Catholic Charities of California Responds to Governor's Budget

by Shannon Lahey, Executive Director
Catholic Charities of California United
As the Executive Director of Catholic Charities of California United, I represent the 12 Catholic Charities agencies that respond to the needs of over one million California residents living in poverty.. It is with gratitude to the generosity of countless Catholic donors that we have carried out our mandate of compassionate service for over one hundred years.
In Deuteronomy, the chosen people are told that they will be given a promised land that will be richly blessed and they are instructed, “If there is a poor man among your brothers, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted. Rather, be open handed and freely give him what he needs.” (Deut 15: 7-8).
California has been a symbolic promised land for millions who came to the state seeking gold, farming jobs, a better life for their children, and freedom from oppression in many parts of the world. As I write this, our Golden State is in an economic crisis and facing historic budget cuts that will disproportionately impact the very people we serve at Catholic Charities.
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Archbishop Gomez Testifies on Worksite Enforcement before US House

Coadjutor Archbishop of Los Angeles, California
Chair, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration on
ICE Worksite Enforcement

The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement

January 26, 2011 -- I am José Gomez, Coadjutor Archbishop of Los Angeles and Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB or the Conference) Committee on Migration.  I testify before you today on behalf of the USCCB Committee on Migration.
Before I begin, I would like to thank Subcommittee Chairman Elton Gallegly (R-CA) and Ranking Member Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) for permitting me to submit testimony before the Subcommittee on this important matter.   
My testimony before the Subcommittee will outline the Conference’s position on workplace enforcement of immigration laws, which includes our recommendation that Congress:  
  • Prioritize and pursue comprehensive immigration reform in lieu of enforcement-only measures to address the issues of unauthorized immigration in the United States; and
  • De-emphasize the use of workplace raids – in which immigrants are detained and families are separated – as a measure to enforce immigration laws in the U.S. workplace.
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Reflections on Prop. 19

By Most Reverend Salvatore J. Cordileone, Bishop of Oakland 
The foundational principle of all Catholic social teaching is the affirmation of the dignity of the human person. One does not need Catholic faith to understand this, but the light of faith helps those of us who are believers to understand this truth more clearly and profoundly, given especially our belief that God created us in His own image and likeness (Gen 1:26).
One of the important consequences of this principle is the need to care for our bodies. As the
Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “Life and physical health are precious gifts entrusted to us by God. We must take reasonable care of them, taking into account the needs of others and the common good.” (No. 2288) In the upcoming election, California voters will have to decide on a ballot proposition which threatens to seriously erode the good these principles uphold.
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On the State Budget

Edward E. “Ned” Dolejsi, Executive Director of the California Catholic Conference—the public policy office of the Catholic Bishops of California— issued the following statement in response to the FY 2010-2011 California state budget.
There is certainly relief that Legislators and the Governor were able to finalize the state’s budget for FY 2010-2011.  Having said that, however, the signed, sealed and delivered budget appears to be an expedient solution, which only solves the immediate problems of averting the issuance of IOUs, facilitating state borrowing, meeting payroll and paying the state’s vendors.  
Sadly the Governor’s line-item vetoes introduce more problems for the poor and the vulnerable.  In his zeal to create a $1.3 billion reserve, the Governor cut funding for child-care supporting welfare to work and reduced funding for mental health programs.  The impacts of these decisions will be felt dramatically in the lives of those who are already challenged to survive in our severe economic times.
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