Insights: U.S. Bishops Decry Executions; Vatican on End-of-Life Care


California Bishops Applaud California Officials

For Expanding Tax Credit to Immigrants

California has finally remedied a grave injustice when the legislature passed and the governor signed AB 1876, which expands the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for immigrant families who pay income taxes but file their return with an Individual Taxpayer Id Number (ITIN) instead of a social security number.

The expansion allows all undocumented workers who meet income requirements to take part in CalEITC, a bi-partisan tax credit program that helps families who, despite working, fall below the poverty line.  Previously, the credit was limited to only taxpayers with a child under six.

“We celebrate today with our sisters and brothers in the immigrant community and thank our elected officials for addressing this inequity,” said Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento, who has worked with advocates to pass such legislation.

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Take Action Now

Governor Newsom still has more than 300 bills on his desk to either veto or sign before his September 30 deadline. Take a moment to tell him to either support or oppose the following bills that would affect life and the Church in California.


U.S. Bishops Call for Halt to Federal Executions

Death Penalty


The USCCB released a statement this week calling for the end of the death penalty ahead of the two federal executions scheduled this week.

“In the last 60 years, before the Trump administration restarted federal executions, there were only four federal executions. Since July, there have been five, which is already more federal executions than were carried out in any year in the last century. There are two more federal executions scheduled this week,” said Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities.

“After the first murder recorded in the Bible, God did not end Cain’s life, but rather preserved it, warning others not to kill Cain (Gn. 4:15). As the Church, we must give concrete help to victims of violence, and we must encourage the rehabilitation and restoration of those who commit violence.

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Vatican Reaffirms, Clarifies Church Teachings on End-of-Life Care

The Vatican’s doctrinal office released a letter this week offering “a moral and practical clarification” regarding end-of-life care.

With the legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia in many countries, and questions concerning what is morally permissible, the 25-page document specifies "The church is convinced of the necessity to reaffirm as definitive teaching that euthanasia is a crime against human life because, in this act, one chooses directly to cause the death of another innocent human being.”

In the wake of the passage of assisted suicide in California, the California Catholic Conference has embarked on an effort to transform the way our parishes and health care ministries care for the sick and dying. ‘Whole Person Care’ provides Catholic teaching, decision aids, caregiver support, and more to support those who are in or preparing for the end-of-life stages.

Learn more about Catholic teaching on the end of life at WholePerson.Care.

or read the new document, Samaritanus bonus, here


Before You Vote:  Did You Know?

An occasional series on Catholic teaching, issues, principles, historical circumstances, and other nuances to help you discern your vote on the upcoming propositions

In the case of Prop 14, which the Bishops oppose, not only are there clear moral objections, but there are also significant scientific and financial questions surrounding the measure.  Take this statement from MIT Technology Review:

“[N]o field of biotechnology has promised more and delivered less in the way of treatments than embryonic stem cells. Only a handful of human studies has ever been carried out, without significant results. The cells, culled from IVF embryos, are capable of developing into any other tissue type in the body, and therefore promise an unlimited supply of replacement tissue.”  Will Embryonic Stem Cell Research Ever Cure Anything?

The California Catholic Conference is also opposing Proposition 20, which will roll back years of progress in criminal justice reform. 

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Register to Vote Today

Tuesday was the Register to Vote Day, but there is still time to register if you are a California resident. Voting is part of our civic duty as a Catholic. Visit the California Secretary of State’s website to ensure your vote will be counted this Election Day!


We need to pursue a genuine fraternity based on our common origin from God. The desire for peace lies deep within the human heart, and we should not resign ourselves to seeking anything less than this. @Pontifex

September 25, 2020
Vol. 13, No. 34

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