Rhode Island

Rhode Island: Diocese Establishes Rhode Island Catholic Conference

Catholic Conference’ to Help Inform Catholics of Impact

of Legislative Action on Smith and Capitol Hill 

PROVIDENCE —July 20, 2011—The Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence recently expanded its voter education effort and established The Rhode Island Catholic Conference, which will aggressively share with the faithful how legislative efforts may impact their faith.  The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI has stated, “The church … does not claim ‘to interfere in any way in the politics of the States.’ She does, however, have a mission of truth to accomplish.”  In the quest for that truth, The Conference is focuses on the seven themes of Catholic social teaching: life and dignity of the human person; call to family, community and participation; solidarity; dignity of work; rights and responsibilities; option for the poor and vulnerable; and caring for God’s creation.

The effort is staffed by the Diocesan Government Liaison, Father Bernard A. Healey, under the direction of Bishop Thomas J. Tobin. Father Healey has served in this position for 10 years and will continue to direct the voter education efforts of the Diocese of Providence.  “The Rhode Island Catholic Conference provides a vehicle by which the diocese may more effectively communicate with the faithful who are concerned about the impact of legislative initiatives on their faith and lives,” said Father Bernard A. Healey.  “As an organization that provides great assistance to those in need throughout the state, the church has a legal right and is morally obligated to advocate on behalf of our beliefs before elected officials.”