Insights: Bishops Issue Call to Protect the Environment; Updates on SB 360

CA Bishops Issue Call to Protect Our Common Home

Cherishing the many natural blessings of the Golden State while expressing growing concern with escalating threats to our world, the Catholic Bishops of California have issued a pastoral statement calling on all people to “contribute to the ecological well-being of our state.”

“We are publishing our Pastoral Statement on the fourth anniversary of Laudato Si’ with a two-fold vision in mind,” say the Bishops: “To animate and energize the implementation in California of what Laudato Si’ calls us to do, and to offer a dynamic teaching and evangelization tool for our Catholic faith community and beyond, especially for young people.”

In God Calls Us All to Care for Our Common Home, the Bishops challenge the people of California to appreciate the beauty of the state and to apply – both individually and collectively – the teachings of Laudato Si’ in safeguarding our natural gifts.

The statement emphasizes the Catholic concept of the common good – “the sum total of social conditions that allow us to access the resources and services necessary for a dignified life” -- in relationship to the environment and the people of California. 

It follows by building on the concept of “integral ecology” first explored be Saint Pope John Paul II and expanded upon by Pope Francis.  The teaching emphasizes that stewardship of nature must first be at the service of advancing the good of all people in their environmental, economic and cultural dimensions.

God Calls Us All to Care for Our Common Home, most importantly, aims to encourage the practical applications of these teaching. 

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Stockton‘s Bishop Emeritus Blaire Dies at 77

Bishop Stephen E. Blaire, who served as bishop of the Diocese of Stockton for 19 years before his retirement in 2018, died Tuesday after a long illness. He was 77.

Even in retirement, Bishop Blaire was active in ministry and the Church. One of Bishop Blaire’s passions was care for the environment and the earth, and he was instrumental in the Bishops’ pastoral statement God Calls Us All to Care for Our Common Home. He passed on the same day the statement was released.

Within the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop Blaire served as the Chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, the Pastoral Practices Committee and was a member of the Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs. Within the California Catholic Conference, he was past president of the Conference and chair of the Legislation and Public Policy Committee and the Ad Hoc Committee on Environmental Stewardship, as well as a member of the Religious Liberty Committee. He also served on the Ad Hoc Committee on Ecumenical affairs.

Click here for funeral details.


Founding San Jose Bishop DuMaine Dies

Bishop Pierre DuMaine, who was founding Bishop of the Diocese of San Jose and served there for 18 years, passed away peacefully on June 13. He was 87.

On January 27, 1981, DuMaine was named by Pope John Paul II the first bishop of the new Diocese of San Jose. Bishop DuMaine retired in 1998 and was succeeded by current San Jose diocese Bishop Patrick McGrath.

After retirement, DuMaine remained active in the USCCB Committees for Science and Human Values and for Women in Society and the Church. He also taught in Religious Studies Departments of Stanford University and Santa Clara University. Santa Clara appointed him Presidential Professor of Catholic Theology. He also was the founding Director of Catholic Television Network in Menlo Park from 1978 to 1981.

The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Joseph in San Jose on Thursday, June 27, at 10:00 am.


Updates on SB 360 - #KeepTheSeal

Thousands of Catholics, through the efforts of dioceses around California, are contracting their Assembly Members to object to the infringement of religious freedom that SB 360 represents. The bill threatens to remove the right to privacy between a penitent and confessor during the Sacrament of Reconciliation and other spiritual counseling for priests and employees of the Church.

SB 360 will be heard next in the Assembly Public Safety Committee though no date has been announced.

Thank you to the tens of thousands who have sent letters and emails to lawmakers asking them to vote against this bill. The fight is far from over, and we ask that you quickly take a moment to send a letter.  We know that many people are enjoying summer vacations now, but please take a moment to send an email before you take off.  It will make a big difference in the outcome.

We cannot overstate the importance of working to ensure that this bill does not become law. The dire consequences for priests and people of the Catholic faith are likely to snowball if this first step is approved.

As we continue to SB 360, stay with the CCC for additional ways you can help us defeat this bill.


Religious Freedom Week

Join the USCCB June 22 - June 29, for Religious Freedom Week 2019: Strength in Hope, to pray, reflect, and act on religious liberty, both here in this country and abroad. This is especially important this year as we struggle in California to defeat SB 360, which seeks to eliminate the religious freedom central to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. (See below)

Religious freedom gives us the space to carry out the mission that Jesus has entrusted to the Church. Religious freedom means that Catholics, and all people of goodwill, are free to seek the truth and to live in accordance with that truth, and so to strengthen our common life as a nation.

Click here for more.


Pastoral Statement in the News


(National Catholic Reporter)

(America Magazine)


June 21, 2019
Vol. 12, No. 20

En Español



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