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IOWA BISHOPS URGE CATHOLICS TO INFORM THEIR CONSCIENCES AND VOTE
The Catholic bishops of Iowa have released their “Faithful Citizenship for Iowa Catholics” document for distribution in advance of the 2020 general election. The Catholic Church does not endorse or oppose candidates or political parties. However, it contributes to the political process by encouraging Catholics to take action in the political arena with a properly-formed conscience.
The Iowa bishops say, “Human life should be protected from conception until natural death as a basic requirement of a just and moral society … We won’t tell you who to vote for, but we will tell you to vote.”
You can download the document here: https://iowacatholicconference.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/FAITHFUL-CITIZENSHIP-2020-final.pdf
The bishops encourage parishioners to participate in the “Civilize It” campaign. The purpose is to invite Catholics to model civility, love for neighbor, and respectful dialogue.
The bishops are also highlighting a video from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) called “Catholics Participate in Public Life” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpiJvheFjAA&feature=youtu.be.
DAY OF PRAYER FOR SINS OF RACISM
Friday, August 28 marked the anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington where Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his “I Have A Dream” speech. Bishop Shelton J. Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux, chairman of the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism has offered a reflection on Dr. King’s words:
“We reiterate the value of those whose human life and dignity in this country are marginalized through racism and our need to fight for them including the unborn. Considering the violence in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and in other cities across the nation, we urge all people of faith to observe the Feast of St. Peter Claver on September 9 as a day of fasting and prayer. We urge Catholics to consider attending the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and offer your participation in reparation for sins of racism to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. We invite the faithful to also consider praying the rosary, the USCCB’s Prayer Service for Racial Healing, and for the intercession of the saints who have fought for racial equality such as St. Katharine Drexel and St. Peter Claver.
“We must continue to engage the battle against the current evils of our society and in the words of Dr. King, refuse to believe ‘that the bank of justice is bankrupt.’ Dr. King’s dream, as he himself said, is deeply rooted in the American Dream. Let us not forget the price that he and so many courageous witnesses of all faiths and creeds paid to bring us to this moment.”
CALL FOR COVID RELIEF DEAL
Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, issued a statement calling on lawmakers in Congress and the White House to reach a deal on the next COVID relief package that meets the urgent needs of the nation:
“Earlier this year, the leaders of our government reached a bipartisan deal that provided significant relief to those suffering from the health and economic crises that we continue to experience. Many of the good relief measures in that previous package are running out. Families and individuals are having trouble affording food, housing, and health care, and hunger-related crises grow internationally. Many non-public schools must choose between reopening and permanent closure and require additional assistance to safely reopen. Hospitals are bracing for a spike of cases in the Fall and continue to experience fewer preventative and elective health visits. Cases are spiking in detention centers, prisons, and jails.
“Today, I ask our leaders in Washington to once again set aside their differences in order to reach an agreement that prioritizes the poor and vulnerable … May God grant all those participating in negotiations a heart that eagerly responds to the cry of the poor.”
If you haven’t already, don’t forget to take a look at the Iowa bishops’ recent message of encouragement on COVID-19. It can be found at https://youtu.be/ejeeBoNdIxY.