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

Advocacy News

Following Committee Passage, USCCB Urges U.S. Senate to Act Quickly on Immigration Reform

Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on Migration, has applauded approval by the Senate Judiciary Committee of S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, legislation which would reform the nation's immigration system. "This is an important step in the legislative process," he said May 22, the day after the committee vote. "I applaud Chairman Patrick Leahy and the committee members for their efforts and strong bipartisan cooperation," said Archbishop Gomez. Read more…

Human Trafficking Awareness Day May 2 at the Capitol

On Thursday, May 2, the women of the Michigan Senate will host a bipartisan legislative day to raise awareness to the problem of human trafficking in Michigan and throughout the country. It is estimated that approximately 150 women under the age of 18 are sold into sex trafficking each month in the state. This is a horrible crime against the fundamental rights and dignity of the human person. Michigan Catholic Conference supports the efforts of the Senators and invites interested persons to join the May 2 legislative day in Lansing. [Link no longer available —Ed.]

Grand Rapids Diocese Announces Father David Walkowiak Will Succeed Bishop Hurley

The Diocese of Grand Rapids announced April 18 that Father David John Walkowiak, a priest from the Diocese of Cleveland, Ohio, will succeed Bishop Walter Hurley as the 12th bishop of the diocese. Bishop-elect Walkowiak will be ordained to the episcopacy June 18, 2013 at the Cathedral of St. Andrew in Grand Rapids. “I am grateful to Pope Francis for entrusting me with this apostolic office as bishop of the Diocese of Grand Rapids,” said Bishop-Elect Walkowiak. “In accepting this appointment I renew my trust in the Lord who asks me to set out again on a new mission. I thank God for providing me with the opportunity to serve this local church, which I pray will be a blessing to its people.” Read more…

U.S. Bishops' Conference Welcomes Immigration Proposal, Urges Work Toward Basic Rights and Dignity

WASHINGTON—The introduction of U.S. Senate bipartisan legislation to reform the U.S. immigration system was welcomed by Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration, April 17. “I welcome the introduction of legislation today in the U.S. Senate,” Archbishop Gomez said. “The U.S. bishops look forward to carefully examining the legislation and working with Congress to fashion a final bill that respects the basic human rights and dignity of newcomers to our land—migrants, refugees, and other vulnerable populations.” Read more…

USCCB Religious Liberty Chair Backs HHS Mandate Opponents

On Monday, April 8, Archbishop William E. Lori, archbishop of Baltimore and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, expressed "deep gratitude" and "solidarity and appreciation" for litigants challenging the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services objectionable mandate. In voicing his support for bishops and other Catholic entities, he noted that "Their goal is nothing less than securing the freedom of the Church to continue to obey the Lord’s command—and, in turn, to serve the common good—by providing charitable ministries in health care, education, and service to the poor, all without compromising Catholic beliefs." Read more…

Why Traditional Marriage is Good for Society

The U.S. Supreme Court this week is expected to hear arguments related to Proposal 8, a 2008 California constitutional amendment that defines marriage as between one man and one woman. The court is also expected to hear arguments related to the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between one man and one woman in federal law. The Supreme Court's decision on each of these cases is critically important as efforts to redefine the institution of marriage are well underway. To better understand the Church's teaching on why marriage between one man and one woman is best for society, especially children, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops offers this "Why Marriage Matters" document. Read more…

Following Papal Resignation, Sede Vacante Period Begins

Effective 2:00 pm, Thursday, 28 February, the time and date chose by Pope Benedict XVI for his resignation, the Church finds herself in the"interregnum" period, the time when the papacy is vacant before a new Holy Father is elected. To help Catholics and others understand what takes place during this time leading up to and through the conclave, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has prepared a backgrounder regarding a papal transition. [Link no longer available —Ed.]

U.S. Bishops Call for End to Life Sentences Without Parole for Children

"While there is no question that violent and dangerous youth need to be confined for their safety and that of society, the USCCB does not support provisions that treat children as though they are equal to adults in their moral and cognitive development," said Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, California, chairman of the USCCB committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development. "Life sentences without parole eliminate the opportunity for rehabilitation or second chances." In Michigan there are more than 350 persons serving a life sentence who committed murder while a juvenile. Michigan Catholic Conference supports legislation that would allow for a parole hearing for those in this category. On January 30, a federal judge ruled that a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that calls juvenile sentences without the chance for parole unconstitutional applies retroactively. Read more…

Catholic Schools Week 2013: "Catholic Schools Raise the Standard"

The annual observance starts the last Sunday in January and runs all week, which in 2013 is January 27 to February 2. Schools typically celebrate Catholic Schools Week with Masses, open houses, and other activities for students, families, parishioners, and the community at large. The 2013 theme supports the recent launch of the National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools, that ensure the effective operation and responsible governance Catholic schools across the country, thus promoting high academic standards and Catholic identity. [Link no longer available —Ed.]

Raising Awareness of the Earned Income Tax Credit for Working Families

As part of the year-end agreement to avert the so-called "fiscal cliff," Congress extended for five years the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit. As a result, these powerful anti-poverty initiatives will continue to deliver critical income support for million of employees in low-wage jobs. Claiming these tax credits can put an eligible worker on the path to securing better housing, pursuing higher education, obtaining dependable transportation, covering out-of-pocket health care costs, or paying for quality child care. It is important for working families to know they may be eligible for a federal EITC worth up to $5,891, a Child Tax Credit worth up to $1,000 for qualifying children under 17, and that they can get free tax filing assistance. Here in Michigan, a state credit for eligible workers is worth 6 percent of the federal credit. Read more…

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