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U.S. Bishops Allocate $9.9 Million in Grants to Aid Dioceses in Pastoral Outreach and Evangelization Efforts

WASHINGTON— The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Subcommittee on Catholic Home Missions met in El Paso, Texas last month to consider grant applications for 2020. The Subcommittee approved $9.9 million in grants to aid 77 dioceses and eparchies in the United States and its territories that face significant challenges to their evangelization efforts due to geography, low populations, and poverty.

Financed through the Catholic Home Missions Appeal, a special national collection held each year in dioceses across the country, the grants support a wide range of pastoral outreach and ministries in the communities that are designated awardees. Recipients for 2020 include the Diocese of Kalamazoo’s well-established migrant ministry outreach, which has been supported for two decades by Subcommittee grants. This program includes ministry staff as well as more than 100 volunteers from 15 parishes. Last year, the diocese’s Hispanic Migrant Team visited more than 300 migrant farmworker camps and ministered to 15,000 people, providing access to the liturgy, sacramental preparation, catechetical classes, and various social services.

The 2020 funds will help the diocese continue this effort. For the Diocese of Colorado Springs, funding from the Subcommittee means youth and young adults will continue to have access to critical faith formation programs, equipping them with knowledge of their Catholic faith through catechesis and evangelization. In the Diocese of Dodge City, the Subcommittee’s grant will support a lay ministry formation program for leadership development in more than 10 parishes. In the Diocese of Juneau, the grant will help to minister to people who live in remote regions scattered along 500 miles of islands, peninsulas, and fjords.

During the visit to the Diocese of El Paso, the Subcommittee had the opportunity to meet with the staff who carry out the ministries in west Texas that the grants would support and heard firsthand about the challenges and successes of meeting the needs of their faith community. Bishop W. Shawn McKnight, of Jefferson City and Chairman of the USCCB’s Subcommittee on Catholic Home Missions shared his sincere gratitude for the commitment and dedication diocesan and parish personnel have shown in the face of difficulties.

“The Diocese of El Paso, along with many other dioceses throughout the United States struggle to meet the basic pastoral needs of the faithful. Thanks to the generosity of Catholics throughout the United States, dioceses in need can apply for grants that will help them with evangelization and pastoral ministry efforts,” said Bishop McKnight. “These dioceses otherwise might not be able to engage as robustly in the evangelization and outreach programs that foster the community and fraternity needed to enrich the faithful who long to grow closer to Christ,” he said.

The Subcommittee oversees the Catholic Home Missions Appeal and an annual grant program as part of the USCCB Committee on National Collections. Most of the requests received by the Subcommittee are to support programs of evangelization, Hispanic ministry, seminary education, lay ministry formation, and other essential pastoral ministries.

The national date for the Catholic Home Missions Appeal is April 26, however, some dioceses opt to host the appeal at other times during the year. More information on Catholic Home Missions and the projects it funds can be found online at www.usccb.org/home-missions. Join the conversation at #1church1mission.

CHM’s annual report provides a presentation of the use of collection funds and the scope of its reach and impact, and the most recent issue of the CHM newsletter “Neighbors” may be read here.

Parish resources for the collection may be accessed at http://www.usccb.org/catholic-giving/opportunities-for-giving/catholic-home-missions-appeal/collection/index.cfm.

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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop Shawn McKnight, Subcommittee on Catholic Home Missions, Committee on National Collections, Catholic Home Missions Appeal, CHMA

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U.S. Bishops to Meet Nov. 11-13 in Baltimore; Will Elect New USCCB President, Vice President, Committee Chairs, and Vote on Seven Action Items; Assembly to Be Live Streamed, Live Tweeted, Carried Via Satellite

WASHINGTON—The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will gather for the 2019 Fall General Assembly in Baltimore, November 11-13. During the assembly, the bishops will elect a new president, vice president, and six committee chairs. They will also discuss and vote on seven action items.

The assembly will begin with an address by the Papal Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Christophe Pierre. The bishops will also hear from Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston as he gives his final address as USCCB president upon completion of his three-year term.
 
During the assembly, the U.S. bishops will hear a report from the National Advisory Council, a group created by the USCCB comprised of religious and lay people primarily for consultation on Action Items and Information Reports before the Administrative Committee.  

The bishops will vote on the Program of Priestly Formation (6th edition) for use in the dioceses of the United States. They will also vote to approve a short letter and five short video scripts to supplement Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, their teaching document for the faithful on the political responsibility of Catholics.

The Latin Church members of the USCCB will vote to approve two translations by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL): (1) 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, and (2) a translation of the Hymns of the Liturgy of the Hours for use in the dioceses of the United States.

The Subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs of the Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church will request the authorization of the full body of bishops to lead the process of developing a new formal statement and comprehensive vision for Hispanic/Latino ministry in response to the V Encuentro process, to be developed and approved by the bishops during the next USCCB strategic planning cycle, 2021-2024.

The bishops will also vote on the Revised Strategic Priorities for the 2021-2024 Strategic Plan for the USCCB, as well as the proposed budgets for 2020. The full body of bishops will vote to elect the new Board of Directors of Catholic Relief Services. The members are also expected to hear an update on progress toward establishing a nationwide, third-party reporting system for abuse or misconduct by bishops. This new national reporting system would not replace systems already in place in every diocese for the reporting of abuse by priests.

In addition to the election of a new president and vice president for the USCCB, the bishops will vote for new chairmen of six committees: Canonical Affairs and Church Governance; Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs; Evangelization and Catechesis; International Justice and Peace; Protection of Children and Young People; and Religious Liberty.

The bishop elected for chairman of the Committee for Religious Liberty fills the vacancy created earlier this year after the chairman stepped down for health reasons. At the conclusion of this year’s assembly, the bishop elected to the Committee for Religious Liberty will assume the role of chairman, and the bishops elected for the remaining five committees will serve for one year as chairmen-elect before beginning a three-year term at the conclusion of the 2020 Fall General Assembly.

Public sessions of general assembly discussions and votes will be available via livestream at: http://www.usccb.org/live.  

News updates, vote totals, texts of addresses and presentations and other materials will be posted to this page: www.usccb.org/meetings as soon as possible.

Those wishing to follow the meeting on social media can use the hashtag #USCCB19 and follow on Twitter (@USCCB) as well as on Facebook (www.facebook.com/usccb) and Instagram (https://instagram.com/usccb).

Live stream and satellite feed will run Monday, November 11, Tuesday, November 12, and Wednesday, November 13, while the assembly is in session. Broadcast media outlets interested in taking the meeting's satellite feed should contact the public affairs office to request coordinates; the livestream will be available at: http://www.usccb.org/about/leadership/usccb-general-assembly/usccb-general-assembly-live-stream.cfm.

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, U.S. bishops, Fall General Assembly, November meeting, Baltimore, #USCCB19, live stream

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Media Contacts:
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U.S. Bishops to Vote for Chairman and Chairmen-elect of Six Standing Committees at Fall General Assembly in Baltimore, Nov. 11-13, 2019

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will be voting for the Chairman of the Committee for Religious Liberty, as well as for Chairman-elect of five standing committees during the 2019 General Assembly taking place November 11-13 in Baltimore, MD.

The five committee chairmen 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 bishop elected for chairman of the Committee for Religious Liberty fills the vacancy created earlier this year after the chairman stepped down for health reasons. At the conclusion of the bishops’ 2019 Fall General Assembly, the bishop elected to the Committee for Religious Liberty will assume the post of chairman. The bishops elected for the remaining five committees will serve for one year as chairmen-elect before beginning a three-year term.

As elections for president and vice president of the Conference are also taking place at this meeting, should any of the candidates for committee chairmanship be elected to fill to a higher office, the bishops’ Committee on Priorities and Plans will convene to nominate a new candidate for that committee.

Nominees for the Chairman of the Committee for Religious Liberty, as well as the Chairman-elect of the Committees on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance, Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, Evangelization and Catechesis, International Justice and Peace, and Protection of Children and Young People are as follows:

For Chairman:

1.  COMMITTEE FOR RELIGIOUS LIBERTY
Bishop George V. Murry, SJ of Youngstown
Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami

For Chairman-elect:

2.  COMMITTEE ON CANONICAL AFFAIRS AND CHURCH GOVERNANCE
  Bishop Mark L. Bartchak of Altoona-Johnstown
  Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki of Milwaukee

3.  COMMITTEE ON ECUMENICAL AND INTERRELIGIOUS AFFAIRS
  Bishop Steven J. Lopes of The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter
  Bishop David P. Talley of Memphis

4.  COMMITTEE ON EVANGELIZATION AND CATECHESIS
  Bishop Andrew H. Cozzens of St. Paul and Minneapolis
  Bishop Thomas A. Daly of Spokane

5.  COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE AND PEACE
  Bishop David J. Malloy of Rockford
  Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento

6.  COMMITTEE ON PROTECTION OF CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE
  Bishop James V. Johnston, Jr. of Kansas City-St. Joseph
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, chairman, chairman-elect, ballot, vote, majority vote, committee, Religious Liberty, Canonical Affairs and Church Governance, Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, Evangelization and Catechesis, International Justice and Peace, Protection of Children and Young People, #USCCB19.

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Media Contacts:
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Chairman of U.S. Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace raises concern and solicits prayer over renewed violence in northeast Syria

WASHINGTON— The Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, Archbishop for the Military Services, USA, and Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, issued the following statement over renewed violence in northeast Syria:

“This past week has witnessed renewed military actions in Syria. It is estimated that over 100,000 people have already fled their homes in the past several days as a result. Unabated, such military actions will create further instability, violence, and hunger, exacerbating an already fragile humanitarian situation in northeast Syria and northern Iraq. The ancient Christians and other religious minorities who have called this region home for millennia are at-risk of being lost forever. I urge all regional and international actors in this complex conflict to renew themselves to peace over violence, and dialog over confrontation. And I invite all people of good will join me in beseeching our Lord, the Prince of Peace, for real solutions and stability and to prepare to meet the concrete needs of the new wave of refugees.”

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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Committee on International Justice and Peace, Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio, Archbishop for the Military Services, Syria.

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Chairmen of U.S. Bishops’ Committees Comment on Federal Study Released on Danger of Assisted Suicide Laws to Persons with Disabilities

WASHINGTON—Last week, the National Council on Disabilities (NCD) released a federal study revealing that assisted suicide laws are dangerous to people with disabilities. In its report, “The Danger of Assisted Suicide Laws,” NCD provides several policy recommendations including urging states to not legalize any form of assisted suicide or active euthanasia. The NCD is an independent federal agency charged with advising the president, Congress, and other federal agencies regarding policies, programs, practices, and procedures that affect people with disabilities.

Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, of Kansas City in Kansas, and Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities and Bishop Frank J. Dewane, of Venice, and Chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development issued the following statement:

“We applaud the National Council on Disabilities for its critical research and report exposing serious risks of abuse, coercion and discrimination posed by assisted suicide laws, specifically for people with disabilities. Every suicide is a human tragedy, regardless of the age, incapacity, or social/economic status of the individual. The legalization of doctor-assisted suicide separates people into two groups: those whose lives we want to protect and those whose deaths we encourage. This is completely unjust and seriously undermines equal protection under the law. The human rights and intrinsic worth of a person do not change with the onset of age, illness, or disability. As Pope Francis said, “True compassion does not marginalize anyone, nor does it humiliate and exclude – much less considers the disappearance of a person as a good thing.” We must do what we can to uphold the dignity of life, cherish the lives of all human beings, and work to prevent all suicides. We urge state and federal governments, health care providers, and associations to heed this report’s warnings and recommendations, especially its opposition to assisted suicide laws.”

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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, Bishop Frank J. Dewane, Committee on Pro-Life Activities, Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, assisted suicide, National Council on Disabilities, culture of life, pro-life, persons with disabilities.

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National Vocation Awareness Week Highlights Vocation as Gift from God

WASHINGTON – The Catholic Church in the United States will celebrate National Vocation Awareness Week, November 3-9, 2019. During this week, dioceses across the U.S. lead the effort in parishes and schools to uphold and encourage the fostering of vocations among the faithful and to pray for those currently discerning a call to marriage, ordained ministry, or consecrated life.

In his message for the 2019 World Day of Prayer for Vocations, Pope Francis reminded the faithful that unlike a secular career, a vocation is a gift born from God’s own initiative: “The Lord’s call is not an intrusion of God into our freedom; it is not a ‘cage’ or burden to be borne. On the contrary, it is the loving initiative whereby God encounters us and invites us to be a part of a great undertaking.”

Whereas choosing a career requires much “doing” – such as the accomplishment of various tasks and goals – vocational discernment requires much “being.” At its core, vocational discernment is a process of self-discovery. Assisted by divine grace, each person is invited by the Lord to receive the gift of a specific vocation whereby they manifest God’s love in a particular way to the outside world. In the Holy Sacrament of Matrimony, the husband and wife image the Trinity by their communion of love that produces new life; in ordained ministry, priests and deacons are called to minister in the person of Christ, the High Priest and Servant; and in consecrated life, each member is called to bear Christ’s love through a particular charism.

Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., of Newark, and Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, echoed Pope Francis's definition of vocation as a gift. “Discerning a vocation is not the same as completing a checklist. It is a process of learning how to receive the greatest gift God could offer us – the gift of living in accordance with our true identity as a son or daughter of God.” For those currently discerning a vocation, Cardinal Tobin suggested that one always stay close to the Blessed Mother. “Entrust your vocation to Mary, the Mother of all Vocations. She will always direct you to her Son and intercede for you along the path the Lord has for you.”

Observance of Vocation Awareness Week began in 1976 when the U.S. bishops designated the 28th Sunday of the year for the celebration. In 1997, the celebration was moved to the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord and in 2014, the Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations moved the observance of National Vocation Awareness Week to November to engage Catholic schools and colleges more effectively.

More resources for National Vocation Awareness Week, including homily aids, recommended reading and discernment tips, prayers of the faithful and bulletin-ready quotes are available online at http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/vocations/national-vocation-awareness-week.cfm

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Cardinal Joseph Tobin, Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, Pope Francis, vocations, National Vocation Awareness Week, priesthood, religious life, consecrated life, marriage, religious, vocation, Catholic education, ministry, prayer, World Day of Vocations.
 
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Pope Francis Accepts Resignation of Bishop John Jenik, Names New Auxiliary Bishops for Archdiocese of New York

WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has appointed the Rev. Msgr. Gerardo Colacicco and the Rev. Msgr. Edmund Whalen as Auxiliary Bishops-elect of New York.

Monsignor Colacicco is a priest of the Archdiocese of New York and currently serves as Pastor of St. Joseph-Immaculate Conception Parish in Millbrook, NY. Monsignor Whalen is a priest of the Archdiocese of New York and currently serves as Vicar for Clergy for the Archdiocese. The appointments were publicized today in Washington, D.C, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States.

Monsignor Gerardo Colacicco was born September 19, 1955 in Poughkeepsie, NY. He holds a Bachelor of Arts (1978) from Marist College, NY. He attended St. Joseph Seminary in Yonkers, NY, and was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of New York on November 6, 1982. He received a Licentiate of Canon Law from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas in Rome in 1992.

Assignments after ordination include: parochial vicar at Good Shepherd Parish, Rhinebeck, NY (1982-1984), Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Scarsdale, NY (1984-1987), St. Denis-St. Columba Parish, Hopewell, NY (1987-1989), and Priest-Secretary to Cardinal John O’Connor (1989).

Monsignor Colaccico also served as Judge of the Metropolitan Tribunal (1992-1996; 2007-2010). He was Pastor at Sacred Heart Parish, Newburgh, NY (1996-2002) and St. Columba Parish, Hopewell, NY (2002-2014). In 2014, he served as Administrator at St. Joseph, Millbrook, NY, and from 2015 to present he has been Pastor at St. Joseph-Immaculate Conception Parish, Millbrook, NY.

Monsignor Edmund Whalen was born July 6, 1958 in Staten Island, NY. He was ordained a priest on June 23, 1984 for the Archdiocese of New York. He holds a Bachelor of Arts (1980) from Cathedral College, a Bachelor of Sacred Theology (1984) from Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome (1984), a Licentiate of Sacred Theology (1986), and a Doctorate of Sacred Theology (1995) from Academia Alphonsiana.

Assignments after ordination include: North American College, Rome, Graduates Studies (1984 and 1992); Parochial Vicar at Resurrection Church, Rye, NY (1985); Faculty at Monsignor Farrell High School (1987) and Secretary to Cardinal John O’Connor (1990). Monsignor Whalen also served as Vice-Rector at St. Joseph Seminary (1995), Rector at St. John Neumann Residence (1998), and was also Pastor at St. Benedict Parish, Bronx, NY (2001) and St. Joseph-St. Thomas Parish, Staten Island, NY. From 2010-2018, he served as Principal at Msgr. Farrell High School.  

At the same time, the Holy Father has accepted the resignation of the Most Reverend John Jenik from the Office of Auxiliary Bishop of New York.  

The Archdiocese of New York is comprised of 4,683 square miles in the state of New York and has a total population of 6,183,764 of which 2,782,694 are Catholic. Cardinal Timothy Dolan is the current archbishop of New York.

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Keywords: Bishops appointment, Pope Francis, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop-elect Gerardo Colacicco, Bishop-elect Edmund Whalen, Bishop John Jenik, Archdiocese of New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan.

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USCCB President and Vice President Candidate List Released; Elections to take place at November General Assembly in Baltimore

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will elect their next president and vice president at the upcoming general assembly, which meets November 11-13 in Baltimore. Each office is elected from a slate of 10 candidates who have been nominated by their fellow bishops.

The slate of candidates for president and vice president are as follows (in alphabetical order):

•   Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the Military Services
•   Bishop Frank J. Caggiano of Bridgeport
•   Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City
•   Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco
•   Bishop Daniel E. Flores of Brownsville
•   Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles
•   Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki of Milwaukee
•   Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of Springfield in Illinois
•   Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend
•   Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron of Detroit

The president and vice president are elected to three-year terms, which begin at the conclusion of the meeting. At that time, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, and Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, will complete their terms as president and vice president, respectively.

The by-laws of the USCCB provide that the first election is that of the president by simple majority vote of members present and voting. Following the election of the president, the vice-president is elected from the remaining nine candidates. In either election, if a candidate does not receive more than half of the votes cast on the first ballot, a second vote is taken. If a third round of voting is necessary, that ballot is a run-off between the two bishops who received the most votes on the second ballot.  

During the meeting, the bishops will also vote for new chairmen of six committees: Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance, Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis, Committee on International Justice and Peace, Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People, and the Committee for Religious Liberty.

Coverage of the bishops' meeting taking place at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront hotel is open to credentialed media. Sessions open to the media will be November 11-13 and there will be media conferences after all open sessions. Reporters interested in covering the meeting must register before October 25 and submit a letter of assignment from their editor/producer. Due to enhanced security, on-site credentialing will not be available.

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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, #USCCB19.

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USCCB Chairmen Issue Statement on Supreme Court Cases on Redefinition of “Sex” in Civil Rights Law

                       WASHINGTON— Bishop chairmen of three committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) commented on three cases argued before the Supreme Court today – Bostock v. Clayton County, Ga., Altitude Express v. Zarda, and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission. These cases present the question whether the prohibition on employment discrimination based on “sex” in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 includes “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” discrimination, respectively.

Bishop Robert J. McManus, of Worcester, Chairman of the Committee for Religious Liberty, Bishop Frank J. Dewane, of Venice, Chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and Bishop James D. Conley, of Lincoln, Chairman of the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, issued the following statement:

“Today the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument regarding the meaning of the word ‘sex’ in federal law. Words matter; and ‘sex’ should not be redefined to include sexual inclinations or conduct, nor to promulgate the view that sexual identity is solely a social construct rather than a natural or biological fact. The Supreme Court affirmed that sex is an ‘immutable characteristic’ in the course of establishing constitutional protections for women against sex discrimination in the 1970s. Such protection is no less essential today. Title VII helps ensure the dignified treatment of all persons, and we as Catholics both share and work toward that goal. Redefining ‘sex’ in law would not only be an interpretive leap away from the language and intent of Title VII, it would attempt to redefine a fundamental element of humanity that is the basis of the family, and would threaten religious liberty.”

On August 23, the USCCB filed amicus curiae briefs in the cases, available at http://www.usccb.org/about/general-counsel/amicus-briefs/upload/Bostock-8-23-19.pdf and http://www.usccb.org/about/general-counsel/amicus-briefs/upload/Harris-8-23-19.pdf.

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Robert J. McManus, Bishop Frank J. Dewane, Bishop James D. Conley, religious freedom, religious liberty, Title VII, nondiscrimination, Supreme Court.

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Pope Francis Appoints Reverend Austin A. Vetter as Bishop of the Diocese of Helena

WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has appointed the Rev. Austin A. Vetter of the Diocese of Bismarck as the Bishop-elect of the Diocese of Helena. The appointment was publicized in Washington, DC, on October 8, 2019 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States.

Father Vetter was born September 13, 1967 in Linton, ND. He attended North Dakota State University (1985-1989) and pursued seminary studies at Cardinal Muench Seminary in Fargo, ND (1986-1989). In 1992 he received a bachelors in sacred theology (STB) from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum), Rome. He was ordained a priest in the Diocese of Bismarck on June 29, 1993.

Assignments after ordination include: parochial vicar, Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, Bismarck, ND (1993-1996); part-time instructor, St. Mary Central High School, Bismarck, ND (1994-1999); parochial administrator and pastor, St. Martin parish, Center, ND (1996-1999); episcopal vicar for the permanent diaconate (1999-2002); pastor, St. Patrick parish, Dickinson, ND (1999-2008); pastor, St. Leo parish, Minot, ND (2008-2012); director of continuing education for clergy (2008-2012); director of spiritual formation, Pontifical North American College (2012-2018); rector-pastor, Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, Bismarck, ND (2018-present).

The Diocese of Helena is comprised of 51,922 square miles and has a total population of 612,419, of which 45,400 are Catholic.   

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Pope Francis, Bishop-elect Austin A. Vetter, Diocese of Helena, Montana, Diocese of Bismarck, North Dakota.

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