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Statement on USCCB General Secretary

WASHINGTON - On Monday, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops became aware of impending media reports alleging possible improper behavior by its general secretary, Monsignor Jeffrey Burrill.

What was shared with us did not include allegations of misconduct with minors. However, in order to avoid becoming a distraction to the operations and ongoing work of the Conference, Monsignor Burrill has resigned, effective immediately.

The Conference takes all allegations of misconduct seriously and will pursue all appropriate steps to address them.

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Media Contact:
Chieko Noguchi
202-541-3200

Pope Francis Accepts Resignation of Bishop Randolph Calvo of the Diocese of Reno; Appoints Bishop Daniel Mueggenborg as Successor

WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Randolph R. Calvo from the pastoral governance of the Diocese of Reno and has appointed Bishop Daniel H. Mueggenborg, auxiliary bishop of Seattle, as Bishop of Reno. The appointment was publicized in Washington, D.C. on July 20, 2021, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Bishop Mueggenborg’s biography may be found here.

The Diocese of Reno is comprised of 70,852 square miles in the State of Nevada and has a total population of 734,093 of which 89,838 are Catholic.

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

U.S. Bishops’ Migration Chairman Urges Congress to Act After Court Ruling on DACA

WASHINGTON—On July 16, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas ruled the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to be unlawful. DACA allows certain undocumented individuals brought to the United States as children—known as Dreamers—to remain in the country. DACA provides temporary protection from deportation and grants work authorization; it does not create a pathway to citizenship. Not all Dreamers are eligible for DACA, nor have all DACA-eligible individuals received protection through the program. Today, there are approximately 650,000 active DACA recipients in the United States and around 3.6 million Dreamers total.

Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of Washington and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration, issued the following statement in response to the court’s ruling:

“While we are disappointed with this ruling, we know that DACA was never meant to be a permanent solution for Dreamers. This ruling is simply the most recent development in a long list of events warranting action by Congress. The Senate currently has multiple bills before it that would grant permanent relief to Dreamers, including the American Dream and Promise Act passed by the House of Representatives in March.

“Dreamers contribute to our economy, serve in our armed forces, and raise American families, but they are prevented from becoming full members of our society. All Dreamers, not just those receiving DACA, deserve the opportunity to achieve their God-given potential in the only country most of them have ever known. This is not only a matter of human dignity but also family unity, considering the 250,000 U.S.-citizen children with Dreamers as parents. Current DACA recipients continue to receive protection, but for how long?

“My brother bishops and I urge the Senate to join the House of Representatives in passing legislation that would provide legal status and a path to citizenship for all Dreamers. In doing so, we recall the words of Pope Francis: ‘Immigrants, if they are helped to integrate, are a blessing, a source of enrichment and new gift that encourages a society to grow.’”

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

U.S. Bishops’ President and International Justice and Peace Chairman Respond to Recent Events in Cuba

WASHINGTON – In response to the recent events in Cuba, Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and Bishop David J. Malloy of Rockford, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on International Justice and Peace, issued the following statement:

“As protests continue in Cuba and among the diaspora in the United States, we would like to express our solidarity, as well as that of our brother bishops in the United States, with our brothers in the Cuban episcopate, and with all men and women of goodwill in Cuba.

“As the Cuban bishops declared in their July 12 statement, ‘A favorable solution will not be reached by impositions, nor by calling for confrontation, but through mutual listening, where common agreements are sought and concrete and tangible steps are taken that contribute, with the contribution of all Cubans without exception, to the building-up of the Fatherland.’

“In the same spirit as the Cuban bishops, we urge the United States to seek the peace that comes from reconciliation and concord between our countries. For decades, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, in conjunction with the Holy See and the Cuban bishops, has called for robust cultural and commercial engagement between the United States and Cuba as the means to assist the island in achieving greater prosperity and social transformation.

“We pray that Our Lady of Charity, our mother, watches over her children in Cuba, and that, together, our countries can grow in friendship in the interests of justice and peace.”


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

 

U.S. Bishops Conference President Responds to Holy Father’s Apostolic Letter Motu Proprio “On the Use of the Roman Liturgy Prior to the Reform of 1970”

WASHINGTON – Earlier today, Pope Francis issued an apostolic letter, Traditionis custodes modifying the norms regulating the use of the 1962 Roman Missal issued before the reforms of the Second Vatican Council. Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued the following statement in response: 

Today Pope Francis published Traditionis custodes, an Apostolic Letter issued motu proprio on the use of Latin liturgical texts approved prior to the reform of 1970. I welcome the Holy Father’s desire to foster unity among Catholics who celebrate the Roman Rite.

“As these new norms are implemented, I encourage my brother bishops to work with care, patience, justice, and charity as together we foster a Eucharistic renewal in our nation.”

 

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

Bishop Chairmen Respond to Extreme Abortion Push in Appropriations Bill

WASHINGTON – This week, the House Committee on Appropriations will mark up the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) appropriations bill, which currently excludes the 46-year-old Hyde Amendment and other longstanding, bipartisan provisions including the Weldon Amendment. Eliminating these provisions would force taxpayers to pay for elective abortions and force health care providers and professionals to perform and refer for abortion against their deeply-held beliefs, as well as force employers and insurers to cover and pay for abortion.

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

This is the most extreme pro-abortion appropriations bill that we have seen, effectively mandating healthcare professionals to participate in abortion, and forcing American citizens to pay for abortion with their tax dollars. By eliminating the Hyde Amendment, and other Hyde-like policies, the financial fruits of Americans’ labor would advance the destruction of the smallest, most vulnerable humans. Eliminating the Weldon Amendment would be an egregious violation of conscience rights by forcing individuals and entities to perform, pay for, or otherwise participate in an abortion against their beliefs. Abortion is not healthcare nor a ‘human service’ to anyone.  Rather, abortion is inhumane.  It is a painful death to an innocent baby, and often leaves women physically harmed and emotionally devastated.

“We implore the House Committee on Appropriations to reverse course on these bills that currently expand taxpayer funding of abortion, and to restore the longstanding, bipartisan Hyde provisions and Weldon Amendment that have saved millions of lives and protected conscience rights. These bills include many other provisions and funding for critically-needed services that we support. Americans’ tax dollars should be used for the common good and welfare of all, not to finance abortion or force Americans to violate deeply-held beliefs.  

“Further, we ask all Catholics and all people of good will to contact their legislators and make their voices heard. The lives of millions of vulnerable children, and the well-being of their mothers, depend on our advocacy.”   

The Committee on Pro-Life Activities has sponsored a petition to legislators asking them to preserve the Hyde Amendment. All are encouraged to sign it at NoTaxpayerAbortion.com.

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

Pope Francis Accepts Resignation of Bishop Roger Foys of the Diocese of Covington; Appoints Father John Iffert of the Diocese of Belleville as Successor

WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Roger J. Foys, 75, from the pastoral governance of the Diocese of Covington and has appointed Father John Iffert, a priest of the Diocese of Belleville as Bishop-elect of Covington. Bishop-elect Iffert currently serves as vicar general and moderator of the curia for the Diocese of Belleville. The appointment was publicized in Washington, D.C. on July 13, 2021, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Father Iffert was born November 23, 1967. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois (1988). He attended Mundelein Seminary in Mundelein, IL, where he earned a Bachelor of Sacred Theology in 1996 and a Master of Divinity in 1997. He was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Belleville on June 7, 1997.

Bishop-elect Iffert’s assignments after ordination include: parochial vicar at St. Peter Cathedral in Belleville (1997-2000); administrator and pastor of Immaculate Conception parish in Columbia (2000-2003). During that time, he served as a member of the diocesan personnel board, Defender of the Bond for the Tribunal, Spiritual Moderator for both the Belleville deanery CYO and the Diocesan Teens Encounter Christ movement. In August 2003, he entered the novitiate of the Order of Preachers, Province of St. Albert the Great, USA (Dominican, Central Province). He professed simple vows as a Dominican in 2004 which he renewed in 2006. From 2007-2008, he served as parochial vicar of St. Thomas Catholic Center at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Father Iffert left the Dominicans in 2008 and returned to the Diocese of Belleville.

Father Iffert has served as administrator of St. Mary parish in Mount Vernon (2008-2010); administrator of St. Theresa parish in Salem and at St. Elizabeth in Kinmundy (2009-2010); pastor of St. Mary parish (2010-2020); and pastor of St. Barbara in Scheller (2014-2020). He has served as vicar forane of the North Central Vicarate (2013-2020); diocesan co-vicar for priests (2014-2020); member of the Diocesan Finance Council (2010-present); and as a member of the College of Consultors (2016-present). Since 2020, Father Iffert has served as vicar general and moderator of the curia for the Diocese of Belleville and since January 2021 he has served as pastor of St. Stephen in Caseyville.

The Diocese of Covington is comprised of 3,359 square miles in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and has a total population of 532,567 of which 91,895 are Catholic.

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

USCCB President Offers Continued Prayers for Holy Father’s Recovery from Surgery

WASHINGTON – As the world awaits to hear updates from the Holy See on the continued recovery of Pope Francis after his surgery last weekend, Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued the following statement:

“It is with gratitude that we received the news of the success of the Holy Father’s surgery this past weekend. We continue to offer our heartfelt prayers and good wishes for his recovery. Even as he is recuperating in the hospital, our Holy Father, in his role as our shepherd has selflessly expressed his closeness to those who are sick and in most need of care.

“In solidarity with the universal Church, we offer our prayers for all who are ill and in need of God’s healing touch, and for those who work tirelessly in health care to bring comfort and medical care to the afflicted. Mary, Mother of Healing and Hope, intercede for us!”

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

 

 

Statement of USCCB President and Bishops’ Chairman for International Justice and Peace on the Assassination of the President of Haiti

WASHINGTON – Upon the news of the brazen assassination of Haiti’s president at his home, Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and Bishop David J. Malloy of Rockford, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on International Justice and Peace, issued the following statement:

“We express our sadness and shock at Wednesday’s assassination of President Jovenel Moïse of Haiti and the wounding of his wife, Martine Moïse.  

“This shocking attack further compounds Haiti’s current political unrest and the multitude of challenges they face in the wake of natural disasters, hunger, failing economy, and gang violence that has made it one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. We join in solidarity with the Church in Haiti and all Haitians in this time of crisis, renewing our hope in Christ Jesus for their country. We share the prayers and sentiments of Pope Francis who seeks ‘a future of fraternal harmony, solidarity, and prosperity’ for Haiti in light of this tragic news. We urge the United States Government to continue to explore ways of effectively addressing the deeply rooted issues that prevent the country from emerging from its problems. “

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

 

$3.56 Million Awarded by the U.S. Bishops’ Subcommittee on Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe to Dioceses in 23 Countries

WASHINGTON - Catholic dioceses that are struggling to recover from decades of communist persecution will receive $3.56 million for ministry and outreach thanks to the generosity of American Catholics to the annual collection for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe that is taken up in most dioceses each winter.

In June, the USCCB Subcommittee on Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe awarded 208 grants to dioceses in 23 nations that were once behind the Iron Curtain.

“The Catholics of Central and Eastern Europe kept the faith alive in the darkest of times, at great peril to themselves, and endeavor to pass that very same faith on to their children,” said Bishop Jeffrey M. Monforton of Steubenville, chairman of the subcommittee. “Catholics who have given to this collection are reaching out in love to aid their brothers and sisters who suffered so much for their faith and are helping a new generation to grow spiritually in very difficult circumstances. Thanks to those gifts, parishes are being renewed, critical social ministry is taking place, and bonds of love are formed between Catholics on opposite sides of the world.”

Several examples of the projects being supported by the grants are:

  • Revitalizing parish life in the Czech Republic by helping clergy and lay leaders better respond to spiritual needs in their communities.
  • Funding for a cathedral and pastoral center in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, which will be a national hub for outreach and evangelization.
  • Promoting the development of pro-life ministries in five nations:
    • In Albania, lay leaders are being trained to rebuild a culture of life rooted in a love of family, healthy relationships, and a deeper understanding of sexuality.
    • In Georgia, the Church will offer direct support to pregnant women and new parents while teaching fertility awareness and the basics of healthy relationships.
    • In Romania, hospitals, schools, social services, a Catholic university, and other ministries will collaborate to promote respect for life, strong families, and natural family planning.
    • In Slovakia, a grant supports a pregnancy resource center staffed by a professional psychologist and social workers.
    • In Slovenia, the Church will offer education and support to different age groups on healthy sexuality, cultivating purity, and overcoming addiction to pornography.

“The gifts of Catholics here in the U.S. to their sisters and brothers in Central and Eastern Europe will save lives, help people discover Jesus, and allow the Church that emerged from the catacombs to give witness to the power of the Resurrection,” Bishop Monforton said.

For more information about the Collection for Central and Eastern Europe, visit www.usccb.org/committees/church-central-eastern-europe.

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