State Must Do More to Help Keep People Warm, Safer through Winter

State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale audited two programs designed to keep low-income Pennsylvanians warm and safer through winter. He found that the state failed to spend $5.4 million of federal funding that potentially could have helped 527 families.

The Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) administers the federal Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) which helps low-income families reduce energy costs by increasing the energy efficiency of their homes. The Department of Human Services (DHS) administers the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) that helps low-income families pay their heating bills.

“My auditors found that DCED failed to spend $5,449,093 of U.S. Department of Energy funds over four years due to the 2015-2016 state budget impasse and newly implemented federal weatherization quality standards,” DePasquale said.

“That money could have helped weatherize 527 homes for at-risk individuals and their families who needed assistance when the average winter temperatures ranged from 12 to 40 degrees.”

The 2015-2016 budget impasse that began July 1, 2015, resulted in funds not being released to local agencies until February of 2016. This led to local agencies needing to spend two years’ worth of funding in 17 months.

DePasquale called on the governor and the legislature to pass a law that requires all available federal funding that promotes the safety and welfare of at-risk Pennsylvanians to be released as of July 1 of each year, “In the event of a budget impasse, our most vulnerable residents would not have to risk harm while elected officials are sitting in air-conditioned, heated state office buildings.”

The audit also found that DCED’s process to prioritize weatherization services for at-risk citizens is flawed. For example, DCED has no way to track the number of eligible applicants waiting for weatherization services or to know how long they have been on the list.

Further, the audit identified concerns about LIHEAP benefit payments that were inaccurately calculated and some households improperly receiving two cash payments.

“The goal is to run these programs with zero errors,” DePasquale said. “While DHS must continuously improve its application and benefit determination process overall, LIHEAP is an example of how a program should be run. DHS has gone the extra mile to make improvements to LIHEAP so it can serve our most vulnerable citizens.”

To improve the weatherization program, the audit includes one recommendation for the governor and General Assembly and 19 recommendations for DCED. In its written response, included in the audit report, the agency appears to be in general agreement with two of the three findings and agrees with approximately half of the recommendations.

DHS is in agreement with the finding applicable to LIHEAP and is committed to implementing the recommendations.

The Energy Conservation and Assistance Programs (LIHEAP and Weatherization) audit report is available online at: www.PaAuditor.gov.

NOTE: Catholic Charities and Catholic Social Services are among the local agencies that turn to the LIHEAP and Weatherization programs to minister to people in need in their communities.

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Article source: https://www.pacatholic.org/state-must-do-more-to-help-keep-people-warm-safer-through-winter/

Statement on Joint State Government Commission Report on Capital Punishment

Just three people have been executed in the past 56 years in Pennsylvania, yet more than 466 death warrants have been signed since 1985.Currently there are 150 inmates on death row. In 2012, the Joint State Government Commission was asked to study the practice and process of capital punishment in PA. On Monday, June 25, 2018, the long anticipated report about the death penalty was finally released.

The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference has long opposed the death penalty. The Catholic Church is committed to upholding the dignity and sanctity of every human life— even the life of a person convicted of a most heinous crime. Our Christian faith calls all people to grow in respect for human life and to oppose the death penalty in our modern society.

Catholic opposition to the use of the death penalty should not be construed as a lack of compassion for those who have been affected by violent crime. People convicted of capital offenses must be punished effectively and appropriately for their crimes. Family and friends of victims, and society as a whole, demand this; but true emotional, spiritual and even physical healing cannot be found in vengeance.

While the Joint State Government Commission’s report on capital punishment  does not recommend abolishing the death penalty, it does confirm that our current system of state sponsored executions is flawed, ineffective, unjust, and expensive.

The Commission’s report should prompt an important and long-overdue debate about Pennsylvania’s penal system. The report demonstrates that the status quo is unacceptable. We can and must find alternatives to taking the lives of the guilty.  Punishment should reflect our belief in the inherent human dignity of each person, and taking a life to avenge the death is in direct conflict with a culture of life.

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Article source: https://www.pacatholic.org/statement-on-joint-state-government-commission-report-on-capital-punishment/

General Assembly Joins Forces to Fight Hunger

One out of every eight Pennsylvanians struggle with hunger, and sadly, nearly 500,000 children are included in that statistic.

The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference is proud to support the Pennsylvania General Assembly’s initiative to combat hunger and food insecurity across the state.

On September 24, 2018, senators and state representatives will be playing a friendly “Yinz vs. Youse”/”East vs. West” charity softball game. Proceeds from the game will benefit hunger-fighting programs statewide administered by Feeding Pennsylvania and Hunger-Free Pennsylvania.

This will be the third such game played. Since 2013, the event has raised over $130,000 to fight hunger in Pennsylvania.

Recently, legislative team captains, including Sen. Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) held a “draft day” news conference to draw attention to the purpose of the event and to secure team rosters.

More information can be found at capitolallstars.org.

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Article source: https://www.pacatholic.org/capitolallstargame/

Perspectivas: Victoria para los centros de maternidad; Se nombra al nuevo director ejecutivo de la CCC

Corte Suprema de los EE.UU. dictamina a favor de los centros de maternidad

Esta semana, los centros de maternidad religiosos, celebraron una victoria cuando la Corte Suprema de los EE.UU. dictaminó, en una decisión de 5 a 4, que la ley de  California que requería que las clínicas informaran a las pacientes sobre el aborto, infringe la Primera Enmienda.

Esta ley, conocida como la “Ley de la Libertad, Responsabilidad y Atención Integral de la Reproducción y Transparencia de California” (“FACT Act”), seleccionaba a ciertos centros de maternidad en crisis y les requería que exhibieran carteles y proporcionaran información sobre la disponibilidad de servicios abortivos.

“Esta es una victoria de la razón por encima de la ideología. Esta es una victoria para las mujeres, a quienes se les ofrece alternativas esperanzadoras en vez del aborto. Y es una victoria para los niños, quienes ya no serán arrebatados de sus madres, por una preferencia absurda que el gobierno tiene por el aborto”, afirmó el Reverendísimo Mons. Jaime Soto, obispo católico romano de Sacramento y presidente de la Conferencia Católica de California, en un comunicado publicado.

“La Primera Enmienda de la Constitución de los Estados Unidos podría ser la más valiosa porque protege y consagra nuestro derecho a la libertad de expresión, la asociación y reunión pacífica y a la libertad de ejercer nuestra religión”, aseguró Mons. Soto.  “La decisión de la Corte Suprema, el día de hoy, de rechazar las iniciativas legales del estado de California, de amordazar la libertad de expresión de las clínicas de salud de la mujer y centros de maternidad en crisis, demuestran por qué. La Corte específicamente señaló que la Ley FACT ‘doblegaba la libertad de expresión,’ e imponía un requisito de divulgación de información ‘suministrada por el gobierno’, pero ‘liberó a los interlocutores cuyos mensajes armonizan con sus propios puntos de vista”.  

 

 

Estudio indica que aumenta el número de casos de suicidios asistidos por médicos  

Los suicidios asistidos por médicos, en California, casi se duplicaron en el 2017, cada mes, en comparación al 2016, indicó un informe reciente del estado.  

Es una estadística aleccionadora, a la vez que los abogados pelean en los tribunales, para que se decida si es legal la ley estatal del suicidio asistido del 2016.

La cuestión del suicidio en la sociedad contemporánea ha adquirido nueva atención y generado mayor debate con las recientes muertes autoinfligidas, de personas famosas como la diseñadora Kate Spade y Anthony Bourdain.

Hasta que los suicidios de personas famosas generan titulares,  el suicidio sigue siendo una realidad continua y generalmente imperceptible. En California, aproximadamente 4,200 personas se suicidan cada año, una parte considerable de los más de 40,000 suicidios estadounidenses.

En el informe estatal, mandado para el 2017 y publicado a finales de junio, se divulgó nueva información sobre el suicidio legal, asistido por médicos en California. Éste indica que han muerto 374 californianos en el 2017 por fármacos que 241 médicos les recetaron, aproximadamente 31 personas por mes.

Esa es una cifra mensual mucho más alta que en el 2016, cuando fue legal el suicidio asistido por médicos por siete meses. El informe del estado reveló que 16 personas murieron por mes, en el 2016, con los químicos recetados por médicos.  

En el 2017, aproximadamente 241 médicos, en California, recetaron una combinación mortal de fármacos a sus pacientes, aproximadamente 40 por ciento más que los 173 que recetaron los fármacos en el 2016.

El informe se publicó cuando se libra una batalla legal sobre la propia ley del suicidio asistido. Hubo suficiente oposición a la práctica, de tal manera que la Legislatura no pudo aprobarla durante su sesión regular. Así que los partidarios del suicidio asistido lograron que se promulgara durante una sesión extraordinaria para poder resolver una crisis no relacionada, sobre la financiación para el Medi-Cal, pero eso no incluyó el proceso legislativo y las protecciones normales.

Los opositores del suicidio asistido por médicos, finalmente ganaron una demanda contra el defecto legislativo en un tribunal del Condado de Riverside. Ese dictamen, ha quedado en suspenso, cuando el procurador general de California,  Xavier Becerra, apeló para que continúe la muerte por médicos.  

El Dr. Aaron Kheiraty, de la Universidad de California en Irvine, sigue advirtiendo sobre los riesgos. En un tweet reciente, escribió: “El suicidio asistido por médicos es contagioso también. ¿Por qué es que no estamos sonando la alarma al respecto?” 

 

La CCC nombra a nuevo director ejecutivo

El Reverendísimo Mons. Jaime Soto, obispo de Sacramento y presidente de la Conferencia Católica de California (CCC), anunció esta semana que Andrew Rivas ha sido nombrado director ejecutivo de la Conferencia Católica de California.  Él asumirá su cargo en agosto, al final de la sesión legislativa.

Rivas reemplazará a Edward “Ned” Dolejsi, quien anunció su jubilación, anteriormente este año.

“Andy sobresalió entre un grupo de candidatos excepcionalmente calificados,”  afirmó Mons. Jaime Soto, presidente de la Conferencia Católica de California.  “Él conoce la política de California, conoce la política de Washington y, lo más importante, se ha dedicado a la misión de la Iglesia Católica en California”. Él será un compañero valioso para el ministerio especial que es la Conferencia Católica de California”.

Rivas aporta más de veinte años de liderazgo y experiencia ministerial a la CCC, más recientemente, como director de la Oficina de Relaciones Gubernamentales y Comunitarias para la Arquidiócesis de Los Ángeles.

Continúe leyendo

 

La USCCB manifiesta su decepción en torno a las prohibiciones de viaje

El 26 de junio, la Corte Suprema de los EE.UU. emitió su dictamen en la causa de Trump v. Hawaii, la cual contenía una impugnación jurídica a la Proclamación No. 9645 del Presidente Donald Trump, restringiendo los viajes provenientes de varios países con  poblaciones predominantemente musulmanas.  La Corte Suprema sostuvo el dictamen de la prohibición de viajes con una votación de 5 a 4.

El obispo Joe S. Vásquez, de Austin, presidente del Comité de Migración de la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de los EE.UU. (USCCB, por sus siglas en inglés) y el Arzobispo Joseph E. Kurtz, de Louisville, presidente del Comité de la Libertad Religiosa, de la  USCCB, publicaron el siguiente comunicado de manera conjunta:

“La prohibición de viajes tiene en la mira la exclusión de los musulmanes, lo cual va en contra del principio central de neutralidad de nuestro país, cuando se trata de las personas de fe. Nos decepciona el fallo de la Corte porque no tomó en cuenta que, de forma clara e ilícita, el gobierno se ha centrado en un grupo religioso específico. La Iglesia Católica se pronuncia firmemente en contra de la discriminación religiosa, y seguiremos abogando por los derechos de las personas de todas las fes, además de seguir sirviendo a los migrantes y refugiados a través de nuestros diversos ministerios”.

Continúe leyendo

 

Periodistas católicos de CA reciben galardones importantes

El tener publicaciones católicas en la casa es una forma de mantenernos actualizados respecto a las noticias de nuestra comunidad católica local y de la Iglesia a nivel mundial.  Esto también sirve de testimonio para nuestra familia y amistades de que nuestra fe es importante para nosotros.  

Las personas que escriben, editan, dibujan y publican esta literatura trabajan arduamente. Cada año, la Asociación de la Prensa Católica  (CPA, por sus siglas en inglés) reconoce a los periodistas, autores, estudiantes, fotógrafos, camarógrafos católicos y otros, en cuatro categorías:  prensa, libro, estudiante y Gabriel (transmisión y cinematográfico).

Algunos periodistas católicos en California, ganaron más de 50 galardones, variando desde el Escritor del Año  (R.W. Dellinger, Angelus) hasta Editor del Año  (Rick DelVecchio, Catholic San Francisco) hasta Mejor Sitio Web Diocesano (Diócesis de Orange) hasta Mejor Redacción de Noticias  (El Heraldo Católico, Oakland).

Continúe leyendo

 

29 de Junio de  2018
Tomo 11, No. 24

 

Article source: https://cacatholic.org/espanol/perspectivas/perspectivas-victoria-para-los-centros-de-maternidad-se-nombra-al-nuevo

Insights: Victory for Pregnancy Centers; New CCC Exec. Dir. Named

U.S. Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Pregnancy Centers

 

This week, faith-based pregnancy centers celebrated a victory when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that a California law requiring the clinics to inform patients about abortion violates the First Amendment.

The law, called the “California Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care and Transparency Act” (“FACT Act”), singled out crisis pregnancy centers and required them to post signs and provide information about the availability of abortion services.   

“This is a victory for reason over ideology.  This is a victory for women, offering them hopeful alternatives to abortion. And it’s a victory for children, who will no longer be taken from their mothers because of a senseless governmental preference for abortion,” said the Most Rev. Jaime Soto, Roman Catholic Bishop of Sacramento and president of the California Catholic Conference in a released statement. 

“The First Amendment to the United States Constitution may be the most precious because it protects and enshrines our right to free speech, peaceful assembly and the free exercise of our religion,” Bishop Soto said.  “Today’s decision by the Supreme Court rejecting the State of California’s legal attempts to muzzle the free speech of women’s health clinics and pregnancy crisis centers shows why. The Court specifically noted the FACT Act ‘burdened free speech,’ and imposed a ‘government scripted’ disclosure requirement, but ‘left unburdened those speakers whose messages are in accord with its own views.’”

 

Study Shows Number of Physician-Assisted Suicide Cases Increasing

Doctor-assisted suicides in California nearly doubled in 2017 on a monthly basis over 2016, a recent state report shows.

It is a cautionary statistic as attorneys carry on a courtroom fight over whether the state’s 2016 assisted suicide law is legal.

The question of suicide in contemporary society has gained new attention and generated increased discussion with the recent self-inflicted deaths of well-known people such as designer Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain.

Until suicides of famous people generate headlines, suicide remains a continuing and generally unnoticed reality. In California, about 4,200 people commit suicide each year, a substantial share of the more than 40,000 American suicides. 

New information about California’s legal doctor-assisted suicide came in the mandated state report for 2017, released in late June. It shows that 374 Californians died in 2017 from drugs prescribed for them by 241 doctors, about 31 a month.

That is a much higher monthly rate than 2016 when doctor-assisted suicide was legal for seven months. The state report found that 16 people died per month in 2016 with doctor-prescribed chemicals.

In 2017 some 241 California doctors prescribed a lethal combination of drugs to their clients used, about 40 percent more than the 173 who prescribed the meds in 2016.

The report was made public while a legal battle is waged over the assisted suicide law itself.

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CCC Names New Executive Director

The Most Rev. Jaime Soto, Bishop of Sacramento and President of the California Catholic Conference (CCC), announced this week that Andrew Rivas has been named Executive Director of the California Catholic Conference.  He will assume his position in August at the end of the legislative session.

Rivas will replace Edward “Ned” Dolejsi, who announced his retirement earlier this year.

“Andy stood out in an exceptionally qualified field of candidates,” said Bishop Jaime Soto, president of the California Catholic Conference.  “He knows California politics, he knows Washington politics and, more importantly, he is devoted to the mission of the Catholic Church in California.” He will be a valued co-worker for the special ministry that is the California Catholic Conference”

Rivas brings more than twenty years of leadership and ministry experience to CCC, most recently as the Director, Office of Government Community Relations for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

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USCCB Voices Disappointment in Travel Ban Case

On June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court decided the case of Trump v. Hawaii, which involves a challenge to President Donald Trump’s Proclamation No. 9645 restricting travel from several predominantly Muslim-majority countries. The Supreme Court in a 5-4 ruling upheld the travel b

Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration, and Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, chair of the USCCB Committee for Religious Liberty, issued the following joint statement:

“The travel ban targets Muslims for exclusion, which goes against our country’s core principle of neutrality when it comes to people of faith. We are disappointed in the Court’s ruling because it failed to take into account the clear and unlawful targeting of a specific religious group by the government.  The Catholic Church takes a strong stand against religious discrimination, and we will continue to advocate for the rights of people of all faiths, as well as serve migrants and refugees through our various ministries.”

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Catholic Journalists from CA Receive Major Awards

Having Catholic publications around the home is one way of keeping current with our local Catholic community and the news of the worldwide church.  It is also a witness to our family and friends that our faith is important to us.

Those who write, edit, illustrate and publish those publications work hard.  Every year, the Catholic Press Association (CPA) recognizes Catholic journalists, authors, students, photographers, videographers and others in four categories: press, book, student and Gabriel (broadcast and film).

Catholic journalists in California won more than 50 awards ranging from the Writer of the Year (R.W. Dellinger, Angelus) to Editor of the Year (Rick DelVecchio, Catholic San Francisco) to Best Diocesan Website (Diocese of Orange) to Best News Writing (El Heraldo Católico, Oakland).

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June 29, 2018
Vol. 11, No. 24

 

Article source: https://cacatholic.org/insights-victory-pregnancy-centers-new-ccc-exec-dir-named

Chairman of U.S. Bishops Committee on Domestic Justice & Human Development Expresses Disappointment in SCOTUS Ruling on Janus v. AFSCME

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Article source: https://cacatholic.org/janus-ruling

Study Shows Number of Physician-Assisted Suicide Cases Increasing

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Article source: https://cacatholic.org/study-shows-number-physician-assisted-suicide-cases-increasing

Catholic Journalists from California Receive Major Awards

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Article source: https://cacatholic.org/2018_CA_CPA_awards

Catholic News Media Outlets

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California Catholic Conference Applauds US Supreme Court Ruling Upholding Free Speech Rights of Crisis Pregnancy Centers

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Article source: https://cacatholic.org/pregnancy_centers_ruling

California Catholic Conference Announces New Executive Director

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Article source: https://cacatholic.org/california-catholic-conference-announces-new-executive-director

2018-19 State Budget Sees EITC Increase, Investment in School Safety

Governor Tom Wolf has affixed his signature to the 2018-19 state budget that comes with a total spending number of $32.7 billion for the next fiscal year beginning July 1.

The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference tracks various areas of the state budget, namely in the realm of education.

The Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program, or EITC, received a $25 million increase. That increase will take the current total from $135 million to $160 million.

The increase in funding brings the EITC and Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) Program totals to $210 million, combined. Below is a breakdown of current EITC OSTC funding:

  • OSTC – $50 million
  • EITC – $160 million, with the following for each category:
    • $110 million for K-12 Scholarship Organizations
    • $12.5 million for Pre-K Scholarship Organizations
    • $37.5 million for Educational Improvement Organizations
  • Combined OSTC and EITC Totals – $210 million

The tax credit scholarships have been an investment that has paid dividends for students seeking a Catholic or other private education in Pennsylvania. Every Catholic school in all corners of this great Commonwealth benefits from the EITC or OSTC programs.

Each year more than 40,000 families get a scholarship that permits the parents to send their children to a school that best meets their needs. It gives these families a true choice in the right educational path for their children.

In addition, the budget makes an investment of $60 million in school safety for school resource officers, security equipment and other proven methods of preventing school violence.

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Article source: https://www.pacatholic.org/eitcbudget/

Insights: Border Chaos Reactions; DACA and Compassionate Laws

Search for “Better Way” during Border Chaos

The Trump Administration, after days of saying it had no choice, reversed its policy of forcefully separating families at the border.   Massive public outrage, accompanied by the voices of religious leaders and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, forced the President on Wednesday to alter his policy even though significant questions about what happens now remain unanswered.

In addition to separating families at the border, Attorney General Jeff Sessions also announced that the United States would no longer accept asylum applications for those fleeing domestic or gang violence

The combination of restrictions lead to swift reaction:

“At its core, asylum is an instrument to preserve the right to life,” said Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.  “The Attorney General’s recent decision elicits deep concern because it potentially strips asylum from many women who lack adequate protection…Unless overturned, the decision will erode the capacity of asylum to save lives.”

That was last week.  This week, images of school-age children separated from families – provided by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – hit the public hard.  No video of toddlers, placed in what the federal government calls “tender-age” centers, was offered but that did not stop the growing outrage.  It was also learned that children taken from their parents at the border have been sent as far away as New York and Wisconsin.

“We are now a nation where “zero tolerance” means no mercy,” wrote Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles. “We seem proud to announce that we will no longer grant asylum to victims of domestic abuse and gang violence. In the name of protecting our borders, we are willing to break up families and shatter the lives of innocent children.”

Other California Bishops also offered statements including Bishop Patrick McGrath (San Jose), Bishop Gerald Barnes (San Bernardino), Bishop Jaime Soto (Sacramento) and Bishop Armando Ochoa (Fresno).

The President’s alteration of his policy created more questions.  For instance, DHS said it has no plans to try to unify the more than 2,300 children already taken from their parents.  (DHS offered these instructions for finding children.) The Executive Order says that families will be detained together but a previous Federal court order limits that to 20 days maximum.  Pressed to handle all the legal proceeding stemming from its policy, the Administration is now bringing in attorneys from the military’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps, untrained in immigration law to handle prosecutions.  Finally, facilities for keeping families together may be hard to locate.

“We will be watching to see whether the administration follows the law concerning how long it may keep families in detention,” said Jeanne Atkinson, executive director of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC).  Under a court order and settlement agreement in the Flores v. Reno case, which governs care for juveniles in immigration detention, minors being held by Immigration and Customs Enforcement must be released after 20 days.  An executive order cannot supersede a court order.

Archbishop Gomez welcomed the change in policy but urged Congress to act on immigration reform.  However, the U.S. House is stymied.

One immigration bill, proposed by immigration opponents and even sought to reduce legal immigration, failed.  The vote on a “compromise” bill crafted by Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) and other members of leadership was postponed because it did not have the necessary votes to pass.  The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops supported neither bill.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter as we track developments on this continuing story.

 

DACA and the Compassionate Rule of Law

One of the more common issues brought up in the immigration debate relates to the “rule of law.”  Gráinne McEvoy, an Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow at Trinity College, Dublin, examines the concept, especially in light of the ongoing DACA debate. She is currently writing a book on American Catholic social thought and immigration policy in the 20th century.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program has been the subject of much discussion, by politicians, policy experts, academics, journalists and others, since it was announced in June 2012 by President Barack Obama. While critics of the program have warned of it as an exercise in executive overreach and a violation of the rule of law, its supporters have defended it as a reasonable, compassionate concession, one that enjoys overwhelming public support, until lawmakers find a more permanent solution.  

DACA provides work permits and temporary protection from deportation to some of those members of the undocumented population who were brought to the United States as children, a group also known as DREAMers. The program requires that its recipients were under 30 years of age by June 2012, had arrived in the U.S. before their 16th birthday, have been resident since 2007, attending school, enrolled in college or honorably discharged from military service, and have not been convicted of a felony or other serious crime.

DACA-eligible are therefore a specific, narrow and, perhaps most importantly, very sympathetic group. By September 2017, almost 800,000 of an estimated 1.7 million eligible individuals had presented themselves to the government, paid a $465 application fee, and been approved for protection, for a two-year term, under the DACA program. 

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Stop SB 320 in the Assembly Higher Ed Committee

The bill by Assemblymember Leyva (D-Chino Hills) that would require that chemical abortions be available at all University of California and California State University Campuses will next be heard in the Assembly Committee on Higher Education.

This bill has already cleared several hurdles, and lawmakers must hear from you now before it’s allowed to move forward.

If this bill is allowed to pass, the impacts will be devastating. Not only will “non-surgical abortion services” be mandated at California’s public universities, but also a clear goal of the bill is to remove the stigmatization of abortion in general.

Act now before lawmakers vote on this controversial bill.

 

The Question Beyond the Question

By Bishop Robert Barron  - On the afternoon of June 14, a rather spirited, fascinating, and unexpected debate broke out on the floor of the USCCB spring meeting in Ft. Lauderdale. At issue was the possibility of reconsidering “Faithful Citizenship,” the 2007 statement of the US Bishops on the formation of conscience regarding matters political.

A group of bishops, including myself, had proposed that instead of producing another lengthy document to succeed “Faithful Citizenship,” the bishops ought to write a brief and pointed letter on the political challenges of the present moment and then to create a video or a series of videos bringing forth the salient points of Catholic social teaching. Our thinking was motivated by recent research, which indicates that a very small percentage of Catholics actually read that formal statement from ten years ago. Though it had been taken in and appreciated by the bishops themselves, by lobbyists and political activists, and by members of the Catholic commentariat, it was largely ignored by the very people we were endeavoring to reach.

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Holiness in this World of Imposters

In an excerpt from Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete Et Exsultate (Rejoice and Be Glad) on the Call to Holiness in Today’s World, the Holy Father implores us to seek the truth in this world that holds many imposters.

“There can be any number of theories about what constitutes holiness, with various explanations and distinctions. Such reflection may be useful, but nothing is more enlightening than turning to Jesus’ words and seeing his way of teaching the truth. Jesus explained with great simplicity what it means to be holy when he gave us the Beatitudes (cf. Mt 5:3-12; Lk 6:20-23).

The Beatitudes are like a Christian’s identity card. So if anyone asks: “What must one do to be a good Christian?” the answer is clear. We have to do, each in our own way, what Jesus told us in the Sermon on the Mount. In the Beatitudes, we find a portrait of the Master, which we are called to reflect in our daily lives.” 

June 22, 2018

Vol. 11, No. 23

 

Article source: http://www.cacatholic.org/insights-border-chaos-reactions-daca-and-compassionate-laws

Perspectivas: Reacciones al desorden en la frontera: DACA y las leyes compasivas

Búsqueda de una “mejor manera” durante el desorden en la frontera

La Administración Trump, después de  haber dicho, por días ,que no había otra opción, revertió su política de separar forzosamente a las familias en la frontera.  La indignación pública a grande escala, acompañada por las voces de líderes religiosos y legisladores de ambos partidos, obligaron al Presidente, el miércoles, a modificar su política, aunque siguen sin respuesta, algunas interrogantes sobre lo que pasará ahora.

Además de separar a las familias en la frontera, el procurador general, Jeff Sessions, también anunció que los Estados Unidos ya no aceptará solicitudes, para asilo, de parte de personas que huyen de la violencia en el hogar o la violencia pandilleril.  

Esta combinación de restricciones condujo a una reacción que no se hizo esperar:

“En esencia, el asilo es un medio para preservar el derecho a la vida,”  afirmó el Cardenal Daniel DiNardo, presidente de la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de los EE.UU..  “La reciente decisión del Procurador General, suscita una profunda preocupación porque ésta, potencialmente quita el asilo a muchas mujeres que carecen de una protección adecuada… A menos que se revoque, esta decisión debilitará la capacidad de salvar vidas, por medio del asilo”.

Continúe leyendo

DACA y el estado de derecho compasivo

Uno de los asuntos más comunes que surge en el debate sobre la inmigración se relaciona al “estado de derecho”.  Gráinne McEvoy, una becada de postdoctorado, del Consejo de Investigación Irlandés Conan, de la Universidad Trinitaria en Dublin, analiza el concepto, especialmente en vista del continuo debate en torno a DACA. Ella actualmente escribe un libro sobre las ideas católicas sociales americanas y las políticas migratorias del siglo 20.

El programa de Acción Diferida para los Recién Llegados (DACA, por sus siglas en inglés) ha sido un tema muy discutido por políticos, peritos en políticas, académicos, periodistas y otras personas, desde que lo anunciara el presidente Barack Obama en junio del 2012. A la vez que los detractores del programa han advertido que se trata de una extralimitación de la autoridad ejecutiva y una vulneración del estado de derecho,  sus partidarios lo han defendido como una concesión razonable y compasiva, que goza de un arrollador apoyo público, hasta que los legisladores encuentren una solución más permanente.  

DACA provee permisos de trabajo y protección temporal de la deportación a algunos miembros de la población indocumentada que fueron traídos a los Estados Unidos cuando eran niños, a este grupo de personas se les conoce como DREAMers. El programa requiere que los destinatarios hayan sido menores de 30 años, en junio del 2012, que hayan llegado a los EE.UU. antes de haber cumplido sus 16 años de edad, que hayan vivido acá desde el 2007, asistido a la escuela, que se hayan matriculado en la universidad o que hayan sido relevados, con honores, del servicio militar, y que no hayan sido hallados culpables de un delito mayor o de otro delito serio.

Por lo tanto, las personas elegibles para DACA, son un grupo específico, reducido, y quizá más importante, un grupo que goza de mucha simpatía. Para septiembre del 2017, casi 800,000 personas, de aproximadamente 1,7 millones de individuos elegibles, se habían presentado ante el gobierno, pagado la cuota de $465 por su solicitud, y habían sido aprobados para recibir protección por un plazo de dos años, amparados por el programa de DACA. 

Continúe leyendo

Detenga el Proyecto SB 320 en el Comité de Educación Superior de la Asamblea

El Proyecto de ley de la asambleísta Leyva (D-Chino Hills), que requeriría la disponibilidad de abortos químicos en todos los planteles de la Universidad de California (UC) y de la Universidad del Estado de California (Cal State), será atendido próximamente en el Comité de Educación Superior de la Asamblea.

El Proyecto SB 320 ya ha superado varias trabas, y los legisladores deberán escuchar de usted, ya, antes de permitir que éste siga avanzando.

Si se permite que este proyecto de ley sea aprobado, el impacto de éste será devastador. No solamente se ordenarán los “servicios no quirúrgicos abortivos” en las universidades públicas de California, sino que, además, un claro objetivo del proyecto de ley es eliminar la estigmatización del aborto, en general.

Tome medidas ya, antes que los legisladores voten en torno a este proyecto controversial .

La cuestión más allá de la cuestión  

Del Obispo Robert Barron  - En la tarde del 14 de junio, se desató un debate bastante  animado, fascinante, e inesperado en el plenario de la reunión primaveral de la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de los Estados Unidos, en Ft. Lauderdale. El asunto que se trataba era la posibilidad de reconsiderar la declaración del 2007, “Ciudadanos Fieles”,  de los Obispos de los EE.UU. sobre la formación de la conciencia referente a los asuntos políticos.

Un grupo de obispos, incluyéndome a mí,  habíamos propuesto que, en vez de producir otro extenso documento para que le siguiera a “Ciudadanos Fieles,” los obispos deberían redactar una carta breve y enfática sobre los retos políticos del momento presente y luego crear una cinta de video o serie de videos, que presentara los aspectos más notables de la doctrina social católica. Nuestra idea había sido inspirada por las investigaciones recientes, las cuales indican que, un muy pequeño porcentaje de católicos, realmente ha leído la declaración formal de hace diez años. Aunque ésta fue acogida y valorada por los obispos mismos, por cabilderos y activistas políticos, y por los comentaristas católicos, ésta fue mayormente ignorada por las mismas personas a las que estábamos tratando de llegar.  

Continúe leyendo

La santidad en este mundo de impostores

En un extracto de la Exhortación Apostólica Gaudete Et Exsultate (Alegraos y regocijaos) sobre el llamado a la santidad en el mundo actual , el Santo Padre nos implora que busquemos la verdad en este mundo que tiene tantos impostores.

“Puede existir un sinnúmero de teorías sobre lo que constituye la santidad, con diversas explicaciones y distinciones. Dicha reflexión podría resultar útil, pero nada es más instructivo que ir a las palabras de Jesús y ver su forma de enseñar la verdad. Jesús explicó con gran sencillez lo que significa ser santo al darnos las Bienaventuranzas (cf. Mt 5:3-12; Lc 6:20-23).

Las Bienaventuranzas son como la tarjeta de identidad de un cristiano. Por tanto, si alguien pregunta: “¿Qué se debe hacer para ser un buen cristiano? La respuesta está clara. Tenemos que hacer, cada quien a su manera, lo que Jesús nos dijo que hiciéramos en las Bienaventuranzas. En las Bienaventuranzas, encontramos un retrato del Maestro,  y se nos llama a, ser su reflejo, en nuestra vida cotidiana”.

22 de junio de 2018

Tomo 11, No. 23

En español

 

Article source: http://www.cacatholic.org/espanol/perspectivas/perspectivas-reacciones-al-desorden-en-la-frontera-daca-y-las-leyes-compasivas

Search for “Better Way” during Border Chaos

The Trump Administration, after days of saying it had no choice, reversed its policy of forcefully separating families at the border.   Massive public outrage, accompanied by the voices of religious leaders and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, forced the President on Wednesday to alter his policy even though significant questions about what happens now remain unanswered.

In addition to separating families at the border, Attorney General Jeff Sessions also announced that the United States would no longer accept asylum applications for those fleeing domestic or gang violence.

The combination of restrictions lead to swift reaction:

“At its core, asylum is an instrument to preserve the right to life,” said Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.  “The Attorney General’s recent decision elicits deep concern because it potentially strips asylum from many women who lack adequate protection…Unless overturned, the decision will erode the capacity of asylum to save lives.”

That was last week.  This week, images of school-age children separated from families – provided by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – hit the public hard.  No video of toddlers, placed in what the federal government calls “tender-age” centers, was offered but that did not stop the growing outrage.  It was also learned that children taken from their parents at the border have been sent as far away as New York and Wisconsin.

“We are now a nation where “zero tolerance” means no mercy,” wrote Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles. “We seem proud to announce that we will no longer grant asylum to victims of domestic abuse and gang violence. In the name of protecting our borders, we are willing to break up families and shatter the lives of innocent children.”

Other California Bishops also offered statements including Bishop Patrick McGrath (San Jose), Bishop Gerald Barnes (San Bernardino), Bishop Jaime Soto (Sacramento) and Bishop Armando Ochoa (Fresno).

The President’s alteration of his policy created more questions.  For instance, DHS said it has no plans to try to unify the more than 2,300 children already taken from their parents.  (DHS offered these instructions for finding children.) The Executive Order says that families will be detained together but a previous Federal court order limits that to 20 days maximum.  Pressed to handle all the legal proceeding stemming from its policy, the Administration is now bringing in attorneys from the military’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps, untrained in immigration law to handle prosecutions.  Finally, facilities for keeping families together may be hard to locate.

“We will be watching to see whether the administration follows the law concerning how long it may keep families in detention,” said Jeanne Atkinson, executive director of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC).  Under a court order and settlement agreement in the Flores v. Reno case, which governs care for juveniles in immigration detention, minors being held by Immigration and Customs Enforcement must be released after 20 days.  An executive order cannot supersede a court order.

Archbishop Gomez welcomed the change in policy but urged Congress to act on immigration reform.  However, the U.S. House is stymied.

One immigration bill, proposed by immigration opponents and even sought to reduce legal immigration, failed.  The vote on a “compromise” bill crafted by Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) and other members of leadership was postponed because it did not have the necessary votes to pass.  The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops supported neither bill.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter as we track developments on this continuing story.

 

 

 

Article source: http://www.cacatholic.org/search-%E2%80%9Cbetter-way%E2%80%9D-during-border-chaos

DACA and the Compassionate Rule of Law

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program has been the subject of much discussion, by politicians, policy experts, academics, journalists and others, since it was announced in June, 2012 by President Barack Obama. While critics of the program have warned of it as an exercise in executive overreach and a violation of the rule of law, its supporters have defended it as a reasonable, compassionate concession, one which enjoys overwhelming public support, until lawmakers find a more permanent solution.  

DACA provides work permits and temporary protection from deportation to some of those members of the undocumented population who were brought to the United States as children, a group also known as DREAMers. The program requires that its recipients were under 30 years of age by June, 2012, had arrived in the U.S. before their 16th birthday, have been resident since 2007, attending school, enrolled in college or honorably discharged from military service, and have not been convicted of a felony or other serious crime.


By Gráinne McEvoy is an Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow at Trinity College, Dublin, and is currently writing a book on American Catholic social thought and immigration policy in the 20th century.


DACA-eligible are therefore a specific, narrow and, perhaps most importantly, very sympathetic group. By September, 2017, almost 800,000 of an estimated 1.7 million eligible individuals had presented themselves to the government, paid a $465 application fee, and been approved for protection, for a two year term, under the DACA program. They were not provided with a pathway to citizenship nor legal status, but were designated as lawfully present in the U.S. for a specific period of time.  (See: Why the Need for DACA – Further Information and Reflection.)

DACA’s political stakes increased dramatically in September, 2017 when Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the program would be wound down. Sessions explained that the government would accept no new applicants, nor issue renewals to existing holders who would start to lose their protections from March 6, 2018. Calling on Congress to act, President Trump revealed his administration’s intention to use DACA as a bargaining chip with which to compel Democrats to accept the more extreme aspects of its immigration agenda, including securing funding for a border wall and measures to reduce legal immigration. (The Administration is now doing something similar by separating children from their parents as they attempt to enter the country without proper authorization.)

Despite overwhelming popular support from across the political divide, the Administration’s decision has thrown the fate of DACA recipients into confusion. Against the backdrop of legal and political wrangling, the protections in place for tens of thousands of individuals have already been allowed to expire. 

The history of Catholic thinking on the nation’s immigration policies provides us with ways to understand what is at stake for DACA recipients, and presents arguments for the program’s continuation that seek to approach the issue with pragmatism and compassion.

This perspective helps us to consider the feasibility of the often heard argument that concessions to any group within the undocumented population is a violation of the “rule of law,” a phrase Attorney General Sessions used four times in his statement last September. Those who support the Administration’s decision maintain that leeway given to anyone who broke the rules, no matter how young they were at the time, would be an opening wedge to further abuse of the nation’s laws.

For almost a century, Catholic thought on immigration has asserted that sovereign nations have a right and a responsibility to control immigration in ways that protect the moral and material wellbeing of their people. This supports the position that laws are not immutable or timeless. Rather, they are amended or repealed as a matter of course in order to accommodate the actual circumstances and new realities affecting the lives of the nation’s citizens and residents. 

In the case of the DACA-eligible, the most salient of these new realities is the degree to which their lives are embedded in American communities, families, schools, and places of work. For the majority of these young people, this has been the case for as long as they can remember. The average DREAMer was only six years of age when they arrived in the U.S. Today, almost two thirds are younger than 25 years old, with another third aged between 26 and 35 years of age. Seventy-two percent are in higher education and 90 percent are employed, many in better paying jobs than before receiving DACA. Many have started to establish families of their own. Seventee percent of DACA recipients are married to a U.S. citizen and 20 percent have at least one U.S. citizen child. While DREAMers live throughout the country, the majority is concentrated in specific states and locales. One third of DACA recipients live in California, with 13 percent of the total residing in Los Angeles alone. They are being educated in American colleges, participating in the workforce, paying taxes, and supporting their families. These are the actual circumstances and realities that should inform a rational, pragmatic, and humane rule of law.     

For at least a century, American Catholic social teaching on migration has also emphasized that immigration law must, as an imperative, protect the family, the central unit in a secure and just society. It has also held that the law should seek to ensure socio-economic stability and security for families and individuals, both citizens and immigrants. Stripping DACA recipients of their protections plunges this group, their families, communities, colleagues and employers, into a state of instability, creating an atmosphere of alienation and constant fear of the threat of deportation.

Catholic representatives have historically opposed such approaches. In 1929, Bruce Mohler  (Director of the Immigration Bureau of the National Catholic Welfare Conference, a predecessor of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops) charged that a proposed deportation bill “bristles with brutality, and since it could apply to the “parents, husbands and wives of American citizens,” it would “cause great hardship and separate many families.” In 1935, his colleague Sarah Weadick called for amendments to a proposed deportation bill which, she pointed out, would classify those who had entered the country illegally as a “permanently unassimilable class” who had “no respect for our laws.” The law, Weadick argued, should exercise forgiveness to those who “may be able to show over a period of years that they have completely reformed, and are now law-abiding citizens and who may have acquired families in this country.” These historical, social thought-based critiques find echoes in the statement made by the USCCB last September, which warned that the administration had caused “unnecessary fear for DACA youth and their families,” who had “lived out their daily lives with hope and a determination to flourish and contribute to society.”

Any discussion of the fate of the undocumented must be careful not to create categories of the “deserving” or “undeserving,” or to place blame for the plight of the DREAMers at the feet of their parents. Our history and our painful present reveal how few choices a broken immigration system leaves those mothers and fathers desperate to protect their children from poverty, exploitation, and mortal danger. DACA recipients command overwhelming public sympathy, which makes playing with their lives in a game of political brinksmanship all the more callous and unjust. Within a democratic nation, the expectation of compliance with the “rule of law” demands that such law be formulated with justice, compassion, and reason. We can only hope that those in power begin to embrace these guiding principles before further damage is done.

Why the Need for DACA – Further Information and Reflection

Historians, political scientists, and other experts have sought to explain the historical and legal context within which so many young people have come to find themselves living in America without papers, tackling common misconceptions about the status and lived experience of the undocumented in American life.

Historians, for example, have sought to provide a fuller picture of how decades of federal immigration policy has largely created the undocumented problem. Legal experts have explained the improbability of being able to legalize one’s status once already in the country illegally, regardless of length of residency. Scholars of politics and diplomacy have argued that U.S. foreign policy in certain countries has actually helped to create a migration crisis in the Western Hemisphere, placing responsibility back upon the U.S. to show more generosity toward migrants.

These discussions deserve our attention, and suggestions for some further reading can be found below:

Article source: http://www.cacatholic.org/policies-issues/human-dignity/daca-immigration/daca-and-compassionate-rule-law

Bishop Alfred Schlert has Issued a Statement on Immigration

Bishop Alfred Schlert of the Diocese of Allentown has released the following statement calling for our nation’s leaders to treat all people with compassion and respect they deserve as human beings while dealing with the immigration crisis:

“Reasonable people may disagree over the best ways to control illegal immigration to the United States.

It is hard to disagree, however, with the growing chorus of voices from both sides of the political aisle, and from religious leaders of many faiths, that we should not be solving this problem by taking children from their parents at the border.

United States immigration officials are separating children from their families under a policy in which all cases of illegal entry are referred for criminal prosecution. Children are not allowed to accompany their parents to jail, so they are separated and held in detention facilities.

The nation’s Catholic Bishops have condemned using the separation of families as a way to deter illegal immigration. Bishops from around the country have called this practice immoral, cruel, unjust, ineffective and contrary to human decency. The forcible separation of children from their families is in direct violation of Catholic beliefs and values.

This is not a debate about whether our borders should be secure. They should be, and my brother Bishops and I believe that our government’s leaders should take all reasonable steps to keep them that way.

Rather, I would submit that this is a debate about human dignity, about doing the right thing for innocent children, about the sanctity of the family, and about the integrity of the moral compass of our country and its people.

Remember that ours is a nation of immigrants. Few among us would be here if our parents or grandparents or great-grandparents were not afforded the chance to come to this land of opportunity in search of a better life, or to escape persecution.

The Catholic Church, too, is built on a foundation of immigration. We have a long history of embracing immigrants, migrants, refugees and others in need, and proving them with pastoral care and a sense of community and belonging. Our Church has responded to Christ’s call to “welcome the stranger among us.”  We are taught to treat the newcomer as we would treat Jesus Christ himself, were He to arrive at our nation’s border in search of a better life.

The news reports from our Southwestern border are heartbreaking. Imagine how these children must feel, not knowing when or if they will see their parents again. I pray that our nation’s leaders will find a way to care for our national interest on illegal immigration while also treating all people with the compassion and respect they deserve as human beings.

Meanwhile, as we work to find a just and humane solution to the separation crisis, we also must continue to seek effective resolution of other pressing immigration issues: the granting of political asylum for those fleeing domestic and gang-related violence; the search for a pathway to citizenship for young immigrants, called Dreamers; the tragedy of eliminating Temporary Protected Status for immigrants from certain countries, many of whom have been here for years and are productive members of our society; and the plight of Christians fleeing persecution in the Middle East.

Please join me in praying for successful resolutions, and in praying that all of us, regardless of political affiliation, can open our hearts and participate in meaningful and civil public discourse on these issues.”

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Article source: https://www.pacatholic.org/schlertimmigration/

Pennsylvania Catholic Conference Testifies Before PIAA Legislative Oversight Committee

The PIAA Legislative Oversight Committee recently held a public hearing at the state Capitol to receive testimony regarding classifications of high school sports, boundary and non-boundary schools and other issues surrounding public/private school post-season competition.

The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference’s Director of Education, Sean McAleer, testified before the committee, outlining the Catholic schools’ perspective.

 

 

He added,” The PIAA Board and Administration consistently revise and amend the PIAA Constitution and By-laws to create a more level playing field for all membership schools in all sports. Historically, the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference has supported most changes and worked with the PIAA Board and Administration to resolve any issues. The PCC supports the three newest PIAA proposals that would address current concerns:

 

  1. All PIAA transfers will soon be transparent, so anyone can see which schools are receiving the most transferring students. Just as the word transparency is used to demonstrate how government agencies spend tax dollars, it too will be used by the PIAA to increase the availability of information about student transfers. Data with respect to all transfers will soon be online for everyone to see. This tool will be very effective in the future to identify questionable transfers for all PIAA membership schools, so no one will be able to hide such information anymore. This is a 180 degree change from current practice; and the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference supports this change.

 

  1. PIAA has passed a new transfer rule that went into effect for all spring sports and all winter and fall sports in the future. Now any student transferring from a school, who previously was eligible to play 50% of the former school’s games in any particular sport, is not eligible to play that sport at the new school for the remainder of the year. Also, any transferring student must sit out for 21 days before competing in any game for a new school. Of course, any parent can request a hearing with the PIAA district committee to seek a waiver, but these two measures will definitely help the PIAA with questionable transfers; it is likely that we will not see as many transfers or questionable transfers as we saw in the past. The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference also supports this change.

 

  1. The PIAA Administration also introduced a classification rule that utilizes a point-based and transfer-based scale at the last Competition Committee meeting that the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference supports and PCC is working with PIAA and all stakeholders for its implementation. All the details regarding the new proposed rule are still being worked out, but generally if any school (public or private) qualifies for state competition in football or basketball, which seems to be the two most problematic sports programs, and the school has student transfers on its team, it could be elevated to a higher classification for the next two year cycle.”

 

The committee is expected to hold an additional hearing this summer to receive more feedback from various stakeholders.

 

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Article source: https://www.pacatholic.org/piaahearing/

Dolan CNN slider

Published on June 19th, 2018

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York and president of the New York State Catholic Conference, strongly criticized the Trump administration’s policy of separating children from their parents who entered the country illegally at the nation’s southern border. The cardinal made the comments to Chris Cuomo on his CNN program Cuomo Prime Time June 15. Watch the entire interview, as the cardinal addresses Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ use of a quote from St. Paul to justify the policy, and to say “we need a little heart here, we need some tenderness.”

Also, don’t miss this strong op/ed in the New York Daily News by Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn, vice president of the Catholic Conference.

Article source: http://www.nyscatholic.org/2018/06/cardinal-dolan-blasts-family-separation-border-policy/

Cardinal Dolan blasts family separation border policy

Published on June 19th, 2018

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York and president of the New York State Catholic Conference, strongly criticized the Trump administration’s policy of separating children from their parents who entered the country illegally at the nation’s southern border. The cardinal made the comments to Chris Cuomo on his CNN program Cuomo Prime Time June 15. Watch the entire interview, as the cardinal addresses Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ use of a quote from St. Paul to justify the policy, and to say “we need a little heart here, we need some tenderness.”

Also, don’t miss this strong op/ed in the New York Daily News by Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn, vice president of the Catholic Conference.

Article source: http://www.nyscatholic.org/2018/06/cardinal-dolan-blasts-family-separation-border-policy/

Perspectivas: CA aprueba presupuesto; Administración Trump revoca protecciones de asilo

El Gobernador y los legisladores avanzan el Presupuesto para el 2018-2019

El Gobernador Brown y los líderes legislativos democráticos han llegado a un acuerdo en torno a importantes partidas presupuestarias, de un presupuesto que asciende a $190 mil millones para el año fiscal del 2018-2019. 

Los legisladores votaron a favor de aprobar el proyecto de ley sobre el presupuesto, al final del día jueves, y éste ahora irá al Gobernador, quien tiene hasta el 30 de junio para firmarlo. Aunque el presupuesto ha sido aprobado en su mayor parte, el Gobernador aún tiene la autoridad para reducir o eliminar cualquier asignación contenida en el presupuesto. 

Hasta el momento, el presupuesto aprobado incluye logros referente a diversos asuntos de prioridad para la CCC, incluyendo los campos de la inmigración, la dignidad humana, y la vida familiar, a la vez que se han obtenido modestos logros y dejado algo que desear en otros campos, como en la educación.

Los fondos para los servicios migratorios recibieron un aumento en el paquete final, incluyendo $45 millones para expandir los servicios legales para inmigrantes.

Hay una inyección singular de $4 millones para proveer servicios legales para los estudiantes, profesores y personal que son indocumentados e inmigrantes. La concesión es parte del “paquete transaccional” de la Universidad de California. El sistema de  Universidades del estado de California recibirá $7 millones.

Los legisladores acordaron destinar $10 millones para proveer servicios de defensa legal a personas que actual o previamente se han beneficiado del programa de TPS (Estatus de Protección Temporal).  Según un informe reciente del Centro para Estudios Migratorios (Center for Migration Studies), en enero del 2017, aproximadamente 55,000 beneficiarios del TPS, originarios de El Salvador, Haití, y Honduras, vivían en California—una cifra total más alta que cualquier otro estado.

Los legisladores también incluyeron $10 millones para continuar promoviendo el Crédito Fiscal por Ingreso del Trabajo en California (California Earned Income Tax Credit, CalEITC), además de expandir el programa para personas que trabajan, entre las edades de 18 a 24 años y las personas mayores de 65 años.  Adicionalmente, se ha extendido el rango de ingresos que califican para el crédito, de tal manera que los empleados que trabajan hasta tiempo completo, que reciban el salario mínimo de $12 en el 2019, podrían calificar para recibir este crédito.

El presupuesto además incluye $500 millones en subvenciones para programas con el fin de ayudar a las comunidades a abordar la situación de las personas sin hogar. La mayor parte de esa cuota se destinará a la Evolución Continua de los Cuidados, mientras que el resto se designará para las ciudades o condados con una población de más de 300,000 personas.   

El nuevo presupuesto también proveerá fondos para el proyecto SB 982, la Ley de Ningún Niño Vivirá en Pobreza Extrema. Este proyecto proveerá $90 millones en fondos generales, a partir del 1 de abril de 2019, para incrementar las subvenciones de CalWORKs y poder impedir que los niños y sus familias caigan en la pobreza extrema, la cual se considera ser por debajo del 50% del nivel federal de pobreza.

Aunque aún se está elaborando el texto del proyecto de ley, el presupuesto incluye $200 millones para sustentar la cancelación de la política del programa de CalFresh, donde se permitía retirar efectivo en ciertos casos. Tristemente, existe la posibilidad de que esto afecte negativamente a cerca de 140,000 familias en el estado,  al disminuir la ayuda y elegibilidad para los programas federales. Los legisladores están procurando enmendar el texto del proyecto para brindar beneficios de alimentación, con fondos del estado, a las personas que perderían sus beneficios del Programa de Servicios de Alimentos y Nutrición (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, SNAP).

Para la justicia restaurativa, el presupuesto proveerá $37,3 millones para el Fondo de Reinversión Juvenil de la Asamblea,  el cual financiará los programas juveniles de tratamiento en libertad, la presencia de trabajadores sociales en las oficinas de los defensores de oficio y programas de tratamiento en libertad para los jóvenes indígenas estadounidenses.

En lo que se refiere a los fondos para la educación, el nuevo presupuesto contiene algunos logros, pero no consiguió cumplir el deseo de la CCC de obtener más fondos en otros sentidos.

Para ayudar a garantizar que el estado tenga suficientes maestros calificados, el acuerdo presupuestario incluye $75 millones para el Programa de Subvención de Especialización para Maestros (Teacher Residency Grant Program). El proyecto de ley correspondiente especifica que se apartan $50 millones para la educación especial y $25 millones para otras áreas donde hay escasez de maestros, incluyendo en la ciencia, tecnología, ingeniería y matemáticas (STEM), así como la educación bilingüe.

La CCC está apoyando un proyecto de ley complementario (AB 2547, McCarty) para reclutar y capacitar a maestros, mediante un programa de especialización.  Estos fondos se podrían utilizar para los estipendios a los maestros que se especializan, ayuda para pagar la matrícula, la administración del programa o el costo de la orientación y la inducción.  

Aunque el acuerdo presupuestario no adoptó modestos fondos, este año, para asistir fiscalmente el desarrollo profesional de los maestros de los niveles K-12,  como medida acompañante al proyecto SB 1214 (D-Portantino), el mismo proyecto de ley patrocinado por la CCC sigue muy activo, después de ser aprobado en el Senado con apoyo unánime de ambos partidos. Después del receso del verano, se atenderá en el Comité de Ingresos y Tributación de la Asamblea.

Aunque se le presionó para que lo hiciera, el Gobernador Brown no cedió respecto a aumentar significativamente los fondos para los programas veraniegos preescolares y los realizados después de clases.  El acuerdo presupuestario no permite nuevas plazas para el programa Preescolar Estatal de  CA, ninguna expansión en los programas de pre-Kínder, o aumentos para el programa de Educación después de Clases y Seguridad.

 

Se necesitan voces para detener el Proyecto SB 320 ya

El proyecto de ley SB 320, el cual requeriría que los planteles de la Universidad del Estado de California (CSU) y de la Universidad de California (UC) provean fármacos para inducir el aborto en sus centros de salud, ubicados en las universidades, ha superado otra traba para convertirse en ley.  Ahora es que debe comunicarse con su legislador , aunque ya lo haya hecho, para decirle que este proyecto es irresponsable y  abominable.

A principios de esta semana, el Comité de Salud de la Asamblea aprobó este proyecto de ley con una votación que siguió la línea de sus partidos,  y ahora se atenderá en el Comité de la Educación Superior de la Asamblea. Los miembros del comité deben escuchar su opinión ya, para ayudar a impedir que este proyecto siga avanzando.

En caso que no lo haya visto, tómese un momento para ver este video del Obispo Jaime Soto cuando se sienta con Anna Arend de la organización Estudiantes a Favor de la Vida de América para analizar el proyecto SB 320 y el impacto que éste tendría en las universidades públicas en California.

 

Administración Trump revoca protecciones de asilo para los refugiados

Esta semana, el procurador general, Jeff Sessions, revocó las protecciones de asilo para las víctimas, originarias de otros países,  en las causas de violencia en el hogar y violencia pandilleril. Los nuevos requisitos para las personas que buscan refugiarse en los EE.UU. son tan limitados, que es poco probable que sean válidos muchos de los reclamos para obtener asilo.  

El presidente de la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de los EE.UU. (USCCB) y arzobispo de la Diócesis de Galveston-Houston, el Cardenal Daniel DiNardo publicó una declaración  clasificando el asilo como “instrumento para preservar el derecho a la vida” y expresó una profunda preocupación por las víctimas.

“La reciente decisión del procurador general suscita una profunda preocupación porque potencialmente le arrebata el asilo a muchas mujeres que carecen de una protección adecuada. Estas mujeres vulnerables ahora enfrentarán el retorno a los peligros extremos de la violencia en el hogar, en su país de origen. Esta decisión anula décadas de precedentes que han brindado protección a mujeres que han huido de la violencia en el hogar. A menos que se revoque, esta decisión mermará la capacidad de conceder asilo para salvar vidas,” afirmó el Arzobispo DiNardo.

Según el Departamento de Seguridad Interna (Department of Homeland Security), tan solo en el 2016, más de 60,000 personas pidieron asilo en los EE.UU. , provenientes de países violentos y afectados por las pandillas, en Centro América.

 

Asociación Médica Americana (AMA) rebate la recomendación de su propio Consejo para oponerse al suicidio asistido

La Cámara de Delegados de la Asociación Médica Americana (AMA), votó, este lunes, no afirmar el informe de su Consejo para Asuntos Éticos y Judiciales (CEJA, por sus siglas en inglés) para mantener su oposición al suicidio asistido y regresó el informe al comité para que éste se reexamine.  

El informe de CEJA, el foro en línea y el Comité de Consulta, recomendaron de forma unánime, que la  AMA mantenga su postura de oposición al suicidio asistido.  A pesar de estas recomendaciones, la Cámara de Delegados votó 56%-44% estudiar más a fondo el tema.

Mientras tanto, la AMA sigue oponiéndose al suicidio asistido, a menos que se vote a favor de realmente cambiar su postura.  Es probable que haya otro debate en la próxima reunión anual, en junio del 2019. 

“La decisión de la Asociación Médica Americana de no confirmar la recomendación de su propio Consejo para los Asuntos de Ética y Judiciales — es decir,  que sigan oponiéndose al suicidio asistido—no toma en cuenta que esta mala política pública pone en alto riesgo a los pacientes vulnerables para ser presionados, cometer errores e incluso, sufrir abuso,” afirmó Matt Vallière, director ejecutivo del Fondo de Acción a Favor de los Derechos de los Pacientes (Patients Rights Action Fund). “Aunque la postura de oposición de la AMA sigue vigente por ahora, el hecho que se haya regresado el asunto, de nuevo a CEJA, es una oportunidad perdida y representa la incapacidad de protestar una política que tiene consecuencias graves para todos, pero especialmente para las personas que viven con enfermedades, discapacidades o desventajas socioeconómicas. El suicidio asistido no es atención médica”.  

 

Cruz e ícono de la Jornada Mundial de la Juventud viajará alrededor de los EE.UU.

La cruz oficial de la Jornada Mundial de la Juventud e Ícono Mariano, confiado a los jóvenes y jóvenes adultos del mundo, por San Juan Pablo II en 1984, realizará un recorrido por varias ciudades de los Estados Unidos en agosto de 2018, primera vez en veinticinco años, que se ha dado un recorrido tan coordinado.

El Secretariado para los Laicos, el Matrimonio, la Vida Familiar y los Jóvenes (LMFLY, por sus siglas en inglés) de la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de los EE.UU. (USCCB), en particular, la iniciativa de la Jornada Mundial de la Juventud USA, está coordinando el recorrido nacional.

La Cruz e Ícono viajará a lo largo del país, desde el domingo 19 de agosto hasta el lunes 27 de agosto de 2018. Las cinco paradas en su recorrido por los EE.UU. incluirán, en la siguiente secuencia: Chicago, Illinois; Miami, Florida; Houston, Texas; Washington, D.C.; y Los Ángeles, California. 

Mons. José Domingo Ulloa Mendieta, O.S.A., arzobispo metropolitano de Panamá y anfitrión de la próxima reunión internacional de la Jornada Mundial de la Juventud, en enero de 2019, extendió el recorrido de los símbolos de la Jornada Mundial de la Juventud de América Latina para incluir a los Estados Unidos.

Continúe leyendo

15 de junio de 2018
Tomo 11, No. 21

 

Article source: http://www.cacatholic.org/espanol/perspectivas/perspectivas-ca-aprueba-presupuesto-administraci%C3%B3n-trump-revoca-protecciones-de

Insights: CA Approves Budget; Trump Admin Overturns Asylum Protections

Governor and Lawmakers Move 2018-2019 Budget Forward

Governor Brown and Democratic legislative leaders have agreed on significant items in a $190 billion dollar budget for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. 

Lawmakers voted to approve the budget bill late Thursday, which will now go to the Governor who has until June 30 to sign. Though it is largely approved, the Governor still has the authority to reduce or eliminate any appropriation contained in the budget. 

So far, the approved budget includes gains for several CCC priority issue areas including immigration, human dignity and family life, while making modest gains and leaving something to be desired in other areas such as education.   

Immigration funding received a boost in the final package, including $45 million to expand legal services for immigrants.

There is a one-time $4 million influx to provide legal services for undocumented and immigrant students, faculty and staff. The allocation is part of the University of California “Compromise Package.” The California State University system will receive $7 million.

Continue Reading 

 

Voices Needed to Stop SB 320 Now

SB 320, the bill that would require California State University (CSU) and University of California (UC) to provide abortion-inducing medications at their on-campus health centers has cleared another hurdle to become law. Now is the time to contact your lawmaker, even if you have already done so, to tell them this bill is irresponsible and abhorrent.

Earlier this week, the Assembly Health Committee approved the bill on a partisan or “party-line” vote, which will now be heard in the Assembly Committee on Higher Education. The committee members need to hear from you now to help prevent the bill from moving forward.

In case you missed it, take a moment to view this video of Bishop Jaime Soto as he sits down with Anna Arend from Students for Life of America to examine SB 320 and the impact it would have on California public universities.

 

Trump Admin Overturns Asylum Protections for Refugees

This week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions overturned asylum protections for domestic violence and gang violence victims from other countries. The new qualifications for those seeking refuge in the U.S. are so narrow that it’s unlikely many asylum claims will be valid.

USCCB President and Galveston-Houston Archbishop Daniel Cardinal DiNardo released a statement calling asylum, “an instrument to preserve the right to life” and expressing deep concern for victims.

“The Attorney General’s recent decision elicits deep concern because it potentially strips asylum from many women who lack adequate protection. These vulnerable women will now face return to the extreme dangers of domestic violence in their home country. This decision negates decades of precedents that have provided protection to women fleeing domestic violence. Unless overturned, the decision will erode the capacity of asylum to save lives,” Archbishop DiNardo said.

According to Department of Homeland Security, in 2016 alone more than 60,000 individuals sought asylum in the U.S. from violent and gang-afflicted countries in Central America.

 

AMA Refutes Own Council Recommendation to Oppose Assisted Suicide

On Monday, the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates voted not to affirm the report of its Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs (CEJA) to maintain opposition to assisted suicide and sent the report back to committee for further review.  

The CEJA report, online forum and Reference Committee all recommended that the AMA maintain its position in opposition to assisted suicide.   In spite of those recommendations, the House of Delegates voted 56%-44% for further study. 

In the interim, the AMA remains opposed to assisted suicide, absent a vote to actually change the position.  There will likely be another debate at the next annual meeting in June of 2019. 

“The American Medical Association’s decision to not confirm their own Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs’ recommendation – namely that they maintain their opposition to assisted suicide  - does not take into account that this bad public policy puts vulnerable patients at high risk for coercion, mistakes and even abuse,” said Matt Vallière, executive director of Patients Rights Action Fund. “Although the AMA’s opposition position still stands for now, a referral back to CEJA is a lost opportunity and a failure to stand against a policy that has grave consequences for everyone, but especially persons living with illness, disabilities, or socio-economic disadvantage. Assisted suicide is not medical care.”

 

World Youth Day Cross and Icon to Travel Around U.S.

The official World Youth Day (WYD) Cross and Marian Icon, entrusted to the youth and young adults of the world by St. John Paul II in 1984, will make a multi-city tour of the United States in August 2018, the first time in twenty-five years such a coordinated journey has occurred.

The USCCB Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth (LMFLY), in particular its World Youth Day USA (WYDUSA) initiative, is coordinating the national tour.

The Cross and Icon will travel across the country from Sunday, August 19 to Monday, August 27, 2018. The five stops along its U.S. journey will include, in order: Chicago, Illinois; Miami, Florida; Houston, Texas; Washington, D.C.; and Los Angeles, California. 

Archbishop José Domingo Ulloa Mendieta, O.S.A., Metropolitan Archbishop of Panama and host of the next international World Youth Day gathering in January 2019, extended the Latin American tour of the WYD symbols to include the United States.

Continue Reading

June 15, 2018
Vol. 11, No. 21

 

Article source: http://www.cacatholic.org/insights-ca-approves-budget-trump-admin-overturns-asylum-protections

AMA Refutes Own Council Recommendation to Oppose Assisted Suicide

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Article source: http://www.cacatholic.org/ama-refutes-own-council-recommendation-oppose-assisted-suicide

Trump Admin Overturns Asylum Protections for Refugees

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Article source: http://www.cacatholic.org/trump-admin-overturns-asylum-protections-refugees

Governor and Lawmakers Move 2018-2019 Budget Forward

Governor Brown and Democratic legislative leaders have agreed on significant items in a $190 billion dollar budget for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. 

Lawmakers voted to approve the budget bill late Thursday, which will now go to the Governor who has until June 30 to sign. Though it is largely approved, the Governor still has the authority to reduce or eliminate any appropriation contained in the budget. 

So far, the approved budget includes gains for several CCC priority issue areas including immigration, human dignity and family life, while making modest gains and leaving something to be desired in other areas such as education.   

Immigration funding received a boost in the final package, including $45 million to expand legal services for immigrants.

There is a one-time $4 million influx to provide legal services for undocumented and immigrant students, faculty and staff. The allocation is part of the University of California “Compromise Package.” The California State University system will receive $7 million.

Lawmakers agreed to allocate $10 million to provide legal defense services for individuals who are current or former recipients of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program.  According to a recent report by the Center for Migration Studies, as of January 2017, approximately 55,000 TPS recipients from El Salvador, Haiti, and Honduras live in California—a higher total than any other state.

Lawmakers also included $10 million for continuation of promoting the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) as well as expanded the program to working individuals who are the ages of 18-24 and over the age of 65.  In addition, it expands the qualifying income range for the credit so that employees working up to full-time at the 2019 minimum wage of $12 per hour would qualify for the credit.

The budget also includes $500 million in grants for programs to help communities address homelessness. The majority of that amount will be allocated to Continuums of Care while the remainder will be designated to cities or cities and counties with a population over 300,000.   

The new budget will also fund SB 982, the No Child in Deep Poverty Act. The bill will provide $90 million general funds beginning April 1, 2019 to increase CalWORKs grants to keep children and families out of deep poverty, which is considered to be below 50% of the federal poverty level. 

Though bill language is still being worked out, the budget does include $200 million to support the reversal of CalFresh Cash Out policy for certain cases. Sadly, this has the ability to adversely impact close to 140,000 households in the state by lowering assistance and eligibility for federal programs. Lawmakers are looking at amending bill language to provide state-funded nutrition benefits for those that would lose their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

For restorative justice, the budget will provide $37.3 million into the Assembly’s Youth Reinvestment Fund, which will fund youth diversion programs, social workers in public defender offices and Native youth diversion programs.

As far as education funding, the new budget had some gains but failed to meet the CCC’s desire for increased funds in other regards.

To help ensure a statewide supply of qualified teachers, the budget compromise does include $75 million for the Teacher Residency Grant Program. The corresponding bill specifies that $50 million is set aside for special education and $25 million for other teacher shortage areas, including Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and bilingual education. 

The CCC is supporting a complementary bill (AB 2547, McCarty) for the recruitment and training of teachers through a residency program.  These funds may be used for resident stipends, tuition assistance, program management or the cost of mentoring and Induction.

While the compromise budget did not adopt modest funding this year for new K-12 teacher professional development tax relief, as a companion measure to SB 1214 (D-Portantino), the CCC-sponsored bill itself is very much alive after passing the Senate with unanimous bipartisan support.  It will now be heard in the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee after the summer recess.

Although under pressure to do so, Governor Brown did not budge on substantially augmenting funds for preschool and after-school and summer programs. The compromise budget allows for no new slots for the CA State Preschool program, any expansions in pre-Kindergarten programs, or increases for the After School Education and Safety program.

Article source: http://www.cacatholic.org/governor-and-lawmakers-move-2018-2019-budget-forward