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Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter, June 24, 2024

Catholics protect human life and dignity


Each of us is a precious creation in the image and likeness of God; each one of us possesses innate and inviolable human dignity. This dignity is present in each person from the moment of our conception and throughout our lives. We suggest you review our Church’s teaching on “Human Life and Dignity” not to tell you how to vote this election, but to help you form your conscience in accordance with God’s truth as you approach this often-challenging decision. We also encourage you to watch the video, “Catholics Protect Human Life and Dignity” on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ YouTube page,


Iowa March for Life set for June 22


Bishop William Joensen of Des Moines is scheduled to lead the opening prayer at the Iowa March for Life on Saturday, June 22 at 1 p.m. at the State Capitol. The keynote speaker will be Hope Miller, President of Simply Pro-Life and Social Media Director at Pro- Life Action League. Following remarks there will be a walk to the Iowa Supreme Court building and back. A decision is expected to be announced soon by the state Supreme Court on the “heartbeat” abortion ban.


The state of Iowa reports that two infants have been received in the last month through the “Safe Haven” law. They have been placed with a foster family until permanent placement is determined. This brings the overall total to 70 infants since the law went into effect more than two decades ago. Iowa’s Safe Haven Act is as an option for parents in crisis who determine they cannot care for an infant up to 90 days old. The child can be left at a hospital or law enforcement facility, or to a 911 responder, without fear of prosecution for abandonment.


Prayer vigils support immigrant families


Catholic-sponsored prayer vigils took place in several parts of the state on June 9 in advance of a hearing on lawsuits challenging the new state law on “illegal reentry by certain aliens.” A decision by a federal court is expected soon on whether the law can go into effect on July 1.


At the federal level, President Biden issued a proclamation restricting access to asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border.  “We are deeply disturbed by this disregard for fundamental humanitarian protections and U.S. asylum law,” said Bishop Mark J. Seitz of El Paso. Bishop Seitz is the chair of the Committee on Migration for the USCCB. “This sentiment in no way violates a country’s right and responsibility to maintain its borders and regulate immigration in furtherance of the common good.”


The president’s action relies on provisions in federal immigration law that were enacted prior to the Refugee Act of 1980. The Refugee Act established a formal system for refugee and asylum protection, incorporating into domestic law the international principle of “non-refoulement,” which prohibits countries from returning persons to countries where they face irreparable harm, such as persecution or torture.


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