The News
Statewide Conference

 

SAVE THE DATE

Cornerstone Catholic Conference

October 24-25, 2014
Tacoma Convention Center

Come, join the Bishops of Washington State at the Cornerstone Catholic Conference

Be inspired and educated in the Gospel call to care for our brothers and sisters who are unborn, poor, marginalized, or at the end of life.

Here are flyers to help spread the word!

Seattle
·        English b&w, color
·        Spanish b&w, color

Spokane
·        English b&w, color
·        Spanish b&w, color

Yakima
·        English b&w, color
·        Spanish b&w, color

 
Death Penalty PDF Print E-mail

Governor Calls Moratorium on Death Penalty

On February 12th, the Bishops of Washington State wrote a letter to Governor Inslee thanking him for his decision to impose a moratorium on the death penalty and added their support for a broad public conversation on capital punishment.

In their letter, the bishops referred to past statements of the Washington State Catholic Conference that questioned the use of capital punishment:  “The people of Washington are confronted with unanswered questions regarding capital punishment… Is it fairly applied? Are innocent people executed? Are our motives revenge or safety? Is the punishment of death a cost effective means of ensuring public safety?”

The Governor said he will grant reprieves for death penalty cases that come to his desk, but this moratorium does not commute the sentences of death row inmates or grant them pardons.

Maintaining that the state must hold individuals accountable for their crimes, the bishops noted that the “real tragedy of criminal murders, however, is that there is no way to rebalance the scales of justice… and that taking a human life in the name of retribution does not breed justice or bring closure, but only continues the cycle of violence and hatred.”

The bishops pledged to work with Governor Inslee and other leaders to ”seek the most effective means to achieve justice, while at the same time turning away from violence as a solution to social problems.”


 

 
2014 Legislative Priorities PDF Print E-mail

The 60-day legislative session for Washington State will begin on January 13, 2014.  The Catholic Bishops of Washington State have adopted their legislative priorities for the 2014 legislation session.  They oppose budget cuts to safety net programs which provide services for people living in poverty, and legislation mandating abortion in health insurance plans.

Priorities which are supported by the bishops include restoring TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) grants, changing policies for the treatment of  youth in the juvenile justice system, improving the state’s mental health system, and eliminating harmful chemicals in children’s products.

Advocates are encouraged to contact their legislators.  Catholic Advocacy Day is scheduled for February 21, 2014.

 
Mass & March For Life PDF Print E-mail

2014 marks the 41st anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion in this country. 

To pray for an end to abortion and to give witness to the value of life, Catholics from around the state attended the annual Mass For Life celebrated by Archbishop J. Peter Sartain on Tuesday, January 21st. 

The Mass For Life was a source of strength and encouragement for advocates supporting human life from conception to natural death.  There was an estimated 2,500 people at the 9:30 a.m. Mass celebrated by Seattle's Archbishop J. Peter Sartain at Saint Martin's University in Lacey.

The Mass For Life was followed by the 36th annual March For Life at the Capitol in Olympia.  More than 5,000 marchers, many of them carrying signs and red roses, processed to the Capitol steps for the program which began at Noon.  

 

 
Gun Background Checks PDF Print E-mail

The Catholic Bishops of Washington State released a statement (English, Spanish) voicing their support of Initiative 594, which would require background checks on the sale or transfer of all firearms.  State and federal laws presently requires gun dealers to have licenses and, in most cases, conduct background checks on gun buyers. Initiative 594 would require background checks on the sale or transfer of all firearms and adds background checks for online sales and sales at gun shows.

“In addition to this initiative measure, we also urge support by public and elected officials for policy initiatives to improve access to mental health care for those who may be prone to violence,” the statement said.

The bishops said the prevalence of mass shootings “reflect a devaluing of human life in our nation” and that as pastoral leaders they have a particular responsibility to participate in efforts that reduce violence.

As part of those efforts the bishops laid out principles for reducing gun violence including measures that make guns safer, place curbs on easy access to deadly weapons such as assault rifles as well as “a serious commitment to confront the pervasive role of addiction and mental illness in crime.”

Initiative 594 is an initiative to the legislature, which may be approved by state lawmakers or sent to voters as written. Legislators could also modify the initiative and send it and the original text of the measure to the ballot.

 

 

 
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