NOTE: This is the last planned Advocacy Bulletin for 2019. Due to the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, there will be no Advocacy Bulletin on the First Friday of January (January 3). You will receive the next issue on January 10, just before the start of the 2020 session of the State Legislature. The Advocacy Bulletin is sent weekly during the 2020 session to keep you informed of the many opportunities to advocate on behalf of the vulnerable in our society.
Life and Liberty
Deadline Approaches for Parental Notification Initiative
Many parishes have begun collecting signatures for Initiative 1004, which would require physicians to notify parents or guardians before performing abortions on minors. The Bishops of Washington state authorized the signature gathering. Any parish effort must also receive the expressed approval of the pastor.
Action Alert: Oppose Amendment Enriching Global Abortion Providers
Global abortion providers might get an extra $57 million a year, if an amendment to a spending bill is passed by Congress. And pro-life and pro-family groups might get blacklisted by the same bill. Raise your voice and tell Congress that this is unacceptable.
Catholic Social Ministry Gathering
The next Catholic Social Ministry Gathering (CSMG) begins January 25, right after several annual pro-life events. One exciting aspect of CSMG 2020 will be the Sunday afternoon plenary session entitled “Building Bridges: Sharing Best Practices of Life and Justice for All.” This session will include practitioners in the field engaged in the challenging but important work of bridge-building in the Church. Following the panel, participants will break-out by ministry area to discuss opportunities, challenges, and action steps. Don’t miss out! Registration increases by $80 in mid-December, so be sure to register now!
Vatican Conference Addresses Pornography
On November 14-15, the Vatican hosted a Congress with the theme “Promoting Digital Child Dignity – from Concept to Action.” In his opening remarks, Pope Francis decried, “The dramatic growth of pornography in the digital world is, in itself, most serious … frequently it is linked to human trafficking.” Addressing large technology companies, the Pope issued an urgent appeal for “them to assume their responsibility towards minors, their integrity and their future.”
Since many technology companies have a significant presence in Washington State, the Pope’s words have particular relevance: “There is a need to ensure that investors and managers remain accountable, so that the good of minors and society is not sacrificed to profit.” To read the Pope’s entire speech, visit the Vatican website.
Justice and Peace
Action Alert: Support the New START Nuclear Weapons Treaty
During his trip to Japan in late November, Pope Francis clearly rejected any moral justification for nuclear weapons – not only their use but even their manufacture. At the Peace Memorial in Hiroshima, the Pope stated, “The use of atomic energy for purposes of war is immoral, just as the possessing of nuclear weapons is immoral …” If you want to read the full text of Pope Francis’ message on nuclear weapons which he delivered in Nagasaki, visit the Vatican website.
The visit of Pope Francis to Hiroshima and Nagasaki is a poignant reminder of the grave threat to human life posed by nuclear weapons. Please contact your members of Congress and urge them to support the Richard G. Lugar and Ellen O. Tauscher Act to Maintain Limits on Russian Nuclear Forces (S. 2394/H.R.2529).
Our Lady of Guadalupe – December 12
Our Lady of Guadalupe is Mexico’s patron saint, Patroness of the Americas, and a symbol of love and strength for Latin Americans and believers across the world. Our Lady of Guadalupe has called Catholics back to the faith and moved others to embrace the faith. Today, Our Lady continues to empower our evangelization efforts with her constant proclamation of the Gospel. Most importantly, as the Patroness of the Americas and the Star of the First and New Evangelization, she calls us to encounter and accompany the stranger in our midst.
The USCCB Justice for Immigrants (JFI) program has prepared several resources for parishes to enhance the celebration of the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. These include Bible readings, celebration suggestions, and a two-page backgrounder/prayer. Our Lady of Guadalupe provides an opportunity to reflect on the current migration situation, educate others on Church teaching related to this phenomenon, and to recognize the important role that she plays in the lives of millions of Catholic faithful.
Action Alert: Support the Global Child Thrive Act
Poverty is preventing children from being able to grow and thrive. For children who have seen the devastation of war in their communities or been forced to flee their homes due to violence, their development is impacted severely due to the trauma and stress. A new bill can help children around the world reach their God-given potential. This new bill would improve U.S. foreign aid programs serving children by including simple Early Childhood Development activities that help young children to explore and grow, like parent education about play and nurturing care. Urge your U.S. Representative to support the Global Child Thrive Act (H.R. 4864).
Care for Creation
Action Alert: Stand Up for Life and Oppose U.S. Withdrawal from the Paris Agreement
What does it mean to love our neighbors in the midst of such a divisive climate? Catholics are called to bring the best of our faith and ourselves to the public square. Yet today, many shy away from such involvement because our national and local conversations are filled with anger and harsh language, often directed at people themselves. As Catholics, we must model a better way. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) invites you to model love for neighbor by pledging to Civilize It and committing to civility, clarity, and compassion this election year. Civilize It: Dignity Beyond the Debate is a non-partisan call to focus on the dignity of all people, even those with whom we disagree, and to put faith in action. Make room in your heart for those with whom you disagree and pledge dignity beyond the debate today at CivilizeIt.org!