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

Advocacy News

Revised HHS Mandate Regulations Met With “Disappointment,” Says USCCB President

On Friday, August 22 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced it had issued revised guidelines to its mandate that requires employer health plans to provide for contraception, sterilization and drugs that can cause an abortion. Shortly after, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), released a statement saying the regulations would “effectively reduce, rather than expand, the scope of religious freedom.” Archbishop Kurtz also indicated a more detailed analysis of the revised policy would be forthcoming from USCCB. Read more…

Unemployment Among Young People Focus of 2014 USCCB Labor Day Statement

WASHINGTON—The high unemployment rate of young adults, both in the United States and around the world, is the focus of the 2014 Labor Day Statement from the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami. The statement, dated September 1, draws on Pope Francis’ teaching against an “economy of exclusion” and applies it to the millions of unemployed young adults in the United States. “For those fortunate enough to have jobs, many pay poorly. Greater numbers of debt-strapped college graduates move back in with their parents, while high school graduates and others may have less debt but very few decent job opportunities,” wrote Archbishop Wenski. “Pope Francis has reserved some of his strongest language for speaking about young adult unemployment, calling it ‘evil,’ an ‘atrocity,’ and emblematic of the ‘throwaway culture.’” Read more…

MCC Op/Ed “Immigrant Children Deserve Security and Compassion”

Responding to the humanitarian crisis that is taking place with thousands of unaccompanied children crossing the U.S./Mexico border, MCC President and CEO Paul A. Long composed an opinion article for the Detroit Free Press urging security and compassion for the children. According to the article: “Frustration over failed immigration policy is understandable, but this is not the time to hold children accountable for a failed American border policy or a foreign country’s economic and political problems.” The article also highlights the work that is being undertaken by Catholic Charities and volunteers to assist migrants with food, shelter and medicine. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has also weighed in on the border crisis with a statement urging the administration to reconsider its policy of returning the children without proper due process. Click here to read the full Free Press op/ed article from Michigan Catholic Conference.…

Fortnight For Freedom 2014

For the past two years, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has sponsored the Fortnight for Freedom, a two week period of prayer, education, and action to promote religious freedom. This year's Fortnight for Freedom began on June 21, 2014 and will last until July 4, 2014, which coincides with the celebration of several martyrs important to the Church who remained faithful in the midst of political persecution. The theme of the event is standing up for the freedom to serve the poor and the vulnerable in accordance with Catholic teaching. For prayer resources or further information, visit or check out this video about how you can get involved in the Fortnight…

Focus: The Issues, The Candidates & Your Vote 2014

The Michigan political cycle will move into full swing this summer. At the Primary Election in August and the General Election in November, voters will head to the ballot box to select men and women they believe will best lead their communities. Many important political offices will be up for election this year, including one of two Michigan seats in the United States Senate. This FOCUS publication strongly encourages Catholics to evaluate their political candidates through the lens of Catholic social teaching, to ask important questions of those running for office, and to vote for candidates based upon a well formed conscience. Read more…

Election Year Guidelines for Catholic Parishes and Institutions

This publication is intended for use by pastors, pastoral administrators and parish staff to provide guidelines related to what is and what is not acceptable election-year activity for Catholic parishes and institutions. While addressing the moral dimensions of issues such as religious liberty, human dignity, education, immigration and others are permissible and encouraged, Catholic institutions are not allowed legally or otherwise to endorse partisan candidates or political parties. This publication also reaffirms the prohibition on the distribution of election-year material that is not published by the diocesan bishop, MCC or USCCB. Read more…

Focus: Crime and Criminal Punishment: Juvenile Life Without Parole

The practice of sentencing individuals under the age of eighteen to life in prison without the opportunity for parole has become a matter of intense legislative and legal scrutiny, both in Michigan and throughout the country. The juveniles who received this sentence have been found guilty of committing or participating in a deadly crime, profoundly impacting both family of the victim and members of the greater community. While the U.S. Supreme Court, Michigan courts and the Michigan Legislature have weighed in on this sentencing policy, the Catholic Church has followed the issue with concern for all involved—guided by the principles of restorative justice and dignity of the human person. Read more…

Canonizations Will Celebrate Two Models of Holiness, Says USCCB President

On Divine Mercy Sunday, April 27, 2014, Pope Francis will canonize two new saints in a Mass at the Vatican, Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II. These two men, each in their own unique way, served as models of “courage, holiness, charity, and attentiveness to the call of Jesus” for all Catholics, said Archbishop Kurtz of Louisville, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Read his full statement…

Send an Electronic Postcard to Congress Supporting Immigration Reform

The Justice for Immigrants campaign that is dedicated to supporting the USCCB position on immigration reform has asked for “electronic postcards” to be sent to members of Congress. The bishops that comprise the USCCB Committee on Migration recently celebrated a Mass at the U.S./Mexico border to raise awareness of the need for reform and to recognize those who lost their lives attempting to cross into the United States. MCC staff is regularly in contact with the state’s Congressional delegation regarding this subject, and your voice is needed as well. Please take a few minutes to send an electronic “postcard” to your U.S. Senators and member of Congress urging them to pass comprehensive immigration reform. Read more…

New Health Plan for Low-Income Residents Now in Effect

Michigan residents who earn up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level (about $15,500 for a single person; $31,000 for a family of four) are now eligible to apply for the Healthy Michigan Plan. This new health care plan went into effect on April 1 and applications are now being taken for those who qualify. Michigan Catholic Conference and the leadership of the state’s Catholic health care systems supported the legislation that reformed the state’s Medicaid system and created this new benefit. A joint statement can be read here, which called for reform that was truly universal, did not deny care to those in need, and respected the life and conscience of every person. Click here to read more about the Healthy Michigan Plan, eligibility, and how to enroll.…

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