ICC Newsletter – Nov. 22, 2017

We at the Iowa Catholic Conference are very grateful for your participation in our legislative network and willingness to take action on important concerns. We pray you have a Happy Thanksgiving!

USCCB PRESIDENT CALLS FOR PROTECTION OF THE VULNERABLE

Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), offers a Thanksgiving Day message to the nation with special gratitude for the gift of immigrants and refugees. In part, he said:

“As we do every year, we will pause this coming Thursday to thank God for the many blessings we enjoy in the United States. My brother bishops and I, gathered last week in Baltimore, were attentive in a special way to those who are often excluded from this great abundance — the poor, the sick, the addicted, the unborn, the unemployed, and especially migrants and refugees.

“My brothers expressed a shared and ever-greater sense of alarm — and urgency to act — in the face of policies that seemed unthinkable only a short time ago: the deportation of Dreamers, young hard-working people who should be the lowest priority for deportation; the anxiety and uncertainty of those with Temporary Protected Status from countries like Haiti, El Salvador, and Honduras, which are still recovering from natural disasters and remain ill-equipped to humanely receive and integrate them; and an unprecedented reduction in the number of people we will welcome this year into our country who seek refuge from the ravages of war and religious persecution in their countries of origin.

“One common feature of all these developments is their tendency to tear apart the family, the fundamental building block of our, or any, society. These threats to so many vulnerable immigrant and refugee families must end now. My brothers have urged me to speak out on their behalf to urge the immediate passage — and signature — of legislation that would alleviate these immediate threats to these families…”

Click here to see the entire statement.

ACTION ALERTS

As Cardinal DiNardo mentioned, the federal government is addressing many issues that directly relate to human life and dignity. Here are several action alerts you can click on for more information and to send a message to your Senator and Representative. We have a responsibility to stand up for those who are thought to be of little account.

Speak Out on Behalf of Young People in Our Communities Who Face an Uncertain Future

Urge Continued Protection for Haitians While Their County Continues to Recover

Help Persecuted Christians/Religious Minorities in Middle East

Protect Funding for Poverty-Reducing International Assistance

Urge Congress to Enact the Conscience Protection Act of 2017!

Support US Funding and Participation in the Global Effort to Address Climate Change

GREATLY DISAPPOINTED BY HOUSE PASSAGE OF TAX BILL

Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, expressed “great disappointment” over the House of Representatives’ passage of the deeply flawed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, calling on the Senate to work toward legislation that fixes the problems with H.R.1.

“It is greatly disappointing that the U.S. House of Representatives ignored impacts to the poor and families — including those who welcome life through adoption or have more than three children — and passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act without needed changes … The November 9 letter of the USCCB detailed the many deficiencies in the House bill, including the elimination of the personal exemption, which will hurt larger families, and the repeal of the out-of-pocket medical expenses deduction, which will harm those with serious and chronic illness. While we are grateful that the House restored the adoption tax credit, it still repeals an important exclusion for families assisted by their employer to adopt children in need, and eliminates incentives for charitable giving …

“The Senate must act decisively to avoid the deficiencies in the House legislation, and craft a final bill that affirms life, cares for the poor, and ensures national tax policy aimed at the common good.”

Click here for the full statement.

ICC RECEIVES AWARD FOR WORK AGAINST THE DEATH PENALTY

Both the Iowa Catholic Conference and its former executive director, Tim McCarthy, were among the recipients of Governor Harold E. Hughes Awards from Iowans Against the Death Penalty on Nov. 10. The awards were given in recognition of the efforts of the Catholic Church to oppose the reinstatement of the death penalty. Iowans Against the Death Penalty is marking its 55th anniversary.

ICC staff accepted the award for McCarthy, who for health reasons was unable to attend. His wife Sandy and several of his children and their spouses were present for the recognition ceremony. McCarthy was director of the ICC from 1969-1999.

It is expected that legislation to bring back the death penalty in Iowa will be discussed during the next session, which starts in January.