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U.S. Bishops’ Pro-Life Chairman Joins Pro-Life Coalition in Asking President to Oppose Amendment Enriching Global Abortion Providers

WASHINGTON – On November 21, Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City and Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee for Pro-Life Activities joined 17 other pro-life groups in urging President Trump to ensure that an amendment led by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), which would enrich global abortion providers, is not part of any final appropriations package.

In a letter to the president, the groups expressed “great concern” that the administration’s significant pro-life actions, “including [the] administration’s Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance policy (PLGHA), will be undermined by the Shaheen amendment which was included in the Senate’s State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs (SFOPS) appropriations bill.”  

The letter pointed to several problems, particularly that the amendment “increases a highly controversial earmark for international family planning by $57.55 million above current law, from $575 million to $632.55 million.” The groups noted that “more money for this earmark exploits an aspect of the PLGHA that allows this account to serve as a taxpayer-funded supplemental for U.S.-based NGOs that actively promote abortion overseas. In FY 2018, the U.S. provided nearly $280 million in foreign aid to groups involved in abortion activities overseas.”

The coalition strongly urged President Trump to communicate with the U.S. Congress that the amendment is a poison pill that violates the Budget Agreement and to oppose the inclusion of the amendment in any final appropriations package.

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, Archdiocese of Kansas City, Pro-Life Activities, Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance, PLGHA, President Trump, appropriations, SFOPS, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen

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Media Contacts:
Chieko Noguchi or Miguel Guilarte
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National Collection Provides Much-Needed Support Each Year for Retired and Elderly Religious

WASHINGTON—For over 30 years, the Retirement Fund for Religious collection has been coordinated by the National Religious Retirement Office (NRRO) to be held in U.S. Catholic dioceses at the discretion of the local bishop. This year, the annual appeal will be held the weekend of December 7-8.

Benefitting some 30,000 senior Catholic sisters, brothers, and religious order priests, the Catholic bishops of the United States launched the Retirement Fund for Religious in 1988 to help address the profound lack of retirement funding among U.S. religious communities. The proceeds are distributed to eligible religious order communities to assist with retirement and healthcare expenses, and roughly 94% of the fund goes to aid elderly religious.

Historically, Catholic sisters, brothers, and religious order priests—collectively known as women and men religious—engaged in ministry for little pay. Any surplus income was reinvested in their ministries, including Catholic schools and hospitals. As a result, today, hundreds of religious communities lack adequate retirement savings to care for the aging members of their communities. The demographics of most religious communities have shifted in recent years so that retired members outnumber younger ones. In 2018, 72% of the congregations providing data to the NRRO had a median age of 70 or older. With a higher median age comes a decline in income—due to the decreased number of wage-earning members—and a rising cost of care. The total cost of care for some 30,000 religious past age 70 now exceeds $1 billion annually.

“The sisters, brothers, and religious order priests who have dedicated their life to the Church through their ministry in our parishes, schools and health care organizations need care in their retirement,” said Presentation Sister Stephanie Still, executive director for the NRRO. “Each year, we Catholics across the nation unite prayerfully on the weekend of the Retirement Fund for Religious collection to honor the work done by sisters, brothers, and religious order priests. We are blessed by countless supporters who share our vision of ensuring that all religious can enjoy a safe and modest retirement.”

The 2018 appeal raised $27.7 million, and 360 religious congregations from around the country received financial assistance. Congregations may use the funding for immediate expenses, such as medications or nursing care. They are also able to invest it for the future retirement and eldercare needs of their respective religious communities. In addition, proceeds from the annual appeal enable the NRRO to furnish educational and consultative resources that help congregations to improve care and plan for long-term retirement needs.


Visit retiredreligious.org to learn more.

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Keywords: National Religious Retirement Office, NRRO, men and women religious, retirement, eldercare, U.S. bishops, Sister Stephanie Still, USCCB, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, National Collection

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Pope Francis Appoints the Rev. Msgr. Francis Malone as Bishop of Shreveport

WASHINGTON— Pope Francis has appointed the Reverend Monsignor Francis Malone as Bishop-elect of Shreveport.

Monsignor Malone is a priest of the Diocese of Little Rock and currently serves as Chancellor for Ecclesial Affairs and Pastor of Christ the King Church in Little Rock. The appointment was publicized today in Washington, D.C, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Bishop-elect Malone was born September 1, 1950 in Philadelphia, PA. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Little Rock on May 21, 1977. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in History (1973), and Masters in Divinity (1977), and Education (1977) from University of Dallas, TX, and a Licentiate of Canon Law (J.C.L.) from The Catholic University of America (1989).

Assignments after ordination include: Associate Pastor, St. Michael Church, West Memphis & Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, Crawfordville (1977-1980); Associate Pastor, Our Lady of the Holy Souls, Little Rock & Pastor, Holy Cross Church, Sheridan (1980-1981).

Bishop-elect Malone has also served as Associate Pastor St. Patrick Church, North Little Rock (1981-1983); Associate Pastor, St. Vincent de Paul Church, Rogers & Priest in Charge, St. John Church, Huntsville (1983-1984); Associate Pastor, Immaculate Conception Church, North Little Rock (1984-1985). He also served as Pastor, St. Mary of the Mount Church, Horseshoe Bend & St. Michael Church, Cherokee Village (1985-1987); Rector, Cathedral of St. Andrew, Little Rock (1989-1996); Pastor, Immaculate Conception Church, North Little Rock & St. Anne Church, North Little Rock (1996-2001); and Pastor, Christ the King Church, Little Rock (2001-Present).
 
Other appointments include: Faculty, Mount St. Mary Academy, Little Rock (1980-1983), Clergy Personnel Board (1983), Chaplain, Rogers Memorial Hospital, Rogers (1983), Moderator of Cursillo (1989), Chancellor & Vice Officialis (1990-2002), Presbyteral Council (1991-Present), College of Consultors (1992-Present), Clergy Personnel Board (1993-Present), Clergy Welfare Board (1994-Present), Managing Editor of Arkansas Catholic Newspaper & Director of Communications (1995), Theological Consultant to Arkansas Catholic Newspaper (1997), Judge, Court of Second Instance, Province of Oklahoma City (2002), Vicar General (2002-2006), and Chancellor of Ecclesial Affairs (2008-Present).

Bishop-elect Malone has received the following ecclesial honors: Prelate of Honor with title of Monsignor (1998), Knight Holy Sepulchre (2002) and Protonotary Apostolic (2010).
 
The Diocese of Shreveport is in the state of Louisiana and has a total population of 812,200, of which 41,335 are Catholic.

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Keywords: Bishops appointment, Pope Francis, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Diocese of Little Rock, Bishop-elect Francis Malone, Diocese of Shreveport.

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Pope Francis Accepts Resignation of Auxiliary Bishop John Bura of the Ukrainian Archeparchy of Philadelphia

WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of the Most Reverend John Bura as Auxiliary Bishop of the Ukrainian Archeparchy of Philadelphia. Bishop Bura has reached the retirement age for bishops of 75.

The resignation was publicized in Washington on November 15, 2019, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Pope Francis, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio, Bishop John Bura, auxiliary bishop, Ukrainian Archeparchy of Philadelphia.

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USCCB Committee Chairman of International Justice and Peace and the Head of Knights of Columbus Send Letter of Solidarity to People of Iraq and Lebanon

WASHINGTON - Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the Military Services, USA and Chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee for International Justice and Peace and Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus sent a letter of solidarity yesterday to the people of Lebanon and Iraq, addressing the recent unrest and protests in these countries.

“Today, in Lebanon and Iraq, we are witnessing critical moments as protests grow against corruption and foreign interference,” they said in the letter addressed to the patriarchs of the two countries. “We pray that the effect of these protests will be a more just society for all the citizens of these two countries.”

Read the full letter here.

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Keywords: USCCB, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, International Justice and Peace, Archbishop Timothy Broglio, Archdiocese for the Military Services, Knights of Columbus, Iraq, Lebanon.

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Media Contacts:
Chieko Noguchi or Miguel Guilarte
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Amended Release: At Annual Fall Assembly in Baltimore, U.S. Bishops Approve Action Items on Their Agenda

The following press release has been amended to include the correct names of the CRS Board. The error in the initial release was an oversight of the public affairs team.

BALTIMORE— The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) meeting this week for their Fall General Assembly in Baltimore have voted on nine action items.

The bishops voted to approve the 6th edition of the Program of Priestly Formation for use in the dioceses of the United States with 226 votes in favor, 4 against, and 3 abstentions. The vote required affirmation by two-thirds of the Conference membership and is subject to recognitio by the Vatican Congregation for Clergy.

The Latin Church members of the USCCB voted to approve two translations by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL). The first vote on a translation of the Order of Christian Initiation of Adults as the base text for a future edition of this rite in the dioceses of the United States was approved with 217 votes in favor, 3 against, and 3 abstentions. The vote required affirmation by two-thirds of the Latin Church members and is subject to confirmatio and recognitio by the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. The second vote on a translation of the Hymns of the Liturgy of the Hours for use in the dioceses of the United States was approved with 205 votes in favor, 5 against, and 2 abstentions. The vote required affirmation by two-thirds of the Latin Church members and is subject to confirmatio by the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

In other items the bishops approved:

• A short letter and five short video scripts to supplement Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, the bishops’ teaching document for the faithful on the political responsibility of Catholics. The short letter was approved 207-24 with 5 abstentions; the vote on the video scripts was 227-5 in favor with 4 abstentions.
• In a vote of 220 to 7 with 2 abstentions, the body of bishops voted to approve the Conference’s Subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs to lead the process of developing a new comprehensive vision for Hispanic/Latino ministry in response to the V Encuentro process.
• The bishops voted with 211 in favor, 11 against and 1 abstention of approval of the 2020 proposed budget, presented by the Committee on Budget and Finance.
• The results of the vote by diocesan and eparchial bishops for a three percent increase in the diocesan assessment for 2021, was 111 to 55, which fell short of the necessary majority. Ballots will be mailed to bishops not present in order to have a conclusive vote.
• The full body of bishops also approved the Revised Strategic Priorities for the 2021-24 USCCB Strategic Plan by a vote of 214 to 4 with 2 abstentions.
• By a voice vote of the majority of members present and voting, the bishops also approved to support the request of Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon asking the Holy Father to name Saint Irenaeus a Doctor of the Church.
• The bishops also elected the following members to the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Board of Directors: Bishop Frank J. Caggiano of Bridgeport, Bishop Mark J. Seitz of El Paso, and Bishop Anthony B. Taylor of Little Rock.

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Keywords: USCCB, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Fall General Assembly, November meeting, Baltimore, Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, CCLV, Program of Priestly Formation, Divine Workshop, ICEL Gray Book, #USCCB19, Catholic Relief Services, Strategic Plan, Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, Saint Irenaeus.

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Media Contact:
Chieko Noguchi or Miguel Guilarte
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U.S. Bishops Vote for Conference Secretary, Chairman and Chairmen-elect of Six Committees at Fall General Assembly in Baltimore

BALTIMORE—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) have elected a new secretary for the Conference, as well as a chairman of the Committee for Religious Liberty, and chairman-elect of five additional standing committees at their Fall General Assembly in Baltimore.

During their morning session, the bishops elected Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles as president of the conference and Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron of Detroit as vice president. Both the new president and vice president begin their terms at the conclusion of this year’s General Assembly. Archbishop Vigneron has served as the Conference secretary since 2018 and will vacate that office upon assuming the vice presidency. In order to accommodate this leadership change, the bishops voted for a new Conference secretary in the afternoon session. Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the Military Services, USA was elected secretary of Conference in a 112-87 vote over Bishop Daniel E. Thomas of Toledo.

Bishop George V. Murry, SJ of Youngstown was elected as chairman of the Committee for Religious Liberty in a 121-121 vote over Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami and fills the vacancy created earlier this year after the committee chairman stepped down due to health reasons. The tie vote resulted in deference to Bishop Murray by nature of age seniority; he assumes his post at the end of this year’s Fall General Assembly and will serve through November 2021 at which time he will be eligible for re-election.

The remaining five will serve for one year as chairmen-elect before beginning a three-year term at the conclusion of the bishops’ 2020 Fall General Assembly. The bishops elected as chairmen-elect are:

Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki of Milwaukee, as chairman-elect of the Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance in a 144 to 97 vote over Bishop Mark L. Bartchak of Altoona-Johnstown.

Bishop David P. Talley of Memphis, as chairman-elect of the Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs in a 123 to 114 vote over Bishop Steven J. Lopes of The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter.

Bishop Andrew H. Cozzens, auxiliary bishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis, as chairman-elect of the Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis in a 151 to 88 vote over Bishop Thomas A. Daly of Spokane.

Bishop David J. Malloy of Rockford, as chairman-elect of the Committee on International Justice and Peace in a 140 to 101 vote over Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento.

Bishop James V. Johnston, Jr. of Kansas City-St. Joseph, as chairman-elect of the Committee on Protection of Children and Young People in a 167-77 vote over Bishop W. Shawn McKnight of Jefferson City.

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Keywords: USCCB, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Fall General Assembly, November meeting, Baltimore, elections, president, vice president, ballot, vote, majority vote, committee, CRS, Catholic Relief Services, #USCCB19.

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Media Contacts:
Chieko Noguchi or Miguel Guilarte
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U.S. Bishops Vote for USCCB President and Vice President at Annual General Assembly in Baltimore

BALTIMORE—Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles was elected president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) during the Fall General Assembly in Baltimore. Archbishop Gomez has served as vice president of the Conference since 2016. Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron of Detroit was elected as USCCB vice president. Both the new president and vice president terms begin at the conclusion of this year’s General Assembly.

Archbishop Gomez was elected president on the first ballot with 176 votes. Archbishop Vigneron was elected vice president on the third ballot by 151 to 90 in a runoff vote against Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the Military Services, USA. The president and vice president are elected by a simple majority from a slate of 10 nominees. If no president or vice president is chosen after the second round of voting, a third ballot is a run-off between the two bishops who received the most votes on the second ballot. Archbishop Vigneron has served as the Conference secretary since 2018, a position that he will vacate upon assuming the vice presidency. Therefore, the bishops will vote in their afternoon session for a Conference secretary to fill the vacancy left as Archbishop Vigneron assumes the vice presidency.

Read President-elect Archbishop Gomez’s biography.
Read Vice President-elect Archbishop Vigneron’s biography.

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Keywords: USCCB, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Fall General Assembly, November meeting, Baltimore, elections, president, vice president, ballot, vote, majority vote, committee, Archbishop Gomez, Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Archbishop Vignernon, Archdiocese of Detroit, #USCCB19.

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Media Contacts:
Chieko Noguchi or Miguel Guilarte
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USCCB Chairmen Issue Statement on Supreme Court Cases Upholding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program

WASHINGTON— Bishop Joe S. Vásquez, of Austin and Chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Migration, commented on three cases argued before the Supreme Court today – Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of University of California; McAleenan, Secretary of Homeland Security v. Vidal; Trump, President of U.S. v. NAACP. These cases challenge whether decisions in the lower court to repeal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) were lawful.

On October 4, the USCCB, with other Catholic and evangelical partners, filed an amicus curiae brief in the cases. The brief argues that rescinding DACA without considering crucial facts underlying the program irreparably harms hundreds of thousands of families by placing them at imminent risk of separation, which violates the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), and is thus unlawful.

Bishop Joe S. Vásquez offered the following statement on the hearing:

“DACA youth are leaders in our parishes and significant contributors to our economy and communities. They are hard-working young people who know the United States as their only home. We continue to urge Congress and the President to work together to find a permanent legislative solution to the plight of all DREAMers, including DACA beneficiaries. In the meantime, ending DACA would disrupt DACA recipients’ continued contributions and integration to our country and could needlessly separate them from their families. Not allowing these young people to continue to utilize DACA to reach their God-given potential is against the common good and our nation’s history of welcoming the immigrant.”

USCCB’s amicus curiae brief in these consolidated cases is available at: http://www.usccb.org/about/general-counsel/amicus-briefs/upload/2019-10-04-FINAL-DACA-brief.pdf.

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Keywords: USCCB, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, DACA, Dreamers, President Trump, Department of Homeland Security.

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Media Contact:
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Pro Life Committee Chairman Invites Bishops to Join Initiative Serving Pregnant and Parenting Mothers in Need

BALTIMORE - Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, of Kansas City in Kansas, and Chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, addressed the body of bishops at the annual November plenary meeting of bishops about the need for improved pastoral responses to women facing unexpected or challenging pregnancies.  

“The challenges can be immense for women in difficult or unplanned pregnancies. 75% of women who choose abortion are low income,” said Archbishop Naumann. “Pregnant and parenting moms in need are in our parishes and our neighborhoods. Women facing challenging pregnancies should see the Church as a place where they can find help, especially with its myriad of social services and organizations dedicated to meeting the needs of people in crisis,” he continued.

In his invitation to the bishops, Archbishop Naumann shared that well over 150,000 low-income mothers deliver their babies at Catholic hospitals each year, and many tens of thousands of pregnant and parenting moms are helped each year through Catholic Charities programs and other help agencies. In addition, thousands of pregnancy care centers staffed by many Catholic volunteers.
Nevertheless, the archbishop noted that there are “gaps,” and “while many pregnancy help resources are appropriately coordinated at the diocesan or regional level, moms in need are best reached at the local level.”

“We have well over 17,000 parishes in the United States. Each parish is best able to identify the local pregnancy help resources that are currently available and to identify potential gaps that need to be addressed. The parish community is uniquely positioned to encourage a collaboration of resources at the local level and to increase awareness of help available to mothers and families in need,” Archbishop Naumann explained.

To this end, Archbishop Naumann asked the bishops present to invite their parishes to join a nationwide effort from March 25, 2020 to March 25, 2021 entitled: “Walking with Moms in Need: A Year of Service.”

This Year of Service will coincide with the 25th anniversary of Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life), a landmark encyclical by Pope John Paul II. The Pro-Life Committee is developing educational, pastoral, and action-oriented resources for parish use, including reflections on the teachings of Evangelium Vitae, Evangelii Gaudium, and Laudato Si; prayers for building a culture of life; tools for documenting an inventory of local resources for pregnant mothers in need; and ideas and support for improving parish responses.

More information about the initiative can be found at www.usccb.org/moms-in-need

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Keywords: Pro-Life, Secretariat of Pro-Life, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Archbishop Joseph Naumann, Walking with Moms in Need

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Media Contact:
Chieko Noguchi or Miguel Guilarte
202-541-3200