Insights: Bishops Respond to Border Plan; Pope’s Exhortation on Contemporary Life

U.S. Bishops Respond to Trump’s Call For National Guard Troops

In response to President Trump’s call last week for National Guard troops to police in four southern states that share borders with Mexico, U.S. Bishops throughout the country issued statements criticizing the plan and calling for thoughtful immigration reform.

Last week, Catholic Bishops of the southern border states expressed their concern in a statement saying, “The continued militarization of the U.S./Mexico Border distorts the reality of life on the border; this is not a war zone but instead is comprised of many peaceful and law-abiding communities that are also generous in their response to human suffering.”

The Most Rev. Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento, who also serves as president of the California Catholic Conference, issued a statement on behalf of the California Catholic Conference.

“Attempts to fix a broken immigration system using the National Guard are the result of a failure to govern by both executive and legislative branches in Washington.  Calling up the good people of the National Guard – the first responders when our communities face disasters – unwisely expends their goodwill and limited resources pandering to nativist fears and hatreds,” Soto said.

After a week of no response, Governor Jerry Brown announced on Wednesday that he would comply with the Administration’s request but that the California Guard would not be patrolling the border.  Instead, the 400 men and women deployed will be involved in drug interdiction and smuggling prevention.

In his letter to the U.S. Homeland Security Secretary, he quoted the border bishops statement: “I agree with the Catholic Bishops who have said that local, state and federal officials should ‘work collaboratively and prudently in the implementation of this deployment, ensuring that the presence of the National Guard is measured and not disruptive to community life.’”

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Pope Francis Publishes ‘Guide to Living in the 21st Century’

Pope Francis released an apostolic exhortation this week calling all to holiness in a culture that does not value spirituality.

Published April 9, Gaudete et exsultate, or “Rejoice and be glad – The call to holiness in today’s world,” is Francis’ third apostolic exhortation.

The 44-page exhortation explains that holiness is the mission of every Christian, and gives practical advice for living out the call to holiness in ordinary, daily life, encouraging the practice of the Beatitudes and performing works of mercy.

“To be holy does not require being a bishop, a priest or a religious. We are frequently tempted to think that holiness is only for those who can withdraw from ordinary affairs to spend much time in prayer. That is not the case. We are all called to be holy by living our lives with love and by bearing witness in everything we do, wherever we find ourselves,” Pope Francis writes.

The Vatican also released this video this week highlighting the exhortation and showcasing its relevance to all people.

In the piece, the Holy Father, in a very Jesuit way, calls the faithful to find the path God lays out for them:

“The important thing is that each believer discern his or her own path, that they bring out the very best of themselves, the most personal gifts that God has placed in their hearts, rather than hopelessly trying to imitate something not meant for them.”

Read Gaudete et exsultate here.


Pope Francis Offers Apology in Chilean Sexual Abuse Case

This week Pope Francis offered an apology for “grave errors” in his evaluation of a Chilean bishop accused of sexual abuse.

In a letter published on Wednesday, the Pope wrote to Chile’s bishops and asked for forgiveness, lamenting his misjudgment of severity of the affair. He also summoned all of Chile’s 32 bishops to Rome to discuss the conclusion of an official Vatican report.

“As for my own responsibility, I acknowledge, and I want you to faithfully convey it that way, that I have made serious mistakes in the assessment and perception of the situation, especially because of the lack of truthful and balanced information. Right now I ask forgiveness from all those I offended and I hope to be able to do so personally, in the coming weeks, in the meetings I will have with representatives of the people who were interviewed,” the Pope wrote. Read the full text of his letter here.


Abortion-Inducing Drugs Bill Updates

SB 320, the bill by Senator Leyva (D-Chino Hills) that would require all public universities in California to provide students with chemical abortion-inducing drugs, now has a facebook page devoted to the opposition of the bill.

The page, organized by Protect Life CA, features the latest news and updates on the bill, which has passed the Senate and currently sits in the State Assembly.

SB 320 is a priority for the Catholic Advocacy Day coming up on April 24. A backgrounder with information on the bill is now available on the website. Be on the lookout for an when the bill is assigned to a committee.  In the meantime, the Alert is already posted on our Action Alert page. You can take action at any time.


Catholic Advocacy Day Quickly Approaching

The California Catholic Conference’s Catholic Advocacy Day is just around the corner. Delegates from around the state will be in Sacramento to visit with lawmakers and advocate for issues of life and dignity this coming Tuesday, April 24.

Information on CAD bills is now live in backgrounders on the Advocacy Day webpage – in Spanish and English. Be on the lookout for alerts for virtual participation in the day for those that can’t travel to Sacramento.

Ned Dolejsi to Retire as Executive Director of CCC

The Most Rev. Jaime Soto, president of the California Catholic Conference (CCC) and Bishop of Sacramento, announced today that Ned Dolejsi, the longtime executive director of the CCC will be retiring this summer.  A search firm has been retained to identify a new director.

“Ned has been executive director of the CCC for more than 20 years since we hired him away from his beloved Washington State,” said Bishop Soto. “My brother bishops and I will lose an indefatigable promoter of the Church’s ministry in California and a good friend. 

“It is a bittersweet moment for us in California.  We would like to keep him even longer, but it’s clear he and his family have other ideas,” said Bishop Soto. “We thank Ned for his devoted service and pray the tender mercies of the Lord Jesus will abide always with him and his dear family.”

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 April 13, 2018
Vol. 11, No. 13

En Español


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