Updates from US Catholic Bishops Meeting

U.S. bishops extend the Working Group on Immigration

June 15, 2:30 p.m. 

In a press release distributed on Thursday afternoon, the U.S. bishops announced that it has “extended the bishops’ Working Group on Immigration” in recognition of “the continued urgency for comprehensive immigration reform, a humane refugee policy and a safe border.

Cardinal DiNardo made the announcement on the second day of the 2017 Spring General Assembly in Indianapolis.

 

Repealing Obamacare and gutting the safety net will hurt the poor

June 15, 1:30 p.m.

A handful of bishops offered impassioned pleas for Catholics to take a stand against both a proposed federal budget that critics say guts the social safety net and efforts to replace the Affordable Care Act with a law that could strip health care from millions of poor Americans.

“Within two weeks we may see a federal budgetary action with potentially catastrophic effects on the lives of our people, most especially children and the elderly, the seriously ill, the immigrant and our nation’s working poor,” Bishop George Thomas of Helena, Mt., said on Thursday during an address at the spring meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Indianapolis.

“If left unchallenged or unmodified, this budget will destabilize our own Catholic health care apostolates, take food from the mouths of school-age children and the homebound, and deny already scarce medical resources from the nation’s neediest in every state across the land,” he continued.

The body of bishops applauded when Bishop Thomas finished speaking.

 

Ending immigration group and establishing religious liberty group sends the wrong signal, some bishops say.

June 15, 11 a.m.

A day after a temporary group addressing recent threats to immigration concluded its work, Catholic bishops voted on Thursday to create a new permanent committee aimed at addressing religious freedom issues in the United States, sparking a vigorous floor debate about the perceived priorities of U.S. bishops.

Meeting in Indianapolis for their spring meeting, the bishops voted 132 to 53 to make permanent an ad hoc committee formed in 2011 by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who was then president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The vote was not without controversy, however, as evidenced by floor comments from close to 20 bishops, including four cardinals.