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Bishop Chairmen Welcome HHS Aligning Health Care Nondiscrimination Regulations with Federal Law

WASHINGTON—Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Bishop James D. Conley of Lincoln, Chairman of the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, and Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Chairman of the Committee for Religious Liberty, have issued a statement welcoming today’s announcement of proposed modifications to regulations implementing Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act.

 

Their joint statement follows:

 

“We applaud the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for proposing regulations restoring the long-standing position of the federal government that discrimination on the basis of ‘sex’ does not refer to ‘termination of pregnancy’ nor ‘gender identity.’ These modifications follow the legislative intent of the Affordable Care Act to ensure nondiscrimination on the basis of sex in health care. The proposed regulations would help restore the rights of health care providers – as well as insurers and employers – who decline to perform or cover abortions or ‘gender transition’ procedures due to ethical or professional objections. Catholic health care providers serve everyone who comes to them, regardless of characteristics or background. However, there are ethical considerations when it comes to procedures. We are grateful for today’s important step.”

A comment letter expressing concern with the original underlying regulations, in which the USCCB joined in 2015, may be found here: http://www.usccb.org/_cs_upload/about/general-counsel/rulemaking/192062_1.pdf.

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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, Committee on Pro-Life Activities, Bishop Frank J. Dewane, Bishop James D. Conley, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, Department of Health and Human Services, conscience rights, health care providers, abortion, elective abortion, Trump Administration, civil rights laws, White House, discrimination, convictions, sanctity of human life, gender identity, gender transition

 

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200

U.S. Bishops’ Chairman Expresses Sorrow, Urges Prayers and Support for Recovery, After Deadly Tornadoes Hit Missouri and Storms Damage Other States in the Midwest

WASHINGTON—After tornadoes killed three people in Missouri and storms brought devastation to parts of the Midwest and areas from Texas through Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and Illinois, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida and Chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, expressed grief over the lives lost and damage threatened by the tornadoes and storms, and offered prayers for recovery.

The full statement follows:

“I am profoundly saddened by the loss of life and the damage caused by the tornadoes and storms throughout the Midwest and related regions these past few days. As of this writing, millions of people in at least seven states have been affected by the powerful winds, rainfall and rising water levels caused by these conditions. Seven people have been killed in Missouri, Iowa and Oklahoma. Severe weather continues to be expected in this devastated area through the rest of this week.

A call is made to all for prayers for the victims and their grieving families and communities. Further, now is the time to offer assistance to those facing this great loss. We are grateful that Catholic Charities and other organizations are in place working to provide for emergency needs and to help rebuild."

Learn more about Catholic Charities’ efforts at https://catholiccharitiesusa.org.
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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Frank J. Dewane, Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Severe Weather

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 

Pope Francis Names Bishop Robert Gruss of Rapid City as New Bishop of Saginaw

WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has named the Most Reverend Robert D. Gruss, 63, up until now Bishop of Rapid City, as Bishop of Saginaw, Michigan.  

The appointment was publicized in Washington, May 24, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States.

Bishop Robert Gruss was born June 25, 1955, in Texarkana, Arkansas. He attended Madison Area Technical College, in Madison, Wisconsin, and Spartan School of Aeronautics in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and was a commercial pilot and flight instructor from 1980-1989 before entering seminary. He pursued seminary studies at St. Ambrose University, in Davenport 1989-1990; at North American College, Rome, 1990-1994; and the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, also known as the Angelicum, in Rome. He additionally earned a Master of Arts degree in Spiritual Theology at the University of St. Thomas Aquinas in 1994. In 1999, he completed studies at the Institute of Priestly Formation (IPF) with an emphasis on Spiritual Direction training.

He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Davenport on July 2, 1994. Pope Benedict named him a monsignor in 2007.

After ordination, Bishop Gruss’s assignments included parochial vicar at St. Paul the Apostle Parish, Davenport (1994-1997); parochial vicar, St. Anthony Parish, Knoxville, Iowa; Sacred Heart Parish, Melcher, Iowa and St. Mary Parish, Pella, Iowa (1997-1999); pastor at St. Mary Parish, Pella (1999-2004); Davenport diocesan vocations director (2004-2007); diocesan chancellor (2005-2007); director of the propagation of the faith (2005-2007); director of victim assistance programs for the Diocese of Davenport (2005-2007); vice-rector, North American College, Rome (2007-2010); and rector and pastor, Sacred Heart Cathedral (2010-2011).

Bishop Gruss was named the bishop of Rapid City by Pope Benedict on May 26, 2011. His episcopal ordination took place on July 28, 2011.

Bishop Walter A. Hurley, Bishop Emeritus of Grand Rapids, has been the Apostolic Administrator for the Diocese of Saginaw since October 17, 2018.

The Diocese of Saginaw is comprised of 6,955 square miles and includes 708,837 people, of whom 153,260,91.427 or 12.9 percent, are Catholic.

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Pope Francis, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio, Bishop Robert Gruss, Diocese of Saginaw

 

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200

U.S. Bishops’ Chairman Applauds States Passing of Pro-Life Legislation

WASHINGTON—The chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, has issued a statement regarding states recent passing of pro-life legislation.

The full statement follows:
 
 “Every single human life has value. The trend of states passing pro-life legislation is a very encouraging move toward ensuring that our society cherishes unborn children and their most basic right to life. The pro-life movement has always had two critical goals: increasing support for mothers and children and eliminating the tragedy of abortion. Our march for justice and human rights for unborn children will not be complete until they are recognized and protected as persons by the law. Our ultimate objective, however, is for abortion to be unthinkable. As we celebrate these pro-life legislative victories, we reiterate our commitment to supporting all mothers with the care and resources they need. The Church stands ready to help and welcome them.”
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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Archbishop Naumann, Pro-life legislation, justice, human right
 
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MEDIA CONTACT:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 

'Abortion saves lives'? Catholic doctor responds to NYT op-ed

New York City, N.Y., May 22, 2019 CNA.- Following an op-ed in the New York Times claiming that all pregnancies are life-threatening, a Catholic doctor emphasized that pregnancy is a natural and healthy condition, and that complications which may arise can be treated without abortion.

Indian court to check if Mumbai prelates failed to take action on abuse

MUMBAI, India (CNS) -- A court in western India has initiated an investigation into whether Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai and two of his auxiliary bishops failed to take action over the alleged sexual abuse of a minor.

Bishops express concern about nationalism as EU elections near

ROME (CNS) -- Catholic bishops across Europe encouraged their faithful to go to the polls in late May to elect members of the European Parliament who would promote unity and take seriously the power of the European Union to do good in the world.

Pope prays for Spanish missionary murdered in Central African Republic

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis led thousands of pilgrims in prayer for a Spanish missionary sister killed in Central African Republic.

Dominican combines music, Scripture for parish mission experience

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Upon hearing the word "mission," most Catholics visualize hospitals or schools run by nuns in poor areas of the world, or small, tightknit parish communities in areas where Catholicism is still an alien or marginalized religion.

Minnesota attorney sues Holy See for documentation on clergy offenders

ST. PAUL, Minn. (CNS) -- St. Paul attorney Jeff Anderson announced May 14 that he is representing five sexual abuse survivors suing the Holy See for names of clergy sexual abuse offenders worldwide and the names of church leaders who have been involved in abuse cover-up.