Browsing News Entries

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Emphasize Human Beings All Made in the Likeness of God

The following statement has been issued by James Rogers, Chief Communications Officer for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), emphasizing the USCCB position that all human beings are made in the image and likeness of God and therefore deserving of our respect and compassion.

Full statement follows:

"Reports of recent disparaging remarks about African countries and Haiti have aroused great concern. As our brothers and sisters from these countries are primarily people of color, these alleged remarks are especially disturbing. All human beings are made in the image and likeness of God, and comments that denigrate nations and peoples violate that fundamental truth and cause real pain to our neighbors. It is regrettable that this comes on the eve of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and could distract from the urgent bipartisan effort to help Dreamers and those with Temporary Protected Status. As a vigorous debate continues over the future of immigration, we must always be sure to avoid language that can dehumanize our brothers and sisters."

---
Keyword: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; USCCB; Chief Communications Officer; James Rogers; Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals; DACA; Temporary Protected Status; TPS; Dreamers; Martin Luther King Jr. Day

###

Media contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 

National Prayer Vigil for Life in Nation’s Capital, January 18-19; Plenary Indulgence May be Obtained by Those Taking Part in “Sacred Celebrations” Surrounding March for Life

WASHINGTON—The National Prayer Vigil for Life will be held from Thursday afternoon, January 18 to Friday morning, January 19, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Over 20,000 pilgrims from around the nation will pray there for an end to abortion before the annual March for Life. The Vigil marks the 45th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions legalizing abortion throughout the nine months of pregnancy. Since those decisions, over 58 million abortions have been performed legally in the United States.

The principal celebrant and homilist at the Vigil Opening Mass will be Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities. His fellow cardinals and many of the nation's bishops and priests will concelebrate with him in the Basilica's Great Upper Church from 5:30-7:30 p.m. The Vigil continues overnight in the Crypt Church with confessions, a National Rosary for Life, Byzantine Rite Night Prayer, and Holy Hours led by seminarians from across the country from 11 p.m.- 6 a.m.

"This year, pilgrims have been given a special spiritual gift. A plenary indulgence may be obtained under the usual conditions by participating in the National Prayer Vigil for Life or the other sacred celebrations surrounding the March for Life," said Deirdre McQuade, assistant director for pro-life communications at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

For those seeking Sacramental Reconciliation while on site, confessions will be heard in the Our Lady of Hostyn Chapel of the Crypt Church over the course of nine hours before and after the Opening Mass. See www.usccb.org/about/pro-life-activities/january-roe-events/national-prayer-vigil-for-life-schedule.cfm for additional details.

"We also invite all the faithful nationwide to be in solidarity with the bishops during their annual pro-life novena, 9 Days for Life, from January 18-26," McQuade continued. "May our prayers, combined with acts of love, help build a culture that cherishes every human life."

On the day of the March for Life, Friday, January 19, the Basilica will once again host Eucharistic Adoration in the Crypt Church at 6:00 a.m., with Morning Prayer/Benediction following at 6:30. The Vigil's Closing Mass will take place at 7:30 a.m. in the Great Upper Church, with Bishop Edward Burns of Dallas as principal celebrant and homilist.

The National Prayer Vigil for Life is co-sponsored by the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, and The Catholic University of America.

Media are welcome to attend the Opening Mass and interview pilgrims throughout the 14-hour Vigil.

Media should check in at the Basilica's Great Upper Church sacristy and present press credentials to Jacquelyn Hayes or a designated Basilica press representative to receive a press pass. Advance registration is preferred. Footage from the Mass may also be obtained by satellite feed courtesy of the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN). For coordinates, or to register, contact Jacquelyn Hayes, director of communications for the Basilica, at 202-281-0615 or jmh@bnsic.org.

For more details on the overnight National Prayer Vigil for Life and some of the other pro-life events in the Washington, DC area, visit www.usccb.org/about/pro-life-activities/january-roe-events. To join -- and help spread the word about -- 9 Days for Life, visit www.9daysforlife.com.

---
Keywords: National Prayer Vigil for Life, Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, abortion, Roe v. Wade, Doe v. Bolton, U.S. Supreme Court, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Bishop Burns, Committee on Pro-Life Activities, Secretariat, The Catholic University of America, cardinals, bishops, seminarians, Byzantine rite, rosary, adoration, benediction, 9 Days for Life, prayer, #9daysforlife, #ourprayersmatter, March for Life, #whywemarch, #marchforlife2018, #lovesaveslives, Project Rachel, post-abortion healing, hopeafterabortion.com, plenary indulgence

###

Media Contact:
Judy Keane

202-541-3200

Youth to be Vatican’s focus in 2018, Cardinal Parolin says

Vatican City, Jan 11, 2018 / 10:17 am (ACI Prensa).- In an interview published Thursday, Cardinal Pietro Parolin said that for the Vatican, the new year will be marked by its attention to the lives of young people ahead of the 2018 Synod of Bishops.

“This year – the year 2018 – will be characterized by a special concentration of the Church’s attention at all levels on the young, then on their expectations, their aspirations, the challenges they face and also on the hopes that they bring with them, as on their weaknesses and fears.”

This approach searches “for a new relationship between the Church and young people, based on a paradigm of responsibility exempt from any paternalism,” said Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, in a new interview with Vatican News (formerly called Vatican Radio).

Published Jan. 11, the interview covered the topic of the upcoming Synod of Bishops on Youth, Vocation and Discernment, which will take place in October 2018, as well as the World Meeting of Families in August, Amoris laetitia, reform of the Curia, and the Pope’s imminent trip to Chile and Peru.

About the Synod on Youth, Parolin noted the Church’s strong desire to enter into a dialogue with young people that goes both ways.

He referred to the famous line by John F. Kennedy that says, “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country,” explaining that they want to not only help youth, but invite them to contribute to the Church and to the evangelization of the Gospel.

“I believe that at this invitation young people will be able to respond with their generosity and also with their enthusiasm,” he said.

About the Pope’s immanent trip to Chile and Peru, which begins Jan. 15, Parolin said that, as usual, Francis goes as a pastor to meet the local church, which in the two countries is particularly vibrant.

On the other hand, Chile and Peru also face many challenges, one of which is the difficulties experienced by the indigenous people of the Amazon, one of the reasons Francis has called for a Synod on the Pan-Amazon area to take place in 2019.

Another event happening this year is the World Meeting of Families in Dublin, which Parolin said he believes will be an important stage “of reflection… of deepening” in the discussions surrounding the controversial encyclical.

The document arose, according to Parolin, from a “new paradigm,” one that Pope Francis is carrying out with “wisdom, with prudence and also with patience,” and which calls for a new attitude, spirit and approach.

Amoris laetitia is the Church’s “embrace” of the family and its problems, especially those encountered in the world today. It is also “a request to help families to collaborate and contribute to the growth of the Church,” he said.

The cardinal also spoke about the Pope’s reform of the Roman Curia, which he emphasized is less about the structural reform through new laws, regulations, etc., but conversion.

“So, to ensure that the Curia – ever more and always better, taking away even those shadows that can hinder this commitment and this mission – can really become an aid to the Pope to proclaim the Gospel, to witness the Gospel, to evangelize the world of today,” he said.

Analysis: The ambassador’s visit to Rome’s American seminary

Vatican City, Jan 10, 2018 / 04:00 pm (CNA).- On Jan. 10, Callista Gingrich, the United States Ambassador to the Holy See, was a guest at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. She visited the college to receive a blessing as she embarks upon her work as ambassador, according to sources at the North American College.
 
News of the event is striking for two reasons.

The first reason is that her visit, and her request for a blessing, stresses the important connection between the work of the North American College as a pastoral center (it is the home to more than 200 U.S. seminarians living and studying in Rome) and the embassy which looks after the diplomatic interests of Americans in relationship with the Holy See.

Given that it is something of an unspoken tradition that the ambassador be a Catholic, the gesture of a new ambassador seeking a private blessing upon her endeavors is both paradoxical and encouraging; a symbol of the role religion can play in public life, informing and affirming public servants without contradicting their work on behalf of the secular state.

The second reason the event is significant is that it demonstrates that a pastoral welcome transcends partisan disagreement. It is all too easy for public servants to be tarred with the broad brush of the government they serve. In the case of President Trump’s administration, there have been a number of issues on which church authorities have voiced clear notes of caution and disagreement. But disagreements between the Trump administration and the US bishops have not severed the pastoral relationships essential to the Church’s mission.

It would be easy to use the occasion of an ambassador’s visit to the North American College as an opportunity to emphasize disagreement or partisan rancor. That Ambassador Gingrich was welcomed as a daughter of the Church shows the sort of personal pastoral attention which Pope Francis has placed at the heart of his papacy, and the maturity to rise above the secular partisan fray. This sort of pastoral maturity benefits everyone involved.

The Church has many occasions where she offers prayers and blessings for Catholics, and non-Catholics who want them, as they serve in public life; Red Masses are a stable feature in many countries at the opening of the judicial year, for example. Public service requires sacrifices, and carries many difficulties for those serving any government. Many Catholics who work in politics especially find that they are, sooner or later, obliged to test their terms of service against their conscience and their faith. Public service requires the constant work of discernment. Where exactly the line is, or can be, drawn between personal faith and public service is under constant scrutiny from the secular world, and is often used to push people of faith out of public life. Yet, as was seen during the confirmation of Judge Amy Barrett, it is often those who have drawn deepest from the Church’s pastoral well who can offer a most measured and dedicated contribution to public life.

Today, the Church prayed that Ambassador Gingrich will find success in her role, and prove an example to those who follow her in it. For Catholics, her visit to the North American College was a meaningful way to begin.

Analysis: What guides Vatican diplomacy?

Vatican City, Jan 10, 2018 / 02:00 pm (CNA).- At a traditional new year's meeting between Pope Francis and diplomats to the Vatican, the pope painted a picture of pontifical diplomacy around the globe: An international mission working to secure the common good, an always increasing network of relations, and the certainty of an impartial voice working for peace.

The Pope’s speech sets the basis and the guidelines for the Holy See’s diplomatic activities during the year. If the guidelines are based on concrete issues, then pontifical diplomacy has three main threads —three themes that include all the others.

The first is a commitment to peace; the second is a commitment to human dignity; and the third is a commitment to fight poverty.

In the mind of the Pope, all three seem linked to one another.

The Vatican’s commitment to peace is practiced via the art of mediation, and the Holy See has been a critical participant in the mediation of global conflict for decades. The Vatican’s commitment to human dignity is based on the principle that all people are equal and dignified in the sight of God. And the Church’s commitment to fight poverty is expressed in its diplomatic work for peace, international development, and support for marginalized. On that front, Pope Francis has asked who, in the end, is poorer than an unborn child, or than the forgotten or marginalized elderly.

These three commitments will shape the Holy See’s diplomatic activity for the upcoming year. Within that framework, there are two clear priorities for the diplomatic work of the Holy See in the upcoming year.

The first is advocating for migrants and refugees. The United Nations are finalizing a Global Compact on Migration, that follows the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants issued in September 2016. The Holy See participated in all of the meetings, and presented 20 points of actions on the issue gathered under the four keyworks “welcome, protect, promote and integrate.”

The Pope has made migration a core issue of his pontificate: he established a special section for Migrants and Refugee within the ranks of the Vatican dicastery for the Promotion of the Integral Human Development, and the Pope is personally chairing it. The theme for the World Day of Peace 2018 was “Migrants and Refugees: Seekers of Peace,” underscoring the importance the issue has for the Holy See.

The second diplomatic focus is on peacekeeping. The Holy See is aims to helping and assisting countries in achieving peace.

Archbishop Silvano Maria Tomasi, a former papal nuncio now counsellor at the Vatican Dicastery for the Integral Human Development, stressed to CNA that for at least the past 50 years, “peacekeeping and the search for peace have dominated the Holy See’s public interventions.”

The Holy See is working to create a path to peace, Tomasi said, by working on “the formation of a new mentality, thanks to the World Day of Peace; the Holy See’s involvement in discussions on disarmament; and the Holy See’s encouragement to develop effective international institutions.”

How does the Holy See carry on its commitment?

First of all, with its work into the multilateral institutions, namely the United Nations and other global institutions.

The Holy See Mission at the United Nations in New York provided data on the Holy See’s work at the UN during the last year.

The Holy See at the UN in New York delivered 82 interventions, and 10 of them were delivered by Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Vatican “foreign ministry,” who led the Holy See’s delegation at the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly in September.

Archbishop Gallagher also signed the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons for the Holy See and in the name of and behalf of the Holy See.  The Holy See’s  mission noted that “the Holy See was an active participant in negotiations, and was one of the 122 States that voted in favor of the treaty, adopted on July 7, 2017.  The signing took place during the High Level Ceremony for the opening of the signing of the Treaty, in which the Holy See joined more than 40 states in signing the treaty, and was joined by only Thailand in simultaneously ratifying the treaty.”

The Holy See Mission at the UN Office in Geneva, led by Archbishop Ivan Jurkovic, delivered 48 interventions, participating in many panels on the Global Compact on Migrations. The Holy See Mission in Geneva also represents the Holy See at the International Organization for Migration: the Holy See has been a member state of the IOM since 2012.

Those are only examples of the Holy See’s considerable involvement in multilateral international organizations. It is noteworthy to remember that there is also a Holy See Diplomatic Mission in Vienna, accredited to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and to other special organizations like the International Atomic Energy Agency, to which the Holy See is a member state and founder.

No less important is the Holy See’s Mission at the Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome. Pope Francis has personally demonstrated that fighting world hunger is a priority to the Holy See. The Pope has visited the FAO headquarters two times, Nov. 20, 2014 and Oct. 16, 2017, and went to the World Food Program Headquarters June 13, 2016. In addition to that, the Pope symbolically donated $25,000 dollars to the FAO to support the Eastern African populations facing food insecurity and famine.

The Holy See’s diplomatic network of bilateral relations also continues to grow.In 1900, only about 20 countries had diplomatic relations with the Holy See. In 1978 the number was 84; in 2005 it was 174. During Benedict XVI’s pontificate, six new countries were added to the list, and, under the leadership of Pope Francis that number has climbed to 183, with Myanmar, also called Burma, joining the list of states with full diplomatic ties with the Holy See.

There are only 13 States who have no diplomatic ties with the Holy See.

Out of them, 8 have no Vatican envoy: Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Bhutan, the People’s Republic of China, North Korea, Maldives and Tuvalu. The Holy See has apostolic delegates, not fully recognized as ambassadors, in four countries: Comoros, Somalia, Brunei and Laos. The Holy See has started negotiations with Vietnam to reach full diplomatic ties, and in 2011 the Holy See appointed the first non-residential Vatican envoy to Hanoi.

The diplomatic efforts of the Holy See are considerable, and, as Pope Francis emphasized, committed to important and deeply Catholic international goals.

 

Pope taps Colombian bishop to oversee Sodalitium amid ongoing crisis

Vatican City, Jan 10, 2018 / 09:00 am (CNA).- The Vatican announced Wednesday that Colombian Bishop Noel Antonio Londoño Buitrago C.Ss.R. has been appointed papal commissioner for the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, a Catholic society of apostolic life.  

Londoño will oversee the community as they continue a process of reform, following revelations that their founder, Luis Fernando Figari, committed serial acts of abuse while leading the community. Several former leaders of the community have faced related allegations.

Londoño's appointment was announced in a Jan. 10 communique from the Vatican, which stated that Londoño, the Bishop of Jericó, would carry out his role alongside Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark, who has served as papal delegate overseeing the SCV's reform process since May 2016.

Tobin will continue to be the group’s liaison with the Vatican's Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and will focus primarily on reforming economic matters. In his role as Commissioner, Londoño will oversee the leadership of order as they continue to reform their governing policies and formation procedures.

In a statement released Jan. 10, the Sodalitium expressed gratitude to Pope Francis and Vatican officials “for following the life of our community with concern.”

“We reiterate our willingness to accept all that is available for the development of our Society. We reaffirm once again our absolute obedience to the Holy Father and Holy Mother Church,” the Sodalitium said.

The Sodalitium Christianae Vitae was established by Figari in 1971 in Peru, and was granted pontifical recognition in 1997. Alejandro Bermúdez, executive director of CNA, is a member of the community.

In addition to founding the SCV, a community of men, Figari also founded the Marian Community of Reconciliation and the Servants of the Plan of God, a community of women and an order of women religious. In 2002, he was named a consultor to the Pontifical Council for the Laity, and served in subsequent consultative roles at the Vatican.  

Figari stepped down as superior general of the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae in 2010, after allegations of abuse surfaced in Peru. The current superior general is Alessandro Moroni Llabres.

The community was investigated after the publication of a book in 2015 by journalists Paola Ugaz and Pedro Salinas, chronicling years of alleged sexual, physical and psychological abuse by members of the SCV. In addition to Peru, the community operates in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Ecuador, the United States, and Italy.

Figari and other former leaders of the community remain the subject of criminal investigations in Peru.

In May 2016 the Pope named Archbishop Tobin as the pontifical delegate charged with overseeing the community's handling of the investigation and their process of reform.

In February of 2017, a team of independent investigators commissioned by the Sodalitium reported that “Figari sexually assaulted at least one child, manipulated, sexually abused, or harmed several other young people; and physically or psychologically abused dozens of others.”

As a result, the Vatican’s Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life issued a decree the same month forbidding Figari from any contact with the religious community, and banning him from returning to Peru without permission from the current superior of the Sodalitium. Figari was also forbidden to make any public statements.

The Vatican made a similar move in the case of the Legionaries of Christ after it was discovered that their founder, Fr. Marcial Maciel, had been living a double life.

In 2006, with the approval of the Pope, the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith imposed upon Maciel “a retired life of prayer and penance, renouncing any form of public ministry.” Due to his advanced age, Maciel was not the subject of a formal canonical trial.
 
From that point on, Benedict XVI carried out a process of reform for the Legionaries, and in 2010 named then-Archbishop Velasio de Paolis as papal delegate to serve in a role similar to what Londoño will have for the SVC.

After his appointment, De Paolis formed a commission charged with drafting new constitutions for the Legionaries. He completed his mandate in 2014 when the new constitutions were approved by Pope Francis. The cardinal died in September 2017.

No specific time frame was given for Londoño's mandate as Commissioner and it is not yet known what steps he will take, however, he is likely to follow the model set by De Paolis, and step aside when the community has a clear path forward.

 

Be intentional about silence during Mass, Pope Francis says

Vatican City, Jan 10, 2018 / 04:00 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis said Wednesday that moments of silence in the Mass should be intentional times of prayer, recollection and communion with God, rather than being viewed as times to just be quiet or not speak.

“Silence is not reduced to the absence of words, but (is) the availability to listen to other voices: that of our heart and, above all, the voice of the Holy Spirit,” the Pope said Jan. 10.

In silence, then, we discover “the importance of listening to our soul and then opening it to the Lord.”

Continuing his general audience catechesis on the topic of the Mass, Pope Francis reflected on the nature of the different moments of silence found within the celebration, especially in the recitation of the collect.

The collect, which is prayed after the Gloria, or if the Gloria is omitted, following the Penitential Act, is a short prayer which goes from praise to supplication, and is generally inspired from the day’s Scripture passages, the Pope said.

This prayer, which varies according to the day and time in which the Mass is being said, begins with the priest saying to the people, “Let us pray,” followed by a brief silence.

“I strongly recommend priests observe this moment of silence, which without wanting to, we risk neglecting,” Francis noted.

In this moment the congregation is exhorted to come together in silence, to become aware of the presence of God, and to bring out, “each one in his own heart, the personal intentions with which he participates in Mass.”

“Perhaps we come from days of toil, of joy, of sorrow, and we want to tell the Lord, to invoke his help, to ask that he be near us; we have family members and friends who are ill or who are going through difficult trials; we wish to entrust to God the fate of the Church and the world.”

“For this we need the brief silence beforehand, that the priest, gathering the intentions of each one, expresses in a loud voice to God, in the name of all, the common prayer that concludes the rites of introduction, making, indeed, a ‘collection’ of individual intentions.”

These silences are written right into the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, the Pope pointed out. There it says that in the Penitential Act and again after the invitation to pray, everyone is supposed to spend a moment in recollection.

And in the silences following a reading or the homily, everyone is called to meditate briefly on what they have heard. After Communion they should praise and pray to God in their hearts.

The Gloria, another kind of prayer, is either recited or sung before the collect on Sundays - except during Lent and Advent - and on feasts and solemnities.

Here, “the feelings of praise that run through the hymn are intertwined with the confident pleading of divine benevolence, to end with the Trinitarian doxology, which characterizes the whole liturgical celebration,” he said.

The recitation or singing of the Gloria, the Pope emphasized, “constitutes an opening of the earth to heaven.”

By meditating on the prayers of the Mass, the liturgy can become for us, the Pope concluded, a “true school of prayer.”

Pope Francis gives 2,000 poor, prisoners a day at the circus

Vatican City, Jan 10, 2018 / 03:37 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Tomorrow afternoon some 2,100 of Rome's poor and homeless population, refugees, prisoners and volunteers will head to the circus, courtesy of Pope Francis.

Tickets to the performance were provided through the Papal Almoner's office, which manages the Pope's charities.

The show, announced by the Almoner's office Jan. 10, will take place the afternoon of Thursday Jan. 11, at Rome's Circo Medrano under a large tent put up specifically for the event, which has been dubbed the “Circus of Solidarity” by the organizers.

A makeshift medical station will also be set up with volunteer doctors and nurses available for attendees who want an exam or a check-up. Each participant will also be provided with a sack lunch at the end of the show.

Pope Francis made a similar gesture in January 2016, when he sent 2,000 poor and homeless residents and migrants to the Rony Roller Circus for a special show that opened with a song written and performed by a Spanish singer who had once been homeless himself.

The Pope frequently speaks of the importance of the performing arts, and has held several audiences for circus performers. During the Jubilee of Mercy, he welcomed some 6,000 of these performers to the Vatican for a special Jubilee weekend in their honor.

In a past general audience, Francis said those who are involved in circus life “create beauty, they are creators of beauty, and this does good for the soul. How much we need beauty!”

Since Pope Francis was elected, his almoner, Polish Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, has kept busy with several similar initiatives aimed at both helping and evangelizing Rome's poor and needy through culture.

Showers and a barbershop were installed in the bathrooms of St. Peter's Square in 2015 to help the homeless people in the Vatican area to stay clean. They have also been invited to participate in several other initiatives, including concerts, a visit to the Vatican Museums, special lunches during papal events and beach days with a pizza lunch during the summer.

USCCB Chairman Expresses Support for Finding a Legislative Solution for Dreamers; Ready to Work with Congress and White House

WASHINGTON—On Jan 9th, congressional members met at the White House with President Trump to discuss immigration reform. In response to this important bipartisan meeting, Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, Texas, Chairman of the Committee on Migration (USCCB/COM), issued the following statement:

"We are encouraged by the consensus that emerged from yesterday's White House meeting that Congress and the President should move expeditiously to craft and enact legislation that would provide urgently needed relief for Dreamers. For years, these young people have been living in and enriching the United States in many ways. They are contributors to our economy, veterans of our military, academic standouts in our universities, and leaders in our parishes and communities. They and their families deserve certainty, compassion, generosity, and justice.

We also are pleased to see the mutual understanding that ensuring protection for these young people should be the first step in the systematic reform of our outdated immigration laws. We believe in measures that improve the security of our nation. Our teaching acknowledges and respects the right of sovereign nations to control their borders. Such measures should be financially sound, effective, and should not harm the vulnerable. However, we caution against introducing unrelated, unnecessary, or controversial elements of immigration policy—especially those that jeopardize the sanctity of families or unaccompanied children—into the bipartisan search for a just and humane solution for the Dreamers.

As a nation, we have a moral and humanitarian obligation to Dreamers. These young people have steadfastly worked to improve themselves and our country and attempted in good faith to comply with the law as it stood. Their futures hang in the balance. We stand ready to work with the President and with Congress in the coming days to help fashion a just solution that meets their needs, ensures our nation's safety and security, and sets the stage for the larger debate on immigration reform that is so urgently and desperately needed."

---
Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; USCCB; United States Congress; Homeland Security; Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo; Bishop Joe S. Vasquez; Committee on Migration; Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals; DACA; Dreamers; legal status; youth; deportation; immigration; border security; legislative solution.

###

Media Contact:
Judy Keane

202-541-3200

 

U.S. Catholics Prepare for Bishops’ Launch of “9 Days for Life” Respect Life Campaign on January 18th

WASHINGTON—On January 18, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will launch the national "9 Days for Life" campaign calling Catholics and the faithful together for a 9-day "digital pilgrimage" focusing on cherishing the gift of human life from conception to natural death. The campaign surrounds the annual Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children, which occurs on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade—the Supreme court decision that made abortion legal throughout the United States. The overarching intention of the centerpiece novena is the end to abortion, and each day highlights a different intention related to respect for human life: end of life care, human trafficking, healing after abortion, the death penalty, and more. Participants are called to both prayer and action unified around each day's specific intention and can subscribe to receive daily messages at www.9daysforlife.com. Leaders' resources, including a press kit, are available at www.usccb.org/9-days-for-life-toolkit.

WHO: The U.S. bishops are calling Catholics, parishes, schools, organizations, and all people of good will to participate in the nationwide "9 Days for Life" campaign. Through our unified prayer and action, we can help create a culture that cherishes the gift of every human life.

WHEN
: "9 Days for Life" will run from Thursday, January 18 – Friday, January 26, 2018.

WHAT
: 9daysforlife.com is the dedicated website for joining the novena and for accessing resources to share and go deeper into this "digital pilgrimage." Participants can receive the novena by downloading the free "9 Days for Life" app, or by subscribing to daily emails or text messages. (A printable version is also available online.) Those who join the campaign are invited to:

  1. Pray with a multi-faceted novena that includes a new intention, brief reflection, bonus information, and suggested actions each day.
  2. Gather in prayer and fellowship with others. (Suggestions are provided.)
  3. Share a culture of life online! #OurPrayersMatter #9DaysforLife

WHERE: For additional information and updates on ways to get involved, please visit 9daysforlife.com and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

###

About the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is an assembly of the hierarchy of the United States and the U.S. Virgin Islands who jointly exercise certain pastoral functions on behalf of the Christian faithful of the United States. The purpose of the Conference is to promote the greater good which the Church offers humankind, especially through forms and programs of the apostolate fittingly adapted to the circumstances of time and place. This purpose is drawn from the universal law of the Church and applies to the episcopal conferences which are established all over the world for the same purpose. For more information, visit www.usccb.org and www.usccb.org/prolife. Follow the USCCB on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

---
Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, 9 Days for Life, Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children, Roe v. Wade, culture of life, end of life care, human trafficking, healing after abortion, Project Rachel, death penalty, pro-life, novena, prayer, abortion, #OurPrayersMatter, #9DaysforLife

###

Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200