Michigan Catholic Conference
(800) 395-5565
(517) 372-3940
510 S. Capitol Ave.
Lansing, MI 48933

Advocacy News

U.S. Bishops’ Conference President Welcomes Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato Si

WASHINGTON—Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), welcomed the release of Pope Francis’ encyclical on ecology, Laudato Si, June 18. “With an open heart and gratitude I, along with my brother bishops in the United States, welcome Laudato Si’. In this beautiful and extensive treatment on care for our common home, the Holy Father calls all people to consider our deep and intertwined relationships with God, our brothers and sisters, and the gifts that our Creator has provided for our stewardship.” Read more…

VIDEO: Support the Work of Faith-Based Child Placement Agencies

Three bills currently await approval from Michigan lawmakers to protect the religious liberty rights of faith-based child placement agencies. House Bills 4188, 4189, and 4190 allow agencies such as Catholic Charities to operate according to their faith tradition, and they prohibit the state from discriminating against an agency for providing services in accordance with their beliefs. To learn more, watch a brief video from executive directors and staff of three of Michigan's Catholic adoption and foster care agencies — Catholic Charities of Jackson, Lenawee and Hillsdale Counties, St. Vincent Catholic Charities, and Catholic Charities of Shiawassee and Genesee Counties — and see why the work they do is so important in helping Michigan's vulnerable children. Watch video…

Memorial Day 2015

Every day, men and women in the nation’s military put their lives on the line in order to protect America’s freedom. This Memorial Day, Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Archdiocese of Military Services, USA calls on all to remember those that have sacrificed so much for this country, especially those who have died during the course of their service. In honor of these service men and women, Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) is televising a Memorial Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. at noon on May 25th, with a second showing at midnight on the 26th. Find additional prayers for those in the military and for their families and friends…

USCCB Committee on Migration Issues Report on Immigrant Detention, Calls For a ‘Transformation’ of the System

WASHINGTON—The U.S. immigrant detention system, which treats vulnerable immigrant detainees as criminals, needs extensive reforms, said representatives of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and the Center for Migration Studies, May 11, as they released a report and policy recommendations. They urged Congress and the administration to build a system that affords due process protections, honors human dignity and minimizes the use of detentions. “It is time for our nation to reform this inhumane system, which unnecessarily detains persons, especially vulnerable populations, who are no threat to us and who should be afforded due process and legal protections,” said Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, auxiliary bishop of Seattle and chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration. Read more…

Focus: May Special Election Statewide Ballot Proposal 1

On Tuesday, May 5, 2015 Michigan voters will head to the ballot box to participate in a special statewide election. The primary purpose for this special election is to ask voters if the Michigan Constitution should be amended to raise the sales tax to pay for road and transportation infrastructure repairs. This FOCUS publication presents to Catholic and other readers a background of Proposal 1, arguments from both supporters and opponents, and the official language that will appear on the May 5 special election ballot. Michigan Catholic Conference does not have a position on Proposal 1. Read more…

Faith Leaders Reaffirm Commitment to Marriage and Religious Freedom in Open Letter

Over thirty diverse religious leaders have issued an open letter on marriage and religious liberty, just days before the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on the right of states to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The letter, “The Defense of marriage and the Right of Religious Freedom: Reaffirming a Shared Witness,” highlights marriage as “integral to a healthy and free society” because it brings children together with their mother and father. Additionally, the letter calls for civility and mutual respect during the discussion to ensure that people of faith will be able express their beliefs and convictions about marriage without fear of intimidation or marginalization. Several Catholic leaders signed onto the letter, including Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Read more…

Pope Francis: “The Death Penalty is a Failure”

“For a State of Rights, the death penalty is a failure, because it obliges the State to kill in the name of justice”. The Pope wrote this in a letter on Friday, 20 March, to the President of the International Commission against the Death Penalty. The Holy Father underlined that “States can kill by action when they apply the death penalty, when they lead their people to war or when they perform extrajudicial or summary executions”, but “they can also kill by omission, when they do not guarantee their people access to essential means for life.” Legislation was recently introduced in Michigan that would have allowed for the death penalty in certain circumstances, a policy to which Michigan Catholic Conference is strongly opposed. Read more…

Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) Legislation FAQs

In 1993, President Bill Clinton signed into law the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). The bill passed both the United States House and Senate with nearly unanimous bipartisan support. RFRA provides a balancing test when the government attempts to restrict the free exercise of religion. Twenty states have legislatively adopted their own versions of RFRA, and another eleven states have RFRA-like protections provided by state court decisions. The federal RFRA and its state counterparts have worked well to provide appropriate protections for people of faith who seek to live out their faith in daily life. These FAQs may help to better understand the reasoning for and impact of RFRA legislation. Read more…

Audio: MCC Staff Discusses Legislative Issues with Michigan Radio Network

On Tuesday, March 3 Vice President for Public Policy and Advocacy Tom Hickson and Director of Communications Dave Maluchnik spoke with Rob Baykian of Michigan Talk Radio regarding legislation of interest to MCC. Among those topics discussed for the “Capitol Pressroom” radio program include the State of Michigan budget, the proposed merger of the Departments of Human Services and Community Health, the death penalty, immigration, human trafficking, religious liberty and human life policies. For more information about MCC’s advocacy priorities for 2015–2016, take a moment to read the Conference’s latest FOCUS publication “A Blueprint for the Common Good.”. The interview lasts approximately twenty minutes and can be heard by clicking on the audio file…

National Marriage Week Celebrated February 7–14

The week of February 7 is commemorated as National Marriage Week and, through the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, several resources have been made available to celebrate the gift and blessing of marriage. In addition to the websites For Your Marriage and Por Tu Matrimonio, designed to help strengthen the marriage bond, the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth has developed bulletin inserts, preaching resources, a seven-day virtual retreat and explanations of the social benefits of marriage. According to a letter from Bishop Richard Malone, chairman of the committee “…one of the pastoral priorities of our Conference is to promote and strengthen marriage both as a natural institution…” [Link no longer available —Ed.]

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Michigan Catholic Conference
(800) 395-5565
(517) 372-3940
510 South Capitol Avenue
Lansing, Michigan 48933
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