including-private-and-religious-schools-in-school-energy-efficiency-collaboration-programs/

Perspectivas: Regresa proyecto de ley de aborto medicinal; Se legaliza la marihuana

Regresa legislación que alienta a las universidades públicas de CA a proveer abortos medicinales

 

Regresa a la Legislatura, en el 2018, un proyecto de ley sumamente polémico que alentaría a las universidades públicas en California a proveer a las estudiantes medicamentos para inducir abortos. 

Se presentó el proyecto SB 320 (Leyva, D-Chino) el año pasado, pero éste se quedó paralizado en el Comité de la Educación del Senado. Debido a que la Legislatura sigue un programa que tiene sesiones de dos años, el proyecto SB 320 es elegible para presentarse de nuevo este año y se conocerá en el Comité de la Educación del Senado el 10 de enero en el Capitolio del Estado.

(ACTUALIZACIÓN:  El proyecto SB 320 originalmente obligaba una gran parte de lo que ahora se “alienta” y motivaba a los centros de salud a que proporcionaran los medicamentos abortivos.  Las enmiendas se realizaron en la primera semana del 2018.)

La propuesta motivaría a los centros de salud en las instalaciones universitarias de la California State University (CSU) y University of California a ofrecer medicamentos para inducir el aborto o se encargarían del transporte a un proveedor de abortos cercano. Adicionalmente fomenta el que los centros de salud de las instalaciones universitarias ofrezcan abortos médicos y servicios de consejería relacionados al aborto a sus estudiantes, pero deliberadamente excluye los métodos de consejería próvida.  

Actúe ya para oponerse al proyecto de ley SB 320

Continúe leyendo

 

La marihuana de uso recreativo: ¿placer, panacea, veneno?

El Padre Gerald Coleman, profesor adjunto en la Escuela de Posgrado en los Ministerios Pastorales (Graduate School of Pastoral Ministries) de la Universidad de Santa Clara, analiza las diversas cuestiones discutibles en torno a la legalización de la marihuana para uso recreativo, ley vigente en California a partir del 1ro de enero.

El diario New York Times concluyó su artículo, publicado el 28 de diciembre, sobre la legalización de la marihuana para uso recreativo, vigente a partir del 1ro de enero, diciendo: “Las personas se vuelven más confiadas al extenderse la legalización, y esto va a aumentar enormemente”. La marihuana médica es legal en 28 estados, y el uso recreativo de la marihuana es legal en ocho estados. Las empresas que invierten en la marihuana van creciendo de manera exponencial, una buena muestra es el Valle del Silicón y Oakland, especialmente debido a que vender marihuana en California tiene el potencial de generar $5 mil millones al año.

Es preocupante y peligroso el declive moral conforme aumenta el apoyo al uso recreativo de la marihuana en la sociedad (aproximadamente el 58 por ciento de los estadounidenses lo apoyan). California fue el estado que encabezó la legalización de la marihuana médica en el país en 1996. Como se demuestra en el documental del 2013 de nombre Weed  (Mota) del corresponsal médico del canal CNN, el Dr. Sanjay Gupta, se han visto efectos médicos positivos (por ejemplo, aliviar el dolor y la náusea.) Puesto que se acepta en general estos hechos, ahora el siguiente paso sencillamente es llegar a la conclusión de que la marihuana de uso recreativo tiene los mismos efectos curativos. Es una manera simplista de creer que lo que es legal es benéfico y moral.

En enero de 2017, las Academias Nacionales de la Ciencia, la Ingeniería y Medicina (National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine) publicaron un informe de fundamental importancia sobre las investigaciones profesionales realizadas sobre el uso de la marihuana con fines recreativos. Conjuntamente con datos publicados en diciembre de 2017 por la revista Journal of the American Medical Association (Publicación de la Asociación Médica Americana, JAMA)se plantean inquietudes que exigen que las escuelas y municipalidades pongan en marcha, tan rápido como sea posible, programas para la prevención del abuso de sustancias. (Sería bueno que las parroquias, especialmente las que tienen escuelas, consideren realizar talleres instructivos para los padres de familia y los jóvenes.)

Continúe leyendo

 

Semana Nacional de la Migración, 7 al 13 de enero

Por casi medio siglo, la Iglesia católica en los Estados Unidos ha celebrado la Semana Nacional de la Migración, lo cual brinda a la Iglesia la oportunidad de reflexionar sobre las circunstancias que enfrentan los migrantes, incluyendo los inmigrantes, los refugiados, los niños y las víctimas y sobrevivientes de la trata de personas.

Con el lema para la Semana Nacional de la Migración 2018, “Muchos Caminos, Una Familia,” señalamos el hecho de que cada una de nuestras familias tiene una historia de migración, algunas son recientes y otras del pasado lejano. Independientemente de dónde nos encontramos o de dónde vinimos, seguimos siendo parte de la familia humana y tenemos el llamado de vivir en solidaridad el uno con el otro.

La organización de Justicia para Inmigrantes (Justice For Immigrants) cuenta con una variedad de materiales para la Semana Nacional de la Migración, incluyendo un seminario web, caja de herramientas, estampitas con una oración, y un póster. Haga clic aquí para los materiales sobre la conmemoración, incluyendo seminarios web, volantes y artículos para la acción.

 

Enfoque del mes: La pobreza y la prevención de la trata de personas

Durante el Mes de Conciencia de la Pobreza, súmese a los Obispos de los EE.UU., a la  Campaña Católica para el Desarrollo Humano  y a la comunidad católica en los Estados Unidos para asumir el desafío del Papa Francisco de vivir en solidaridad con los pobres.  

Además del calendario que destaca diversas maneras de participar cada día en el mes de enero, también se encuentran disponibles reflexiones diarias más extensas.   Tenemos ayuda pastoral para incorporar a la liturgia el Mes de la Conciencia de la Pobreza. Todos estos materiales también están disponibles en español.  También se puede inscribir para que se le envíen por correo electrónico las reflexiones diarias durante el Mes de Conciencia de la Pobreza.

Enero también es el mes de Prevención de la Trata de Personas.  Descrita como la esclavitud de los tiempos modernos, la trata de personas atrapa a más de 20 millones de personas alrededor del mundo en una esclavitud económica y sexual forzada. Lea más al respecto aquí y aquí.

Haga clic aquí para mayor información.

 

En las próximas semanas

Los líderes del Congreso se reunirán con los miembros del personal de la Casa Blanca para empezar a abordar la amenaza de un cierre del gobierno Federal el 19 de enero. Parece ser que el Presidente presionará para obtener los fondos para la construcción del muro en la frontera con México a la vez que los Demócratas podrían presionar para que se conceda ayuda para los Soñadores (Dreamers).  No hay nada claro, puesto que la postura de ambos partidos suele variar casi cada hora. La próxima semana, destacaremos a tres excepcionales Soñadores de California como parte de la Semana Nacional de la Migración.  Mientras tanto, examine las enseñanzas de los Obispos en nuestra página de la inmigración e inste a sus representantes Federales a que apoyen a los beneficiarios de DACA .

La próxima semana, el Gobernador Jerry Brown revelará su propuesta para el presupuesto del 2019-20.  Los presupuestos del gobierno son “documentos morales” ya que éstos establecen las prioridades de la política pública para la jurisdicción en cuestión. Durante la Gran Recesión, los Obispos de California detallaron el marco que dichos documentos deberían enfrentar.  Lea En Busca del Bien Común ( In Search of the Common Good ) para prepararse para el anuncio del Gobernador.

5 de enero de 2018
Tomo 11, No. 1

Article source: http://www.cacatholic.org/espanol/perspectivas/perspectivas-regresa-proyecto-de-ley-de-aborto-medicinal-se-legaliza-la

Insights: Medical Abortion Bill Returns; Marijuana Legalized

Legislation Mandating CA Public Colleges Provide Medical Abortions Returns

A highly controversial bill that would mandate California public colleges provide abortion-inducing medication to students is returning to the Legislature in 2018. 

SB 320 (Leyva, D-Chino) was introduced last year but stalled in the Senate Education Committee.  As the Legislature operates on a two-year session schedule, SB 320 is eligible to be brought up again this year and will be heard in the Senate Education Committee on January 10th at the State Capitol.

The proposal would tell student health centers on California State University (CSU) and University of California campuses to offer abortion-inducing medication or arrange for transportation to a nearby abortion provider.  It further requires on-campus health centers to offer abortion-counseling services to their students but deliberately excludes pro-life counseling approaches.

Act Now To Oppose SB 320

Continue Reading

 

Recreational Marijuana: Pleasure, Panacea, Poison?

Fr. Gerald Coleman, adjunct professor in the Graduate School of Pastoral Ministries at Santa Clara University, examines the many open questions surrounding the Jan. 1 legalization of recreational marijuana in California.

The New York Times concluded its December 28 article about the January 1, 2018 legalization of recreational marijuana in California by stating, “People are gaining confidence as legalization spreads, and the growth is going to be huge.” Medical marijuana is legal in 28 states, and recreational marijuana legal in eight states. Companies investing in marijuana are growing exponentially, well-exampled in Silicon Valley and Oakland, especially since selling marijuana in California has the potential to generate $5 billion yearly.

The moral slope is worrisome and dangerous as society grows in its support of recreational marijuana use (about 58 percent of Americans). California led the nation in legalizing medical marijuana in 1996. As demonstrated in the 2013 documentary Weed by CNN medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, positive medical effects have been witnessed, e.g., treating pain and relieving nausea. Since these facts are generally accepted, it is now a simple next step to conclude that recreational marijuana likewise carries curative effects. It’s a facile approach to believe that what is legal is beneficial and moral.

In January 2017, the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine released a pivotal report on professional research carried out about the use of marijuana for recreational purposes. Along with December 2017 facts released by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)serious concerns are raised that demand schools and local municipalities to put into place as quickly as possible substance abuse prevention programs. (Parishes, especially those with schools, would do well to consider educational workshops for parents and youth.)

Continue Reading

 

National Migration Week January 7-13

For nearly half of a century, the Catholic Church in the United States has celebrated National Migration Week, which is an opportunity for the Church to reflect on the circumstances confronting migrants, including immigrants, refugees, children, and victims and survivors of human trafficking.

The theme for National Migration Week 2018, “Many Journeys, One Family,” draws attention to the fact that each of our families have a migration story, some recent and others in the distant past. Regardless of where we are and where we came from, we remain part of the human family and are called to live in solidarity with one another.

Justice For Immigrants has a variety of resources for National Immigration Week including a webinar, toolkit, prayer card, and poster. Click here for resources on the commemoration, including webinars, flyers and action items.

 

Poverty, Trafficking Prevention in Focus this Month

During Poverty Awareness Month, join the U.S. Bishops, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development and the Catholic community in the United States in taking up Pope Francis’ challenge to live in solidarity with the poor.

In addition to a calendar featuring ways to participate each day during the month of January, longer daily reflections are also available.  There is a liturgical aid to incorporate Poverty Awareness Month into the liturgy. All of these resources are also in Spanish.  You can also sign up to have the daily reflections emailed to you during Poverty Awareness Month.

January is also Human Trafficking Prevention month.  Described as modern day slavery, human trafficking traps more than 20 million people around the world in forced economic and sexual enslavement.  Read more about it here and here.

Click here for more.

 

In the Coming Weeks

Congressional leaders are meeting with White House staffers to start dealing with the threat of a Federal government shut-down on January 19.  It appears the President will push for funding for a wall on the Mexican border while the Democrats may push for relief for Dreamers.  Nothing is clear, as the position of both parties tend to vary almost on an hourly basis.  Next week, we’ll profile three outstanding California Dreamers as part of National Migration Week.  In the meantime, examine the Bishops’ teachings on our Immigration page and urge your Federal representatives to support DACA recipients.

Next week, Governor Jerry Brown will reveal his budget proposal for 2019-20.  Government budgets are “moral documents” since they lay out the public policy priorities for the jurisdiction in question.  During the Great Recession, the California Bishops detailed the framework such documents should face.  Read In Search of the Common Good to prepare for the Governor’s announcement.

January 5, 2018
Vol. 11, No. 1

Article source: http://www.cacatholic.org/insights-medical-abortion-bill-returns-marijuana-legalized

Insights: Medicinal Abortion Bill Returns; Marijuana Legalized

Legislation Encouraging CA Public Colleges to Provide Medicinal Abortions Returns

A highly controversial bill that would encourage California public colleges to provide abortion-inducing medication to students is returning to the Legislature in 2018. 

SB 320 (Leyva, D-Chino) was introduced last year but stalled in the Senate Education Committee.  As the Legislature operates on a two-year session schedule, SB 320 is eligible to be brought up again this year and will be heard in the Senate Education Committee on January 10th at the State Capitol.

(UPDATE:  SB 320 originally mandated much of what is now “encouraged” and incentivizes health care centers to provide the abortion medication.  The amendments were made the first week of 2018.)

The proposal would incentivize student health centers on California State University (CSU) and University of California campuses to offer abortion-inducing medication or arrange for transportation to a nearby abortion provider.  It further encourages on-campus health centers to offer medical abortions and abortion-counseling services to their students but deliberately excludes pro-life counseling approaches.

Act Now To Oppose SB 320

Continue Reading

 

Recreational Marijuana: Pleasure, Panacea, Poison?

Fr. Gerald Coleman, adjunct professor in the Graduate School of Pastoral Ministries at Santa Clara University, examines the many open questions surrounding the Jan. 1 legalization of recreational marijuana in California.

The New York Times concluded its December 28 article about the January 1, 2018 legalization of recreational marijuana in California by stating, “People are gaining confidence as legalization spreads, and the growth is going to be huge.” Medical marijuana is legal in 28 states, and recreational marijuana legal in eight states. Companies investing in marijuana are growing exponentially, well-exampled in Silicon Valley and Oakland, especially since selling marijuana in California has the potential to generate $5 billion yearly.

The moral slope is worrisome and dangerous as society grows in its support of recreational marijuana use (about 58 percent of Americans). California led the nation in legalizing medical marijuana in 1996. As demonstrated in the 2013 documentary Weed by CNN medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, positive medical effects have been witnessed, e.g., treating pain and relieving nausea. Since these facts are generally accepted, it is now a simple next step to conclude that recreational marijuana likewise carries curative effects. It’s a facile approach to believe that what is legal is beneficial and moral.

In January 2017, the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine released a pivotal report on professional research carried out about the use of marijuana for recreational purposes. Along with December 2017 facts released by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)serious concerns are raised that demand schools and local municipalities to put into place as quickly as possible substance abuse prevention programs. (Parishes, especially those with schools, would do well to consider educational workshops for parents and youth.)

Continue Reading

 

National Migration Week January 7-13

For nearly half of a century, the Catholic Church in the United States has celebrated National Migration Week, which is an opportunity for the Church to reflect on the circumstances confronting migrants, including immigrants, refugees, children, and victims and survivors of human trafficking.

The theme for National Migration Week 2018, “Many Journeys, One Family,” draws attention to the fact that each of our families have a migration story, some recent and others in the distant past. Regardless of where we are and where we came from, we remain part of the human family and are called to live in solidarity with one another.

Justice For Immigrants has a variety of resources for National Immigration Week including a webinar, toolkit, prayer card, and poster. Click here for resources on the commemoration, including webinars, flyers and action items.

 

Poverty, Trafficking Prevention in Focus this Month

During Poverty Awareness Month, join the U.S. Bishops, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development and the Catholic community in the United States in taking up Pope Francis’ challenge to live in solidarity with the poor.

In addition to a calendar featuring ways to participate each day during the month of January, longer daily reflections are also available.  There is a liturgical aid to incorporate Poverty Awareness Month into the liturgy. All of these resources are also in Spanish.  You can also sign up to have the daily reflections emailed to you during Poverty Awareness Month.

January is also Human Trafficking Prevention month.  Described as modern day slavery, human trafficking traps more than 20 million people around the world in forced economic and sexual enslavement.  Read more about it here and here.

Click here for more.

 

In the Coming Weeks

Congressional leaders are meeting with White House staffers to start dealing with the threat of a Federal government shut-down on January 19.  It appears the President will push for funding for a wall on the Mexican border while the Democrats may push for relief for Dreamers.  Nothing is clear, as the position of both parties tend to vary almost on an hourly basis.  Next week, we’ll profile three outstanding California Dreamers as part of National Migration Week.  In the meantime, examine the Bishops’ teachings on our Immigration page and urge your Federal representatives to support DACA recipients.

Next week, Governor Jerry Brown will reveal his budget proposal for 2019-20.  Government budgets are “moral documents” since they lay out the public policy priorities for the jurisdiction in question.  During the Great Recession, the California Bishops detailed the framework such documents should face.  Read In Search of the Common Good to prepare for the Governor’s announcement.

January 5, 2018
Vol. 11, No. 1

Article source: http://www.cacatholic.org/insights-medicinal-abortion-bill-returns-marijuana-legalized

Mid-Session Legislative Wrap Up

The Pennsylvania General Assembly is taking a mid-session break and will resume session late in January 2018. 2017 was a very busy year and more issues are on the horizon for 2018. Here is the status of the several high priority bills that are on the legislative agenda of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference.

Bills That Made It Through

Several bills made it all the way through the legislative process in 2017. One bright spot in the difficult, prolonged budget debate was a $10 million expansion of Educational Improvement Tax Credits (EITC) which will benefit more students in Catholic schools.

The Pennsylvania General Assembly took a strong pro-life stand to ban barbaric dismemberment abortions and abortions when the unborn baby is able to feel pain (20 weeks). Both the Senate and the House passed Senate Bill 3 with overwhelming majorities. Unfortunately, Governor Tom Wolf vetoed the measure and there was no vote to override.

Governor Wolf did however sign House Bill 1139 into law. This law adds fire stations to the list of safe places where a newborn baby may be placed without penalty. Police stations and hospitals are also safe havens. Incubators will be placed in participating locations to hopefully prevent babies being abandoned in dumpsters or public restrooms.

The legislature reauthorized the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), but not without controversy. An amendment to correct regulations that allow coverage for sex reassignment surgeries for children was taken out of the final bill that went to the governor’s desk. The Pennsylvania Catholic Health Association and PCC will look for ways to address this again without compromising a valuable program that has given thousands of children access to health care.

Legislation to address the statewide opioid crisis was signed into law by Governor Tom Wolf. Senate Bill 446 establishes state-regulated minimum quality standards for the licensure of recovery houses that receive funding or referrals from government agencies. This new law is welcomed by the recovery houses operated by many Catholic Charities agencies within Pennsylvania’s Catholic dioceses.

The governor also signed the “Right to Try” Act into law which will provide terminally ill patients the opportunity to try experimental treatments, such as investigatory drugs, biological products and medical devices. It will allow access to treatments that have not been fully approved by U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Issues Left To Do

There is much more work left to do in 2018. Legislation to create Education Savings Accounts (ESA) is being considered. Senate Bill 2 would give families that live in the boundaries of a chronically underperforming school a grant in the amount of the average state funding per pupil if they withdraw their students from public school. The money could only be used for tuition and expenses in a participating private school, for tutors, or other education expenses. The money would come out of the local school’s state subsidy; any unused dollars would return to the local school.

Senate Resolution 174 and House Resolution 609 each condemn the practice of selectively aborting babies with Down syndrome. Although resolutions do not have the force of law, they are useful gestures for raising awareness. Another resolution, HR 519, condemns the free availability of pornography because of the public health hazard it causes to children and families across the Commonwealth. It passed the House Health Committee in November and should be taken up on the House floor soon.

The Pennsylvania Catholic Health Association is reviewing legislation that would govern the use of POLST, Physician’s Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment. Senate Bill 623 and House Bill 1196 similarly outline how and when someone would use a POLST in an end-of-life situation. The concern lies in whether or not a qualifying condition must be present for a POLST order to be signed.

Beyond these moral issues, the PCC is tracking legislation that tackles social justice concerns as well. House Bill 1076 would create a land bank of blighted properties and transform them into safe housing for the homeless. With opioid addiction continuing its terrible toll on every community, more legislation will be considered including House Bill 825. This bill provides for a central registry of existing emergency drug and alcohol detoxification beds so health care facilities can better serve people with a substance abuse crisis.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of public policy issues that the Catholic Conference will review and advocate. Sexual orientation non-discrimination, access to health care, threats to religious liberty, and other proposals are all potential issues on the radar. For a list of the PCC’s positions on specific legislative proposals, log on and check out: www.pacatholic.org/legislative-review.

Article source: https://www.pacatholic.org/mid-session-legislative-wrap-up/

Pennsylvania Abortion Numbers at Lowest Recorded Level

According to figures recently released by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the number of annual abortions in the state is at the lowest level since being recorded.

In 2016, the number of abortions totaled 30,881, which is about 3 percent less than the previous year. That percentage translates into nearly 1,000 fewer abortions between 2015 and 2016.

The report also indicates that more than 80 percent of abortions in Pennsylvania occurred in the following four counties (with corresponding numbers)

Philadelphia               14,626

Allegheny                   6,080

Northampton             3,042

Dauphin                      1,504.

You can find a further breakdown of Pennsylvania’s 2016 abortion statistics by clicking here.

Pro-life legislation, which passed both the House and Senate chambers in 2017, was eventually vetoed by Governor Tom Wolf. Senate Bill 3 would have strengthened Pennsylvania’s Abortion Control Act by banning the cruel and brutal practice of dismemberment abortions and placing a ban on abortions from the 20th week on during a pregnancy.

Visit pacatholic.org to join the Catholic Advocacy Network and add your voice to others speaking in support of the dignity of life.

Article source: https://www.pacatholic.org/pennsylvania-abortion-numbers-at-lowest-recorded-level/

Legislation Requiring CA Public Univesities to Provide Medicinal Abortions Returns

A highly controversial bill that would require California public colleges to provide abortion-inducing medication to students is returning to the Legislature in 2018.  SB 320 (Leyva, D-Chino) was introduced last year but stalled in the Senate Education Committee.  As the Legislature operates on a two-year session schedule, SB 320 is eligible to be brought up again this year and will be heard in the Senate Education Committee on January 10th at the State Capitol.

The proposal would require student centers on California State University (CSU) and University of California campuses to offer abortion-inducing medication or arrange for transportation to a nearby abortion provider.  It further requires on-campus health centers to offer  abortion counseling services to their students but deliberately excludes pro-life counselling approaches

Tell your legislator to oppose SB 320

As a preliminary matter, SB 320 threatens the health of the very college-age women it purports to support.

First, the legislation encourages the provision of abortion-inducing drugs, including the “Abortion Pill,” RU-486.  These drugs operate by causing women to have miscarriages during the first 10 weeks of pregnancy.  These drugs may result in painful and serious medical complications, including hemorrhaging.  Moreover, use of these drugs may result in the delivery of fetal remains in students’ homes, dormitory rooms, and public restrooms, placing them at greater risk for complications.

In addition, SB 320 threatens women’s health care by having college health clinics provide chemical abortifacients, something they are ill-equipped to provide.  This fact was even acknowledged in the Senate Health Committee analysis of the bill:

It is unclear whether these institutions have the ability to provide these services given how their health centers are set up.  In the case of community colleges, most of these health centers only offer very basic services, such as first aid and assessment and referral functions.  With regard to UC health centers, according to UC, none are equipped to offer abortion services.

College women deserve a safe and supportive environment where they can receive appropriate health care and support, including pregnancy counseling and options regarding adoption.  SB 320 will instead jeopardize student health and place them at risk of medical complications.  The bill does not require campus clinics to connect students with the proper care and follow-up treatment that traditional medical staff and professional health care would ensure.  To the contrary, the proposal forces women’s health to take a back seat to a pro-abortion political ideology.

Moreover, SB 320 inappropriately has the State of California promote, funcd and encourage abortions in our higher educational institutions.  Ironically, even if California public colleges comply with this bill’s requirements, students will still be negatively affected.  The Senate Health Committee analysis noted:

Because campus health centers are all funded through fees on students, this bill may result in either shutting down the centers or substantial increases in student fees to pay for the additional services due to new staffing and equipment necessary to provide them.

As Catholics, because we believe that all of us are created in the image of God, we hold life to be sacred from conception to natural death.  We believe that we are stewards, not owners, of this gift of life from a loving God.  As a result, we oppose abortion and public taxpayer funding of abortion.  Instead, we support policies and services that assist pregnant women in making life-affirming choices, many of which are provided for free by crisis pregnancy centers and other clinics.  In the words of Pope Francis, “All life has inestimable value, even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor…deserv[e] the utmost reverence and respect.”

SB 320 is supported by groups including Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice California.  The bill is opposed by the California Catholic Conference, Californians for Life, the California ProLife Council, and others.

Tell your legislator to oppose SB 320

 

Article source: http://www.cacatholic.org/SB_280_background

Legislation Encouraging CA Public Colleges to Provide Medicinal Abortions Returns

A highly controversial bill that would encourage California public colleges to provide abortion-inducing medication to students is returning to the Legislature in 2018.  SB 320 (Leyva, D-Chino) was introduced last year but stalled in the Senate Education Committee.  As the Legislature operates on a two-year session schedule, SB 320 is eligible to be brought up again this year and will be heard in the Senate Education Committee on January 10th at the State Capitol.

(UPDATE:  SB 320 originally mandated much of what is now “encouraged” and incentivizes health care centers to provide the abortion medication.  The amendments were made the first week of 2018.)

The proposal would incentivize student centers on California State University (CSU) and University of California campuses to offer abortion-inducing medication or arrange for transportation to a nearby abortion provider.  It further encourages on-campus health centers to offer medical abortions and abortion counseling services to their students but deliberately excludes pro-life counselling approaches

Tell your legislator to oppose SB 320

As a preliminary matter, SB 320 threatens the health of the very college-age women it purports to support.

First, the legislation encourages the provision of abortion-inducing drugs, including the “Abortion Pill,” RU-486.  These drugs operate by causing women to have miscarriages during the first 10 weeks of pregnancy.  These drugs may result in painful and serious medical complications, including hemorrhaging.  Moreover, use of these drugs may result in the delivery of fetal remains in students’ homes, dormitory rooms, and public restrooms, placing them at greater risk for complications.

In addition, SB 320 threatens women’s health care by having college health clinics provide chemical abortifacients, something they are ill-equipped to provide.  This fact was even acknowledged in the Senate Health Committee analysis of the bill:

It is unclear whether these institutions, particularly community colleges and CSU campuses, have the ability to provide these services given how their health centers are set up.  In the case of community colleges, most of these health centers only offer very basic services, such as first aid and assessment and referral functions.  With regard to UC health centers, according to UC, none are equipped to offer abortion services.

College women deserve a safe and supportive environment where they can receive appropriate health care and support, including pregnancy counseling and options regarding adoption.  SB 320 will instead jeopardize student health and place them at risk of medical complications.  The bill does not require campus clinics to connect students with the proper care and follow-up treatment that traditional medical staff and professional health care would ensure.  To the contrary, the proposal forces women’s health to take a back seat to a pro-abortion political ideology.

Moreover, SB 320 inappropriately has the State of California promote and encourage abortions in our higher educational institutions.  Ironically, even if California public colleges comply with this bill’s requirements, students will still be negatively affected.  The Senate Health Committee analysis noted:

Because campus health centers are all funded through fees on students, this bill may result in either shutting down the centers or substantial increases in student fees to pay for the additional services due to new staffing and equipment necessary to provide them.

As Catholics, because we believe that all of us are created in the image of God, we hold life to be sacred from conception to natural death.  We believe that we are stewards, not owners, of this gift of life from a loving God.  As a result, we oppose abortion and public taxpayer funding of abortion.  Instead, we support policies and services that assist pregnant women in making life-affirming choices, many of which are provided for free by crisis pregnancy centers and other clinics.  In the words of Pope Francis, “All life has inestimable value, even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor…deserv[e] the utmost reverence and respect.”

SB 320 is supported by groups including Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice California.  The bill is opposed by the California Catholic Conference, Californians for Life, the California ProLife Council, and others.

Tell your legislator to oppose SB 320

 

Article source: http://www.cacatholic.org/SB_280_background

Legislation to Require California Public Colleges to Provide Medicinal Abortions Returns

A highly controversial bill that would require California public colleges to provide abortion-inducing medication to students is returning to the Legislature in 2018.  SB 320 (Leyva, D-Chino) was introduced last year but stalled in the Senate Education Committee.  As the Legislature operates on a two-year session schedule, SB 320 is eligible to be brought up again this year and will be heard in the Senate Education Committee on January 10th at the State Capitol.

The proposal would mandate that student centers on California State University (CSU) campuses offer abortion-inducing medication or arrange for transportation to a nearby abortion provider.  It further requires on-campus health centers to offer medical abortions and abortion counseling services to their students but deliberately excludes pro-life counselling approaches.  In addition, the bill would impose these same requirements on the University of California (UC) by attempting to make the implementation of these requirements a condition of UC receiving state funds.

Tell your legislator to oppose SB 320

As a preliminary matter, SB 320 threatens the health of the very college-age women it purports to support.

First, the legislation mandates the provision of abortion-inducing drugs, including the “Abortion Pill,” RU-486.  These drugs operate by causing women to have miscarriages during the first 10 weeks of pregnancy.  These drugs may result in painful and serious medical complications, including hemorrhaging.  Moreover, use of these drugs may result in the delivery of fetal remains in students’ homes, dormitory rooms, and public restrooms, placing them at greater risk for complications.

In addition, SB 320 threatens women’s health care by requiring college health clinics to provide chemical abortifacients, something they are ill-equipped to provide.  This fact was even acknowledged in the Senate Health Committee analysis of the bill:

It is unclear whether these institutions, particularly community colleges and CSU campuses, have the ability to provide these services given how their health centers are set up.  In the case of community colleges, most of these health centers only offer very basic services, such as first aid and assessment and referral functions.  With regard to UC health centers, according to UC, none are equipped to offer abortion services.

College women deserve a safe and supportive environment where they can receive appropriate health care and support, including pregnancy counseling and options regarding adoption.  SB 320 will instead jeopardize student health and place them at risk of medical complications.  The bill does not require campus clinics to connect students with the proper care and follow-up treatment that traditional medical staff and professional health care would ensure.  To the contrary, the proposal forces women’s health to take a back seat to a pro-abortion political ideology.

Moreover, SB 320 inappropriately requires the State of California to promote and encourage abortions in our higher educational institutions, even to the point of punishing students and campuses that fail to comply by taking away critical funding for all students’ health services.  Ironically, even if California public colleges comply with this bill’s requirements, students will still be negatively affected.  The Senate Health Committee analysis noted:

Because campus health centers are all funded through fees on students, this bill may result in either shutting down the centers or substantial increases in student fees to pay for the additional services due to new staffing and equipment necessary to provide them.

As Catholics, because we believe that all of us are created in the image of God, we hold life to be sacred from conception to natural death.  We believe that we are stewards, not owners, of this gift of life from a loving God.  As a result, we oppose abortion and public taxpayer funding of abortion.  Instead, we support policies and services that assist pregnant women in making life-affirming choices, many of which are provided for free by crisis pregnancy centers and other clinics.  In the words of Pope Francis, “All life has inestimable value, even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor…deserv[e] the utmost reverence and respect.”

SB 320 is supported by groups including Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice California.  The bill is opposed by the California Catholic Conference, Californians for Life, the California ProLife Council, and others.

Tell your legislator to oppose SB 320

Article source: http://www.cacatholic.org/SB_280_background

Recreational Marijuana: Pleasure, Panacea, Poison?

The New York Times concluded its December 28 article about the January 1, 2018 legalization of recreational marijuana in California by stating, “People are gaining confidence as legalization spreads, and the growth is going to be huge.” Medical marijuana is legal in 28 states, and recreational marijuana legal in eight states. Companies investing in marijuana are growing exponentially, well-exampled in Silicon Valley and Oakland, especially since selling marijuana in California has the potential to generate $5 billion yearly.

The moral slope is worrisome and dangerous as society grows in its support of recreational marijuana use (about 58 percent of Americans). California led the nation in legalizing medical marijuana in 1996. As demonstrated in the 2013 documentary Weed by CNN medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, positive medical effects have been witnessed, e.g., treating pain and relieving nausea. Since these facts are generally accepted, it is now a simple next step to conclude that recreational marijuana likewise carries curative effects. It’s a facile approach to believe that what is legal is beneficial and moral.

In January 2017, the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine released a pivotal report on professional research carried out about the use of marijuana for recreational purposes. Along with December 2017 facts released by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), serious concerns are raised that demand schools and local municipalities to put into place as quickly as possible substance abuse prevention programs. (Parishes, especially those with schools, would do well to consider educational workshops for parents and youth.)

These reports raise grave concerns. Despite efforts to the contrary, the use of recreational marijuana has increased in Colorado and Washington among tenth graders and teenagers below the age of sixteen. There is overwhelming evidence showing that when persons of this age begin to use marijuana, they become addicted and fall into bottomless pits, e.g., serious driving accidents, truancy, memory impoverishment, respiratory problems leading to bronchitis, especially heightened when also smoking cigarettes. Heavy use of marijuana, especially when started in early years, has been shown in some cases to lead to schizophrenia.

Marijuana (cannabis sativa) is known by several names, e.g., reefer, pot, dope, weed, bud, Mary Jane, hippie lettuce. It is often called “grass.” Adults who smoked grass in their teenage and young adult years might think that present-day “grass” is the same. It is not. Marijuana is a drug composed of at least 86 diverse chemical compounds, with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) being the compound that stimulates the brain to release dopamine, creating euphoria while often inducing hallucinations and delusions.

CBD (cannabidiol) is the compound primarily responsible for alleviating certain medical problems. Most marijuana dispensaries make their money on products that are high in the psychoactive compound (THC) and low in the compound (CBD) that offers medical benefits.   Today’s recreational marijuana contains higher doses of THC than ever before. It is naïve to believe that it is just like “smoking a little weed” or having a vodka and tonic.

Recent statistics released by JAMA present grim data that go to the heart of the moral use of recreational marijuana. Between 2009-2016, the use of marijuana among pregnant women in California jumped from 4.2 percent to 7.1 percent. THC can be transmitted from the mother to her fetus, as well as to her baby while breastfeeding. This ushers in the addictive cycle. If the mother smokes, so does the fetus. 

The use of marijuana among California teenagers under 18 jumped by 12.5 percent to 21.5 percent during this same time period. Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana – Medical, Recreational, and Scientific (2012) testifies that troubled adolescence who start smoking marijuana at a young age are more likely to become heavy users, drop out of school, and display various behavioral problems. Seventeen percent of teenagers who use marijuana regularly become addicted to its use. Roughly 36 percent of 12th Graders in 2013 reported having used marijuana on a regular basis. This is a severe and moral issue that legislation exasperates, no matter what safeguards are in place.

Pope Francis has spoken out against the “liberalization of drug use.” “Drug problems already ravage the lives of young people, and society should not multiply this problem exponentially. Instead of sowing the seeds of suffering and death, we should educate young people in the values that build up life in society.”

What’s to be said, then, about recreational marijuana: pleasure? panacea? poison?

Statistics lean heavily, convincingly and despondently toward poison.

 

Gerald D. Coleman, P.S.S.
Adjunct Professor
Graduate School of Pastoral Ministries
Santa Clara University

Article source: http://www.cacatholic.org/recreational-marijuana-pleasure-panacea-poison

Catholic Conference statement on the death of JJ Hanson

Published on December 30th, 2017

James “JJ” Hanson, an outspoken advocate for patients rights and against physician-assisted suicide, died of brain cancer today at the age of 36. Mr. Hanson, a Hudson Valley resident, retired Marine and a one-time member of the administration of former Gov. David A. Paterson, leaves behind his wife, Kristen, and two young sons, James and Lucas.

For nearly three years, he has worked closely with the New York State Catholic Conference and the New York Alliance Against Assisted Suicide to educate others about the dangers of doctor-assisted suicide and the compelling alternatives for patients facing terminal illness, using the power of his own story to change hearts and minds. When first diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, doctors gave JJ four months to live, but he kept fighting, kept seeking out new treatments, and channeled his personal tragedy into advocacy in defense of the sacredness of all human life.

“Initially, JJ’s doctors offered him no hope, but he and Kristen had hope in abundance,” said Kathleen M. Gallagher, director of pro-life activities for the New York State Catholic Conference, who became close to the Hanson family. “He outlived that death sentence by more than three years, giving hope and inspiration to thousands of people during that time.

“He reached out to doctors, veterans groups and other organizations, persuaded lawmakers and journalists, raised funds for cancer research, traveled to Albany, Washington, D.C., and states all across the country, and took every opportunity to promote compassionate life-affirming care for persons facing disease and disability. And he did that while facing tremendous health hurdles, undergoing surgeries and treatments, and caring for his family.

“JJ lived his motto: ‘Every day is a gift, and you can’t ever let that go.’ He and Kristen are a true testament to living their faith through adversity, and JJ’s death is a loving example of an authentic ‘death with dignity.’ We are so grateful to Kristen and the boys for sharing JJ with us these last three years and enabling him to touch so many lives. We pray for their comfort and solace in this very difficult time.”

Article source: http://www.nyscatholic.org/2017/12/jj-hanson/

The Shining Light: Harrisburg Thrift Shop Serves as Beacon of Hope

““Karla”, 36, was recently released from prison, and was referred to Shining Light by Capitol Pavilion, one of our partner agencies. Trying to get back on her feet, and with limited resources, Karla needed basic clothing. Shining Light was able to provide her with several complete outfits, nightwear, shoes and underclothing. She can continue to obtain some additional free clothing over the next six months, as she seeks employment and establishes a household again. Her joy in selecting and “modeling” her “new” clothing touched us all!” – A Shining Light story

Treating all who enter our doors with dignity and respect. That’s the motto the Shining Light Thrift Shop has been operating in midtown Harrisburg since it opened its doors on September 9, 1992.

Today, the store is an outreach ministry within St. Patrick Cathedral Parish in the Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg. Donations and purchases help to fund the Shining Light, which serves the ongoing needs of over 1,000 economically disadvantaged individuals each year by providing free or low-cost clothing and domestic goods.

Gail Kline is the Shining Light’s store manager and says its mission is simple: “We are here to help people in need.” Over the years Kline recalls the store has helped individuals who have been released from prison, victims of home fires, and those who have lost their job to get back on their feet.

The Shining Light partners with nearly 50 local agencies that refer those in need to the store’s program. Individuals may get nearly $200 worth of clothing and household items over six months if needed. The store also helps those outside of the referral system by offering store discounts from 50 to 90 percent off of store merchandise.

As the Shining Light is closing in on its 25th anniversary year, Kline says it is during the holiday season that she sees the store shine a little brighter as a beacon of hope for those in need.

“This is the time of year we count our own blessings and, in turn, bestow those blessings upon those who need it the most. And that’s what the Shining Light does all year long.”

Article source: https://www.pacatholic.org/the-shining-light-harrisburg-thrift-shop-serves-as-beacon-of-hope/

Bill Setting Standards for Addiction Recovery Houses Signed Into Law

Legislation seeking to address the statewide opioid crisis that had strong support by the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference was recently signed into law by Governor Tom Wolf.

Senate Bill 446, now Act 59 of 2017, will establish state-regulated minimum quality standards for the licensure of recovery houses receiving funding or referrals from the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs or another state, federal or county agency.

In a statement issued by the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Tom McGarrigle (R-ChesterDelaware) said, “The addiction crisis is affecting communities in every region of Pennsylvania, and access to effective treatment is vital in turning the tide. People entering the recovery process have taken the crucial first step to a better, productive life. Approval of Senate Bill 446 sends the message that we will not let that journey be cut short due to lack of oversight.”

This new law is welcomed by the recovery houses operated by many Catholic Charities agencies within Pennsylvania’s Catholic dioceses. This is one of several important bills being considered by the General Assembly and monitored by the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference to combat the growing epidemic of opioid abuse.

Article source: https://www.pacatholic.org/bill-setting-standards-for-addiction-recovery-houses-signed-into-law/