Insights: Death Penalty Moratorium; Free Tax Prep

California Catholic Bishops Welcome Death Penalty Moratorium

San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone, in whose Archdiocese the death chamber is located, has issued the following statement on behalf of the California Catholic Conference of Bishops regarding the declaration of a moratorium on executions by California Governor Gavin Newsom:

“The Roman Catholic Bishops of California welcome the announcement by Governor Newsom today that he is declaring a moratorium on the use of the death penalty in the state of California.  We appreciate this recognition that the state has the adequate means to defend human dignity and public safety without recourse to capital punishment.  We ask the Governor to urge the legislature to find a permanent legislative solution that will end the practice of capital punishment in our state for good.

“We also encourage the Governor to use well the time of the moratorium to promote civil dialogue on alternatives to the death penalty, including giving more needed attention and care to the victims of violence and their families.  Capital punishment is not a cure for the suffering and turmoil inflicted by violent crime; the restorative healing of victims and their families to the extent possible is an essential part of justice.

“With regard to the practice of capital punishment itself, it has been apparent for many years that such recourse to the ultimate punishment is not necessary in a modern society.  

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CCC Streaming Video Series on Gaudete et Exsultate

The California Catholic Conference (CCC) has now released four videos in an eight-part  series examining Gaudete Et Exsultate (Rejoice and Be Glad), Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation on the Call to Holiness in Today’s World.

In the Exhortation, the Pope examines each of the Beatitudes, describing them as “a Christian identity card,” and urges the faithful to “listen once more to Jesus, with all the respect that the Master deserves.”

The second video laments human weakness and the need to show humility and meekness in a broken world.

The third video explores the call of the Cross to mourn with our brothers and sisters who are suffering.  

The fourth video examines the definition and pursuit of justice according to Christ.

Check the CCC’s YouTube page for the series. The Pope uses the version of the Beatitudes found in the Gospel of Matthew.


Find Out if You Qualify for Free Tax Services

Tax Day is now just a month away and there are free tax preparation services available for those who qualify.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is a federal program that offers free tax assistance to people who generally make $55,000 or less, those with disabilities, and limited English-speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns.

There is also the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program that offers free tax help for all taxpayers, particularly those who are 60 years of age and older, specializing in questions about pensions and retirement-related issues unique to seniors.

VITA and TCE sites are generally located at convenient locations like schools, libraries, and shopping malls.  Click here to see if you qualify and what to bring to your appointment if so.


New Select Committee on Social Determinants of Children’s Well-Being

The California Senate has created a new Select Committee focused on the social determinants of health – the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age.  Science is increasingly showing that children’s well-being, in particular, is linked to their social determinants.  As an example, nearly a quarter of young children in California live in poverty – a fact that has profound educational, health, and economic repercussions now and in the long term in that they create inequities that could be mitigated.  The Committee is looking at people from birth through age 26. 

The bipartisan Select Committee members will hold a series of informational hearings that focus on the specific social determinants of health that drive negative outcomes, such as housing and homelessness, access to health care, immigration status, poverty and the safety net, land use, and education.  The Committee seeks to understand challenges in the current systems with the various determinants and consider ways to improve outcomes for children. 

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Four CRS Employees Lost in Ethiopian Airline Tragedy

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has sent a letter to Bishop Gregory John Mansour, chairman of the board of Catholic Relief Services, following the tragic plane crash in Ethiopia on Sunday.

In the letter the Cardinal said that he and his fellow bishops “join together with the entire CRS family, especially CRS Ethiopia and our EARO colleagues, in mourning the tragic loss of Sara Chalachew, Getnet Alemayehu, Sintayehu Aymeku, and Mulusew Alemu. Their service to the poor and their accompaniment of the marginalized stand as a great witness to Christ and His love for us all.”

Read the entire letter here.


Visit us at the Religious Education Congress in Anaheim March 22-24 at booth 465!

March 15, 2019
Vol. 12, No. 8

En Español


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