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Election 2016

"We need to participate for the common good. Sometimes we hear: a good Catholic is not interested in politics. This is not true: good Catholics immerse themselves in politics by offering the best of themselves so that the leader can govern." - Pope Francis


October 31, 2016 Election 2016, Faithful Citizenship

Bishop Jaime Soto, President of the California Catholic Conference, issued the following statement on behalf of his fellow Bishops in California:

Animosity and hyperbole has characterized the current election season.  This should give all people pause.  The natural and healthy exchange of ideas, critical to our democratic system has devolved into anger, intolerance and increasing alienation. 

October 21, 2016 Election 2016, News, Public Policy Insights

Bishops Ballot Recommendations Focus on Restorative Justice, Mercy - 

November’s ballot contains multiple propositions dealing with California’s criminal sentencing system.   As the Extraordinary Year of Mercy comes to a close, California voters have a tremendous opportunity to live out mercy in the Golden State.

The California Catholic Conference of Bishops are urging support for Prop 62, which would end the use of the death penalty, and are opposing Prop 66, which would streamline the legal process in capital cases and weaken critical safeguards against executing an innocent person. 

September 22, 2016 Death Penalty, Election 2016

This summer, the California Catholic Conference (CCC) endorsed Prop 62 to officially end the use of the death penalty in California. The Bishops also publically opposed Proposition 66, which would eliminate important safeguards put in place to help ensure innocent people are not executed.

September 19, 2016 Election 2016, News

By Gerald D. Coleman, P.S.S.

In Weed the People, the author argues that “America is changing its mind about marijuana. For the past 80 years we’ve treated it as a ruinously dangerous drug, a public health menace, an addictive and illegal scourge. This is changing, and more quickly than many of us once thought possible. At the end of 2014 the U.S. reached a tipping point: for the first time ever, a majority of Americans lived in states with some form of marijuana legality.”[1]

The public perception of marijuana has been steadily shifting over the past decade. Gallup polls in the early 2000s found that about one-third of Americans favored legalization. That climbed to 44% in 2009, 48% in 2012, and 58% in 2013. A major factor behind this surge was the growing approbation of medical marijuana. By 2013 medical marijuana use was seen as helpful and safe.[2] Seventy-seven percent of Americans believed marijuana had legitimate medical uses and 83% thought doctors should be able to prescribe limited amounts for patients with serious illnesses.

One moment crystallized the nation’s new openness to marijuana when on August 8, 2013 CNN chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, publicly changed his mind on the positive effects of medical marijuana. Gupta said that he “mistakenly believed the Drug Enforcement Agency listed marijuana as a Schedule I substance because of sound scientific proof. In fact, the DEA had no such proof. Though government continued to deny it, marijuana has very legitimate medical applications. In fact, sometimes marijuana is the only thing that works.”[3]

The doctor-prescribed use of medical marijuana has led to the worrisome assumption that the recreational use of marijuana enjoys the same level of safety and oversight. This conjecture has led to an increasing number of states to legalize or hope to legalize the use of marijuana for reactional purposes.

This assumption needs careful critique.

August 23, 2016 Death Penalty, Election 2016

Death Penalty and Catholic Social Teaching

August 19, 2016 Election 2016, News, News

The California State Constitution is the foundation of the state government. One of the longest and oldest state constitutions, it holds the enduring principles by which California is governed. Hence, change and modification should be rare.

However, in comparison to federal standards, the California Constitution can be easily amended, and as of the date of this publishing, the document has been changed close to 500 times.

The California Constitution can be amended in these ways:

August 1, 2016 Election 2016
  • Punishment for its own sake is never an adequate response to crime
  • Brings common sense to juvenile court proceedings
  • Victims must have a central place in our justice system
July 14, 2016 Election 2016

All Life Is Sacred – Innocent or Flawed

Bishops Also Oppose Prop 66 to Speed up Executions

SACRAMENTO, CA - During this Jubilee Year of Mercy, we, the Catholic Bishops of California support Proposition 62 which would end the use of the death penalty in California.  Our commitment to halt the practice of capital punishment is rooted both in the Catholic faith and our pastoral experience.

July 11, 2016 Election 2016

As widely anticipated, California voters will be asked to pass judgment on a variety of ballot measures on the November 2016 ballot.  Seventeen questions – ranging from ending the use of the death penalty to extending taxes to recreational marijuana use – have qualified.