WSCC Statements

Background Checks on Gun Sales, 2013 - English, Spanish

Coal and Caring for Creation, 2013 - English, Spanish

Immigration Reform - Seeking Truth in Charity, 2013 - English, Spanish

Referendum-74 - WA State Law Redefining Marriage, 2012
WSCC Bishops - Videos and Statements on R-74
R-74 - Q&A's and Consequences 

Marriage and the Good of Society, 2012
On September 4th, the Bishops of Washington State released a statement regarding Referendum 74.  The statement is available in both English and Spanish.

Marriage and the Common Good, 2012
This statement was issued by the Bishops of Washington State in response to legislation introduced to change the current law defining marriage.  The statement is available in both English and Spanish.

Seeking the Common the Good, 2011
Offering reflections to help frame discussions addressing economic issues facing the state at this time, the Washington State Bishops have released, Seeking the Common Good.  The statement is available in both English and Spanish.

Peace Be With You - Preparing for Death and Caring for the Dying
This article by Bishop Blase Cupich was printed in the February 24, 2011 edition of Spokane Diocese's newspaper, the Inland Register. 

Seeking the Common Good, Election 2010
[English]  [Spanish] - The bishops of Washington State prepared a statement which was distributed throughout parishes to educate and inform Catholics of their duty to prayerfully consider the tax structure in Washington State and how it affects those who are most needy in our communities. 

A Pastoral Statement on Veterans 
[English]  [Spanish] - On Veterans Day, 2009 the Catholic bishops of Washington State took the opportunity to reflect on the sacrifices of those who have served in the armed forces, and express gratitude for their service.  The statement acknowledges “the wounds of war”, and that there are veterans who are homeless and have unmet physical and mental health needs.  The bishops highlight some specific services provided to veterans by Catholic Charities, and commit themselves to provide care and assistance to veterans who are struggling with the consequences of war.  The bishops ask Catholics to pray for veterans, the men and women currently serving our country, and all of their families. They also ask all peoples to pray for peace in our world, and that nations will soon “beat their swords into plowshares”.

A Pastoral Statement on the Death Penalty 
[Tri-Fold-English]  [Tri-Fold-Spanish] - In May, 2009 the court heard arguments on whether the method of execution in Washington State is cruel and unusual.  With this issue again before the people of the State of Washington, the Catholic Bishops released a pastoral statement on the death penalty calling for a moratorium on executions in Washington State until the many questions surrounding capital punishment can be answered.  The statement acknowledges the Church’s pastoral responsibility to care for victims’ families, friends and loved ones in response to the crime of murder, but also recognizes that violence in response to violence only perpetuates the illusion that cruelty and the taking of human life can balance the scales of justice. 

Referendum 71 - Registered Domestic Partner Benefits 
Referendum 71 sought a statewide vote on Senate Bill (SB) 5688, which was passed by the 2009 Legislature.  SB 5688 commonly known as the "everything but marriage" law granted all of the rights of marriage to same-sex couples in Washington State.  The bishops of Washington State opposed SB 5688 and opposed Referendum 71, because its legislative sponsors specifically stated that the law is part of a strategy to legalize same-sex marriage.  While upholding the dignity of each individual person and opposing unjust discrimination, the Catholic Church is steadfast in its teaching that marriage is a union of one man and one woman.

Initiative 1033 - Capping State and Local Government Taxes
Initiative 1033 would limit the growth of certain state, county and city taxes to inflation and population growth.  Revenues collected above the limit would be used to reduce property tax levies.  While understanding that state and local taxes are burdensome to many, especially during tough economic times, the bishops of Washington State oppose Initiative 1033, reasoning that its passage could result in significant cuts in funding for education, public safety, health care and services for the homeless and vulnerable.  The bishops note that, "we must always balance individual rights and the common good." 

Pastoral Statement on Physician Assisted Suicide
[English]  [Spanish] -  In 2008 the citizens of Washington State were asked to vote on Initiative 1000 which would legalize physician assisted suicide (PAS).  As part of an educational effort, the Bishops of Washington State drafted a statement to instruct Catholics that PAS stands in stark opposition to Church teaching.  Based on Sacred Scripture and tradition, the Catholic Church teaches that all life is a gift from the Creator. This sacred reality calls us to be grateful stewards of life from its beginning to its natural end.

Sign of Faith ~ Bread of Life 
As voters, we have the opportunity to both respond to the challenges and meet the needs of society.  This document is a statement by Alexander J. Brunett, Archbishop of Seattle, on the participation of Catholics in political life.

A Guide to Making Good Decisions for the End of Life: Living Will and Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care
[English]  [Spanish] - This booklet is a practical resource to assist Catholics in making choices about health care decisions for the end of life.  It provides an overview of Catholic teachings on end-of-life decision-making as well as "living will" and Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care forms.  

Call to Unity ~ Justice in Immigration Policies
[English]  [Spanish] - Immigration reform is the subject of a heated national debate.  To nurture unity among Catholic people, the bishops of Washington State have prepared this question-and-answer guide in order to clarify the position of the Catholic Church on the issue of immigration.

Conscience and Pharmacists' Responsibilities
This is a timely statement by the Bishops of the state addressing a proposal before the State Board of Pharmacy dealing with the dispensing of medications or devices by pharmacists.  The Bishops support a conscience clause to allow pharmacists to refrain from dispensing Plan B drugs, the so-called morning after pills.

On Marriage and Discrimination
[English]  [Spanish] - This statement deals with Referendum 65, which seeks to repeal a law passed in the Washington State Legislature in 2006 that added "sexual orientation" as a class under the jurisdiction of the Human Rights Commission.  It also authorizes the postcard campaign conducted by the Knights of Columbus on the federal constitutional amendment on marriage as a union between a man and a woman. 

The Faithful Citizen: A Guide to Advocacy
This handbook is a practical guide on advocacy with background on a Catholic's call to advocacy and helpful ways to work to influence the political process.

Catholic Values in the Public Square
[English]  [Spanish] - This document is a call to all Catholics to participate in the political process was written by the bishops to help people of faith better understand Catholic teaching and the responsibilities of faithful citizenship. 

Guidelines for Parishes and Agencies on Political Activity
This document outlines what parishes and Catholic organizations can or cannot do in connection with political activities.

A Reflection on Washington State's Tax System 
This 2003 document by the Catholic Bishops of Washington State is offered as a way of framing discussions about the state's tax structure in terms of justice and seeking the common good.

A Call for the Abolition of the Death Penalty 
This 2000 statement by the Catholic Bishops of Washington State reaffirms the Catholic Church’s teaching that all human life is sacred, calls on parishes to minister to the victims of violence, gives a brief description of the development of the Church's teaching on capital punishment and expresses opposition to the death penalty.

The Columbia River Watershed:  Caring for Creation and the Common Good
[English]  [French]  [Spanish] - This document is an international pastoral letter by the Catholic Bishops of the Pacific Northwest addressed to all people of good will in hopes that "we might work together to develop and implement an integrated spiritual, social and ecological vision for our watershed home, a vision that promotes justice for people and stewardship of creation."  For more information, visit the website:  www.columbiariver.org.