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Take a Walk and Prayers to the Graveyard

Having grown up in a “mixed” family, if the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs are playing head-to-head, I will cheer for the Cardinals (my dad’s team), but other than that, it’s “Go Cubs Go,” thanks to my mother and my grandmother. I tried to hold it together when the Cubs won the World Series in 2016, but I admit, I started crying when I called my mom after the last out. There were just too many great memories that came flooding back. I became especially emotional thinking about my grandma, whose great loves in this life were the Catholic Church, her family, and the Chicago Cubs!  A couple of months later, I read a story that has stuck with me ever since. It was of a man who had lost his dad to cancer. Before his dad was sick, both being true Cubs fans, they…

At Angelus, pope warns against using God, others for selfish aims

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — People should seek Jesus out of genuine love, not calculated self-interest,...

N.J. Catholic high school alum is favorite to win gold in track and field

SCOTCH PLAINS, N.J. (CNS) — It’s probably a pretty safe bet that everyone who gathers...

Nearly a year after Beirut blast: ‘We are bleeding, help is needed’

BEIRUT (CNS) — Nearly a year after the blast at the Beirut port, the memory...

Catholics see challenging balance in Simone Biles’ decisions at Olympics

WASHINGTON (CNS) — When Simone Biles, described as the world’s greatest gymnast, announced July 27...

USCCB President and Migration Chairman Statement on Arrival of Afghan Special Immigrant Visa Applicants

WASHINGTON—Since 2001, the United States has been involved in Afghanistan, and later Iraq, in military and a nation-building capacities. During that time, Afghan and Iraqi nationals have assisted U.S. troops, diplomats, and government humanitarian personnel in the region by providing translation, interpretation, security, transportation, and other vital services, often at great risk to themselves and their families. In 2006, the U.S. Congress first authorized a bipartisan humanitarian program to provide Special Immigrant Visas (SIV) for nationals from Afghanistan and Iraq that include resettlement services and legal permanent residence for the approved principal applicants, their spouses, and children.

Since the creation of the program, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Migration and Refugee Services (MRS) team has worked with the U.S. Department of State, the Office of Refugee Resettlement and other nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to provide resettlement services to some of the over 73,000 Afghan SIV holders and their families. The USCCB has also advocated periodically before Congress to extend and improve the program.

On July 14, the White House announced the emergency relocation of Afghan SIV applicants in their final stages of processing to the United States, in an effort aided by US Partners and MRS and its community partners. The first group arrived in the United States today.

Additionally, Congress passed a bipartisan emergency supplemental appropriations bill on July 29, which allocates over $1 billion for humanitarian support and assistance, authorizes an additional 8,000 visas for the SIV program, and makes certain changes to streamline the application process. This follows support from the USCCB on similar measures considered by Congress in recent weeks.

Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the USCCB, and Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of Washington and chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Migration, issued the following statement, responding to these events and welcoming the Afghans:

“We are proud to have the opportunity to welcome and assist those who have kept Americans safe in Afghanistan. By working with the United States, each of these individuals have put their lives and those of their family and friends at risk. As they now leave everything behind to begin new lives here, the many sacrifices they’ve made should not go unacknowledged.

“The Catholic Church teaches that each person is created in the image and likeness of God and that we must uphold the inherent dignity of every person. Our Holy Father, Pope Francis has emphasized welcoming the newcomer, saying it is ‘an invitation to overcome our fears so as to encounter the other, to welcome, to know and to acknowledge him or her. It is an invitation which offers the opportunity to draw near to the other and see where and how he or she lives.’

“The U.S. bishops, through Migration and Refugee Services, and together with Catholic Charities, are grateful for the opportunity to partner with the government and other NGOs to ensure the warm welcome, safe relocation, and resettlement of those who have already contributed greatly to our nation. We also applaud Congress for coming to an agreement on the emergency supplemental appropriations bill to help ensure that all Afghans who are in danger because they assisted the U.S. receive protection and welcome.”

Learn more about the work of the U.S. bishops on migration and the Special Immigrant Visa program.

Media Contacts:
Chieko Noguchi or Miguel Guilarte

U.S. Bishops’ Chairmen Respond to House Vote to Force Taxpayers to Fund Abortion Overseas 

WASHINGTON- On Wednesday evening, the House voted 217 to 212 in favor of H.R. 4373, the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (SFOPs) appropriations bill. H.R. 4373 excludes the Helms Amendment, which says that “no foreign assistance funds may be used to pay for the performance of abortion as a method of family planning or to motivate or coerce any person to practice abortions.”   

Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee for Religious Liberty, Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Bishop David J. Malloy of Rockford, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on International Justice and Peace, issued the following statement:    

"By eliminating the Helms Amendment, H.R. 4373 could force recipient countries that have strong legal and cultural opposition to abortion to embrace it in order to receive desperately needed help for their people. Pope Francis has referred to this type of situation as ideological colonization. Moreover, this legislation pays for abortions and abortion advocacy with the hard-earned tax dollars of Americans—75 percent of whom say their tax dollars should not be used to pay for abortion overseas. While this legislation contains many positive provisions that provide assistance to the poor and vulnerable worldwide, including protection of refugees, increases to humanitarian assistance, and protection of the environment, nothing can justify subsidizing the taking of innocent human life.  

We call on the Senate to stand against the coercive pro-abortion policies of H.R.4373 and for Congress to ultimately pass appropriations bills that respect conscience and the lives of all the vulnerable, both here and abroad.”  

Media Contacts:
Chieko Noguchi or Miguel Guilarte

USCCB President Appoints New Member of National Review Board

WASHINGTON - Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has appointed Dr. Julie H. Rubio to serve on the National Review Board (NRB). The NRB was established as part of the Charter for Protection of Children and Young People and advises the bishops’ Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People adopted by the U.S. bishops in 2002 to address allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy.

In his letter of appointment to Dr. Rubio, Archbishop Gomez emphasized the role of the National Review Board as playing “a vital role as a consultative body assisting the bishops in ensuring the complete implementation and accountability of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. As stated in the Charter, ‘The whole Church, especially the laity, at both the diocesan and national levels, needs to be engaged in maintaining safe environments in the Church for children and young people.’”

Dr. Rubio is a professor of Christian Social Ethics at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University. She is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Divinity School and earned a Ph.D. in Religion and Social Ethics from the University of California. She was a professor of Christian Ethics and Women’s and Gender Studies for 19 years at St. Louis University.

In addition to teaching and other speaking engagements, Dr. Rubio has an extensive list of publications she has authored, including several books and articles in professional journals. She has also investigated the ethics of sexual violence and participates in research on clerical sexual abuse.

Information on the National Review Board and its functions may be found at: National Review Board | USCCB.

Media Contacts:
Chieko Noguchi or Miguel Guilarte

View this release on the USCCB website.

Catholic environmental movement adopts new name in push to inspire action

CLEVELAND (CNS) — The Global Catholic Climate Movement is now known as the Laudato Si’...

Citing COVID-19 threat, Texas governor halts transportation of migrants

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an order July 28 giving state police authority to stop...