Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act - Support HR 732As per Priests for Life, "The Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act (CIANA) would make it illegal to take a minor across a state line to evade the requirements of a pre-abortion parental involvement law in the girl’s home state." Please ask Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (firstname.lastname@example.org) to join with 105 of his colleagues as a co-sponsor of HR 732.
Conscience Protection - Support HR940/S1204Joint letters were issued on 6/21/13 by Archbishop William Lori of the USCCB and Dr. Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention, to members of the U.S. House of Representatives and to members of the U.S. Senate, supporting H.R. 940 and S. 1204. While Representative Mike Fitzpatrick is a co-sponsor of HR 940, neither Senator Casey nor Senator Toomey are co-sponsors of S 1204.
There is a special web page to facilitate messages to Casey, Toomey, Fitzpatrick, and Speaker of the House John Boehner: https://www.votervoice.net/NCHLA/Campaigns/30688/Respond. There is also a special web page to facilitate messages to President Obama, Vice President Biden, Casey, Toomey, and Fitzpatrick: https://www.votervoice.net/PACC/Campaigns/30694/Respond.
Day of Fasting and Prayer for Peace in Syria, the Middle East, and the World - and Support for S653Confounding those who would like to infer that "pro life" citizens are not concerned about their brothers and sisters who have already been born, Mercer County (NJ) Congressman and pro life champion Chris Smith has been a pioneering leader on human trafficking: "There’s nobody more committed or dedicated....it’s no understatement to say that he was banging the drum on this long before many in Congress even knew the term 'trafficking in persons' or understood what it really meant" (Secretary of State John Kerry, Remarks at the Annual Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP) Release, 6/19/13). The Trafficking in Persons Report 2013 documents some of the unspeakable abuses of our brothers and sisters, which are happening on the world stage:
"a mere fraction of the more than 26 million men, women, and
children who are estimated to suffer in modern slavery have been
recognized by governments as such and are eligible to receive the
protection and support they are owed.... traffickers who enslave
and exploit millions are operating with impunity, beyond the reach of
the law....Though today’s estimates suggest that the majority of
trafficking victims are indeed women and girls, it is now clear that
trafficking victims are subjected to both sex and labor trafficking, and
a significant percentage of trafficking victims are men and boys."
"Pope Francis has called for a Day of Fasting and Prayer for
Peace in Syria, the Middle East, and the world to be held on September 7, 2013,
the vigil of the birth of Mary, Queen of Peace....We are anguished by the terrible suffering of the Syrian
people and again affirm the need for dialogue and negotiation to resolve this
conflict that has wrought so much devastation....As our nation's leaders contemplate military action, it is
particularly appropriate and urgent that we in the United States embrace the
Holy Father's call to pray and fast....We ask all U.S. Catholics and people of goodwill to join us
in witnessing to the hope we have in our hearts for peace for the Syrian
people. May our prayers, fasting, and advocacy move our nation to promote a
peaceful resolution of the conflict in Syria.
And may Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us and the people of Syria."
"As Chair of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, I commend your tireless
efforts to advance religious freedom as evidenced by your sponsorship of
S. 653, a bill to establish a Special Envoy to Promote Religious
Freedom of Religious Minorities in the Near East and South Central
"The bishops have long been concerned over the plight of religious minorities, particularly Christian communities in countries such as Iraq, Syria, Egypt, India and Pakistan, many of whom have lived for centuries side by side with those of other faiths, but now find themselves coming under increased attack and harassment. Such attacks have led many to flee, becoming displaced within their own country or escaping across the borders to seek refugee status, uncertain as to what the future holds....
"Following egregious violence against religious minorities, such as church bombings in Egypt and Nigeria, bombings of Ahmadiyyah mosques and buses carrying Shi’a pilgrims in Pakistan, the attack on the Syrian Catholic cathedral in Baghdad, the assassination of Pakistan’s Minister for Minority Affairs, the targeting by Hindu extremists of Christian villages in India, or riots in Burma that have killed almost 200 Muslims and left thousands homeless, we have strongly urged the Administration to press other governments to undertake concrete measures to respect and protect the human rights and religious freedom of all their citizens....
"we commend you for introducing S. 653 and lend our support to passage of this legislation"
Euthanasia - Oppose HR1173
HR 1173 would constitute a direct assault on our great treasury of clear teaching on health care for our brothers and sisters (e.g.,In contrast to what the Church proclaims about the sanctity of each human life,
- Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers, Charter for Health Care Workers, 1995;
- Address of John Paul II to the Participants in the International Congress on "Life-Sustaining Treatments and Vegetative State: Scientific Advances and Ethical Dilemnas", 3/20/04;
- Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Responses to Certain Questions of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Concerning Artificial Nutrition and Hydration, 8/1/07;
- USCCB, Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (5th ed), 11/17/09).
"The POLST (Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment) form is a
standard document that, when signed by a designated healthcare
professional, dictates whether to withhold or administer certain forms
of medical treatment and/or care. POLST is known by different acronyms
in various states (MOST, MOLST, POST, etc.)....The completed POLST form is not simply an expression of a patient’s
treatment preferences; it is a set of physician's orders which must be
followed....POLST is tilted toward non-treatment and can encourage premature
withdrawal of treatment from patients who, but for the denial of
treatment, would not die....Of special concern is a new federal bill – the 'Personalize Your Care
Act' (H.R. 1173). Introduced by Representative Earl Blumenauer,
D-Oregon [with Alyson Schwartz as a co-sponsor], ...it is described as a bill to 'amend the Social
Security Act to provide for coverage of voluntary advance care planning
consultation under Medicare and Medicaid, and for other purposes'....H.R. 1173 includes funding for promotion of POLST throughout the country" (What is a POLST, and why should you oppose it?, LifeSiteNews.com, 8/30/13).
"Gender Identity" - Oppose S 815 and SB300/HB300As readily acknowledged by the Human Rights Campaign, the term "gender identity" refers to how a person views herself or himself, regardless of whether that perception corresponds with anatomy. With regard to individuals with "deep-seated homosexual tendencies," the Church reminds us that
- "They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2358).
- "In assessing proposed legislation, the Bishops should keep as their uppermost concern the responsibility to defend and promote family life" (Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons, 1986).
On the state level, HB 300 and SB 300 speak of "freedom from discrimination in...public accommodation," regardless of "'gender identity or expression.'"
"California Gov. Jerry Brown just signed a law aimed specifically at schools, requiring them to permit any student to use any restroom or locker room, no questions asked. And this scenario would play out across Pennsylvania if the recently introduced HB/SB 300 were to be approved by the state Legislature. HB/SB 300 is being sold as a 'sexual orientation and gender identity' employment nondiscrimination bill, but in states and cities with similar ordinances the reach of the law always stretches to bathrooms, locker rooms, dorm rooms and any other public facility traditionally segregated by gender" ( Philadelphia Inquirer, 8/21/13).
Labor Day Statement from the USCCB
- "Every human being enjoys a basic right to be respected, not because of any title, position, prestige, or accomplishment but first of all because we are created in the image and likeness of God....
"Even with new indicators of some modest progress in recovery, the economy still has not improved the standard of living for many people, especially for the poor and the working poor, many of whom are unemployed or underemployed....
"The current imbalances are not inevitable, but demand boldness in promoting a just economy that reduces inequality by creating jobs that pay a living wage and share with workers some profits of the company. It also requires ensuring a strong safety net for jobless workers and their families and those who are incapable of work. As individuals and families, as the Church, as community organizations, as businesses, as government, we all have a responsibility to promote the dignity of work and to honor workers’ rights....
"The Church, in accord with her principles on the life and dignity of the human person, wishes to collaborate with unions in securing the rights and dignity of workers....
"Ethical and moral business leaders know that it is wrong to chase profits and success at the expense of workers’ dignity....
"Whenever possible we should support businesses and enterprises that protect human life and dignity, pay just wages, and protect workers’ rights. We should support immigration policies that bring immigrant workers out of the shadows to a legal status and offer them a just and fair path to citizenship, so that their human rights are protected and the wages for all workers rise....at the same time it is important to end the political, social, and economic conditions that drive people from their homelands and families. Solidarity calls us to honor workers in our own communities and around the world....
"let us renew our commitment to promote the dignity of the human person through work that is honorable, pays just wages, and recognizes the God-given dignity of the working person" (from the USCCB's Labor Day Statement 2013).
Marriage - Support HB 1349 and OPPOSE SB 719; Support H.J. Res 51On 5/8/13, Bucks County Representative Paul Clymer joined Representative Daryl Metcalfe in introducing HB 1349,
"Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, providing for marriage.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania hereby resolves as follows:
Section 1. The following amendment to the Constitution of Pennsylvania is proposed in accordance with Article XI: That Article I be amended by adding a section to read:
§ 29. Marriage.Marriage is the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife and no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized."
- "State Rep. Steve Santarsiero, D-Bucks, today announced he will
co-sponsor the Marriage Equality Bill, introduced by Reps. Brian Sims,
D-Phila., and Steve McCarter, D-Montgomery/Phila.
"The bill, which mirrors S.B. 719, introduced by Sen. Daylin Leach, D-Montgomery/Delaware, would eliminate the prohibition of same-sex marriages in Pennsylvania."
On a federal level, Congressman Time Huelskamp has introduced H.J. RES. 51, supporting a an amendment to the U.S. Constitution limiting marriage to a man and a woman. Please ask Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (email@example.com/ ) to be a co-sponsor.
No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act - Support HR 7/S 946As per Priests for Life, "The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act would prohibit the federal funding of abortion, except in cases of rape, incest, or life of the mother." Please ask Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (firstname.lastname@example.org) to join Rep. Chris Smith and 131 other of his colleagues as a co-sponsor of HR 7. Please ask Senators Pat Toomey (http://www.toomey.senate.gov/?p=contact) and Bob Casey (http://www.casey.senate.gov/contact/) to join 23 of their colleagues as co-sponsors of S 946 (Note: Casey introduced his own S 142, which appears to this blogger to be a weakened version and has no co-sponsors.).
Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act - Support HR 1797 and S 886As per a 5/21/13 statement by Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life:
- "Priests for Life believes this is the most significant legislative
effort to date in bringing protection to unborn children. We have
therefore already alerted every parish in America to inform and mobilize
its congregation in support of this bill. We are also calling upon
pro-life organizations large and small to give it their full support."
The Right to Informed Consent - Oppose SB 872Dr. Rick Fitzgibbons of Montgomery County is a psychiatrist, member of the Pediatric Psychosocial Development Committee of the American College of Pediatricians, and director of the Institute for Marital Healing. Dr. Fitzgibbons maintains that
"Youth have the right to be provided informed consent
about the serious medical and psychiatric illnesses, and risks, of the
homosexual lifestyle. Pediatricians, mental health professionals,
physicians, nurses and school counselors have a clear legal
responsibility to do so, and parents, family members, educators, and
clergy a grave moral responsibility" (Same-Sex Attractions in Youth and Their Right to Informed Consent, 5/21/12).
The Sanctity of Human Life Act - Support HR 23As per Priests for Life, "The Sanctity of Human Life Act would declare that the right to life guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution vests in each human being at 'fertilization, cloning, or its functional equivalent, irrespective of sex, health, function or disability, defect, stage of biological development, or condition of dependency.'
Further, the measure states that 'the Congress affirms that the Congress, each State, the District of Columbia, and all United States territories have the authority to protect the lives of all human beings residing in its respective jurisdictions.'" Please ask Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (email@example.com) to join with 39 of his colleagues as a co-sponsor of HR 23.