BISHOPS RESPOND TO ABUSE SCANDAL
The four Catholic bishops of Iowa are responding to the Holy Father’s call for the Church to join in acts of prayer and fasting in “combating all forms of abuse of power, sexual abuse and the abuse of conscience.” Check out the Iowa Catholic Conference Facebook page for more details.
A recent grant jury report detailed the scope of sexual abuse issues in the Catholic Church in Pennsylvania, primarily in the 20thcentury. Since 2002, Catholic dioceses around the country have followed the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People,” which provides for a prompt and compassionate response to victims, reporting the abuse of minors to civil authorities, the removal of offenders and ongoing action and training to prevent abuse.
In the coming weeks, the U.S. bishops will be discussing even stronger protections against predators in the Church and anyone who would conceal them.
ICC NEWS UPDATES
- The mid-term election season is upon us and voting will begin in Iowa during October. The Iowa bishops are preparing a letter about our participation in the political process. We will let you know when it’s released. We encourage you to text the word IOWACATHOLIC to 50457 to begin receiving occasional text alerts from us.
- The Catholic bishops’ support for the dignity of all people – including “illegal immigrants” – is well known. Click here if you’re interested in finding out what the Catholic Church teaches regarding immigration and suggests for good public policy.
- Last month we mentioned that federal and state “529” college savings plans have been expanded to provide a tax benefit to parents paying tuition at K-12 Catholic schools in Iowa. The information on our website has been updated since then. Click here for the latest.
SUPPORT PALLIATIVE CARE LEGISLATION
The U.S. bishops are supporting the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (or PCHETA, S. 693 and H.R. 1676). The bill has passed the U.S. House and is now in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
“Palliative care” is a model of care to help improve the quality of life for patients with chronic medical or life-limiting illnesses. The bill establishes workforce training programs for health professionals and would launch a national palliative care education and awareness campaign.
To send a message to Senators Grassley and Ernst, go to https://votervoice.net/ICC/home.
POPE FRANCIS REVISES CATECHISM ON THE DEATH PENALTY
Following the Aug. 3 publication of the revised section of the Catechism of the Catholic Church which further clarifies the Church’s opposition to the death penalty, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, welcomed the change and echoed the call to end the death penalty in the United States.
“For decades the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has called for the end of the death penalty in the United States,” the bishop said. “As the revised Catechism states, ‘more effective systems of detention…which ensure the due protection of citizens’ exist, ones that also maintain the human dignity of all.’ It is our hope that today’s announcement will bring new attention to this critical issue, and speed along the end of this practice, which, as Pope Francis has said in the light of the Gospel, is ‘inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person.’”