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Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate  United States Province

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Take Action to Support our Haitian Brothers and Sisters October 13th, 2016

Haiti is the midst of the natural disaster, which occurred on October 4. Hurricane Matthew has left catastrophic devastating impacts on the people and properties in Haiti, neighboring nations and United States. As people of faith, we are called to welcome the stranger, stand with the vulnerable, and love our neighbor. Right now, we have a moral and legal obligation to Haitians seeking safety.

We join with other faith groups in welcoming the “put on hold” deportation plans announced by Secretary Johnson of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) following the devastating impacts of Hurricane Matthew. However DHS plans to resume fast tracking the deportation of Haitians as soon as country conditions improve. Haiti is in no condition to receive deportees.

The Missionary Oblate presence in Haiti dates back to the 1950’s and today Oblates still conduct very active mission work in the northeastern part of the country. Join us in calling on Secretary Johnson to live up to our American values by upholding our promises to the Haitian people and ensuring Haitians can seek safety here in the United States.

 

 


Take Action to Support Refugees – Send a Postcard of Mercy August 31st, 2016

“And who is my neighbor?
He answered, ‘The one who treated him with mercy.’
Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise.’
Luke 10: 29; 36-37

Join Missionary Oblates JPIC as we stand with other religious communities to take action to support and protect refugees who are forced to flee violence in their communities. As people of faith, we cannot turn our backs on refugee families as they flee from violence.

This September, both the United Nations and President Obama will host two historic global summits focused on refugees. There is an urgent need for the United States to show global leadership on refugee protection. Global goals include:

• Increasing humanitarian aid by 30 percent
• Doubling the number of refugee resettlement opportunities
• Guaranteeing the right to work for one million more refugees, and
• Ensuring access to education for one million more refugee children.

Will you join us in calling for the United States to lead by example?

Take action by sending this electronic postcard (e-postcard) to the White House and Members of the U.S. Congress.

*Action alert adapted from USCCB Justice for Immigrants


Urgent Action: Urge Congress to Pass the Conscience Protection Act NOW! July 12th, 2016

(JPIC action alert is adapted from an alert action resource by USCCB)

July 13, the House is scheduled to vote on the Conscience Protection Act of 2016. Recent action by the federal government allowing California to continue forcing health plans to cover abortions has prompted the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to call for an immediate federal remedy.  Oblates JPIC strongly supports the Catholic Bishops and urge you take immediate action in support of the Conscience Protection Act of 2016 H.R. 4828/S. 2927.

It is critical that you contact your representatives and urge them to take immediate action to enact the Conscience Protection Act of 2016 H.R. 4828/S. 2927).  Even if you have responded to a previous alert, please contact your representatives again and urge them to support this bill.


On July 13, the House is scheduled to vote on the Conscience Protection Act of 2016. It would amend the Public Health Service Act to “codify the prohibition against the federal government and state and local governments that receive federal financial assistance for health-related activities penalizing or discriminating against a health care provider based on the provider’s refusal to be involved in, or provide coverage for, abortion.” 

In 2014, California started forcing almost all health plans in the state to cover elective abortions, even late-term abortions. Religious employers in California that offer group health plans to their employees lodged an objection with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which has oversight responsibility for enforcing federal conscience laws.   On June 21, HHS declared, contrary to the plain meaning of current federal law that the California Department of Managed Health Care can continue to force all health plans under its jurisdiction to cover elective abortions. 

What is more, other states such as Washington and New York may be following California’s lead. These actions clearly violate a federal law known as the Weldon Amendment, which forbids governments receiving federal health care funds to discriminate against those who decline to take part in abortion or abortion coverage. Unfortunately, this amendment has limitations that may make it difficult to enforce.

While HHS badly interpreted the Weldon amendment, the Conscience Protection Act (CPA) of 2016, (H.R. 4828/S. 2927), will make it even clearer that sponsors or providers of health plans that do not include elective abortion cannot be discriminated against.  The CPA will protect health care providers from being forced to pay for or participate in abortions, and allow victims of discrimination a “right of action” to defend their rights in court. For example, nurses threatened with loss of their jobs unless they assist in abortions have found they have no right to go to court to see the law enforced. Congress should reaffirm a principle that has long enjoyed broad bipartisan support: Government should not force hospitals, doctors, nurses and other providers to stop offering much-needed health care because they cannot in good conscience participate in destroying a human life.


TAKE ACTION: 

Suggested Message:

I urge you to enact H.R. 4828/S. 2927, the Conscience Protection Act of 2016, to defend the conscience rights of those who wish not to be involved in supporting abortion.  Enacting this law is even more urgent with the recent decision by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to allow the state of California to continue forcing health plans to cover elective abortions.  This bill is needed now to stop further discrimination against all people who respect unborn human life.  It is wrong for government to force Americans to violate their deeply held convictions on respect for human life.

CONCLUSION:

On May 16, Cardinal Timothy Dolan and Archbishop William Lori, chairing the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities and Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty respectively, wrote to Senate members urging them to support and co-sponsor S. 2927. They urged the House to enact H.R. 4828 in March.  “When government… mandates involvement in abortion as a condition for being allowed to provide life-affirming health care services,” they wrote, “it not only undermines the widely acknowledged civil rights of health care providers but also limits access to good health care for American women and men.”
See the full text of their letter.

 


The Vatican Announces Summit on Climate Change April 22nd, 2015

Thanks to Catholic Rural Life for the information in this post.

The Vatican announced this week that it will host a one-day conference on climate change on April 28, featuring some of the world’s leading climate scientists. The conference is titled Protect the Earth, Dignify Humanity and is subtitled “The Moral Dimensions of Climate Change and Sustainable Development.”

The conference will highlight “the intrinsic connection between respect for the environment and respect for people—especially the poor, the excluded, victims of human trafficking and modern slavery, children and future generations,” states a Vatican announcement.

The purpose of the conference, according to the Vatican announcement, is to help build a global movement across all religions for sustainable development and climate change throughout 2015 and beyond.

Besides climate scientists, the one-day summit will include participants from major world religions. The aim here, says the Vatican, is to “elevate the debate on the moral dimensions of protecting the environment in advance of the papal encyclical.”

The Pope’s much-anticipated encyclical on the environment is expected in late June.

Click here to read more »


Petition seeks ‘strong Catholic voice’ demanding action on climate change April 10th, 2015

Citing a papal directive to take decisive action on climate change, the Global Catholic Climate Movement has started a petition which seeks to display “a strong Catholic voice” of concern on climate change ahead of international negotiations set for Paris in December.

“Climate change affects everyone, but especially the poor and most vulnerable people. Impelled by our Catholic faith, we call on you to drastically cut carbon emissions to keep the global temperature rise below the dangerous threshold of 1.5°C, and to aid the world’s poorest in coping with climate change impacts,” reads the petition, accessible on the movement’s recently revamped website.

In a message delivered toward the end of the last climate negotiations in Lima, Peru, the pope said that decisive climate action “is a grave ethical and moral responsibility,” and warned that there exists “a clear, definitive and unpostponable ethical imperative to act.”

Sign the petition to register your support for strong action to mitigate climate change.

Learn more at National Catholic Reporter.

 


Breaking the Chains: Mass Incarceration and Systems of Exploitation April 10th, 2015

EAD-chain-cross-topperThe Ecumenical Advocacy Days Annual Conference will be held in Washington, DC from April 17-20, and will focus on the problem of mass incarceration in the United States.

The EAD Congressional Advocacy day will be on April 20th. Here is the EAD ‘ask’ of Congress:

Congressional Advocacy Day – April 20, 2015

(Click above to read the full “Ask” with talking points and background information.)

We call on Congress to reform federal criminal justice and immigrant detention policies toward the goal of ending unfair, unnecessary, costly and racially biased mass incarceration:

  • Adopt criminal justice and sentencing reform policies that incorporate an end to mandatory minimum sentencing;
  • Eliminate the detention bed quota for immigrants and implement alternatives to immigrant detention.

Our Faith Conviction

As people of faith and conscience, we call for respect to be shown all people as bearers of God’s image. Jesus tells us to act

Click here to read more »

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