“The Church speaks from the light which faith offers” - Pope Francis
"As Catholics, we are part of a community with a rich heritage that helps us consider the challenges in public life and contribute to greater justice and peace for all people." United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
"Among our tasks as witnesses to the love of Christ is that of giving a voice to the cry of the poor." - Pope Francis, Address to the Archbishop of Canterbury, 6/14/13
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) is an assembly of bishops of the United States and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The USCCB Office of Government Relations (OGR) maintains the USCCB Action Center to assist the Catholic community in public advocacy. USCCB sees this as a civic responsibility that serves the common good. The USCCB Action Center's goal is to provide a platform to assist Catholics in their commitment to advance justice in defense of the dignity of every human life. At the USCCB Action Center you can take action immediately on a variety of the issues or areas of interest to you by joining the advocate network, communicating with your elected officials and finding out more about targeted efforts including our Justice for Immigrants Campaign.
Below is a list of current issues and actions the USCCB is actively involved in for public advocacy:
- Pro-Life - USCCB advocates for policies that protect and respect human life, with special concern for those who are unborn, disabled, or terminally ill. Action alerts for pro-life issues can also be found through USCCB's partner organization, the National Committee for the Human Life Amendment.
- Religious Liberty - USCCB has a deep interest in legislation and policies that impact the religious liberty of both individuals and institutions.
- Marriage and Family - USCCB stands firm in its support for marriage
- Catholic Education - USCCB actively monitors all federal legislation relating to elementary and secondary education.
- Justice, Peace and Human Development - USCCB engages in advocacy on concerns related to the defense and empowerment of poor and vulnerable communities.
- Migration and Refugees - USCCB works to ensure that persons fleeing persecution and other refugee-like situations have special standing and consideration and that family reunification remains the just basis for our immigration policy. Action alerts for issues related to immigration reform can be found through the USCCB-led Catholic coalition, Justice for Immigrants.
- Communications - USCCB is committed to ensuring a religious presence in mass communications, removing barriers to communication, preserving the public’s access to information, and the right to freedom of speech for everyone.
At the USCCB Action Center view current action alerts and sign up for future action alerts so that you can contact your elected representatives to express your concerns and opinions on upcoming legislation.
"Americans share many blessings and strengths, including a tradition of religious freedom and political participation. However, as a people, we face serious challenges that are clearly political and also profoundly moral in nature." United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
The California Catholic Conference (CCC) is an office of the California Catholic Conference of Bishops and represents and monitors legislation for the Catholic community of over 11 million Catholics in California (29% of the entire population of California) in 1,073 parishes and 12 (arch) dioceses including the Los Angeles Archdiocese. CCC is the official voice of the Catholic community in California's public policy arena as they represent the interests of not only California Catholic parishes but Catholic hospitals (41 serving 5 million+ patients) and healthcare centers (annually serving 300,000+ people), colleges and universities (13 representing 45,500+ students), high schools (114 serving 76,680+ students), elementary schools (569 serving 165,282+ children) and centers for social service (181 serving 4.5+ million people of various ethnicity, social status and religion).
On the CCC website, there is information about how you can learn, Take Action to become involved and let your voice be heard on current legislation such as SB 128 – End of Life Physician Assisted Suicide that is currently before the California Legislature. This bill aims to legalize assisted suicide and remove the current legal protection that prevents third-party involvement in killing the medically vulnerable. You can register to join the Catholic Legislative Network, find and contact your elected officials, follow CCC on social media - Twitter and Facebook - and receive emails and alerts on specific legislation interests including:
- Reverence for Life
- Promotion of Human Dignity
- Family Life
- Restorative Justice
- Faith in the Public Square
- Education Involvement
At the Los Angeles Archdiocese (ADLA), the Office of Life, Justice and Peace serves the people of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles with education on the principles of Catholic social teaching and its application to contemporary local, national, and international issues. The OLJP advocates for public policy which affirms human life and human dignity and reflects a consistent life ethic and develops a constituency on social concerns. The OLJP seeks to accomplish its mission through its various projects and programs including legislative advocacy, education, life ministries, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, and Catholic Relief Services. The ADLA has a website devoted to information about the Assisted Suicide SB128 bill.
"There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit;
there are different forms of service but the same Lord;
there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone.
To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit." 1 Cor 12: 4-7
Prayer for Faithful Citizenship
Gracious and loving God, let your Spirit be with us (me) today
Hear our (my) prayers, and increase in us (me) the will to follow your Son Jesus.
Help us (me) to draw on the resources of our (my) faith as we (I) use the opportunities of our democracy to shape a society more respectful of the life, dignity, and rights of the human person, especially the poor and vulnerable.
We (I) ask this through Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.