The News
Jump in Assisted Suicides PDF Print E-mail

According to the Washington State Department of Health annual report, 166 people committed physician-assisted suicides during 2015. The total is a roughly 30% increase over the 126 people who died from assisted suicide in 2014. Since the legalization of assisted suicide in Washington, at least 651 people have committed assisted suicide in Washington State. The Department of Health reports may not provide adequate information for all of those who obtained a lethal prescription. Doctors are not required to report nor are there any penalties for failing to report. Furthermore, physicians are not required to be present when the person takes the lethal dose and rarely are. Of those who ingested a lethal dose in 2015, 100 of them had known the prescribing physician for less than six months. To read the assisted suicide report for 2015 and previous years, click here.

Statement on Dallas PDF Print E-mail

Let Us Gather at the Cross: USCCB Statement on Dallas Violence  

The following is a July 8 statement from Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, who also serves as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB):
"The assassination of Dallas police officers last night was an act of unjustifiable evil.  To all people of good will, let us beg for the strength to resist the hatred that blinds us to our common humanity.  To my brothers and sisters in Christ, let us gather at the Cross of Jesus.  Our Savior suffered at the hands of humanity's worst impulses, but He did not lose hope in us or in His heavenly father. Love overcomes evil.
"The police are not a faceless enemy.  They are sons and daughters offering their lives to protect their brothers and sisters.  Jesus reminds us, "no one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends" (Jn 15:13). So too, the suspects in crimes or routine traffic stops are not just a faceless threat.  They are members of our family in need of assistance, protection and fairness. When compassion does not drive our response to the suffering of either, we have failed one another.
"The need to place ever greater value on the life and dignity of all persons, regardless of their station in life, calls us to a moment of national reflection.  In the days ahead, we will look toward additional ways of nurturing an open, honest and civil dialogue on issues of race relations, restorative justice, mental health, economic opportunity, and addressing the question of pervasive gun violence.
"Let us pray for the comfort of everyone affected and that our national conversation will bear the good fruit of healing and peace."

Abortion Limits Rejected PDF Print E-mail

On June 27, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a 5-3 ruling in the abortion facility medical standards case, Woman’s Whole Health v. Hellerstedt. Deirdre McQuade, assistant director for pro-life communications at the USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, reacted to the loss.

“The Court has rejected a common-sense law protecting women from abortion facilities that put profits above patient safety,” McQuade said. “The law simply required abortion facilities to meet the same health and safety standards as other ambulatory surgical centers – standards like adequate staffing, soap dispensers, and basic sanitary conditions. It required abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, and that hallways be wide enough to allow emergency personnel through with stretchers, should a life-threatening emergency arise.”

“Abortion claims the lives of unborn children, and too often endangers their mothers, as well,” she added. “This ruling contradicts the consensus among medical groups that such measures protect women’s lives.”

Immigration Action Deferred PDF Print E-mail

Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, auxiliary bishop of Seattle, chair of USCCB’s Committee on Migration said the June 23 immigration ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court was “a huge disappointment.” United States v. Texas was brought by some states that challenged immigration guidelines issued by the Secretary of Homeland Security, relating to the DAPA and expanded DACA programs.

The Court deadlocked in a 4-4 tie, which means that the programs will remain blocked from going into effect, and the matter will return to the federal trial court for further proceedings. The original DACA program is not affected by the injunction.

Prior to the decision, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and 24 other U.S. faith-based organizations, who advocate or provide aid and resources to recent immigrants and their families, filed an amicus curiae brief with the Supreme Court. The brief stressed the public interest and humanitarian arguments for supporting the guidelines, explaining that the guidelines facilitate family stability and community participation.  

The U.S. Bishops will continue to work for comprehensive immigration reform. To read the full statement from Bishop Elizondo, click here.

Deportation Raids Decried PDF Print E-mail

Bishop Elizondo, auxiliary Bishop of Seattle and Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration expressed deep concern over reports that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will soon begin a month-long series of immigrant deportation raids.

“Sending women and children back to Central America will not serve as an effective deterrent to migration because this is a humanitarian crisis and individuals from the region are being forced to flee for their lives.  These operations spark panic among our parishes. No person, migrant or otherwise, should have to fear leaving their home to attend church or school. No person should have to fear being torn away from their family and returned to danger.”  Bishop Elizondo said. 

Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles also noted that “The raids are yet another depressing sign of the failed state of American immigration policy.”

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