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Sunday February 18, 2018
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October 13, 2016    
 
 
  • • WSCC Launches New Website
  • • Importance of Civil Dialogue
  • • Congress Approves Funding before Recessing
  • • American Catholics Respond to Hurricane Matthew
  • • October 16 Marks World Food Day
  • • California Seeks to Abolish Death Penalty
  • • Cornerstone Volunteers Needed
     
  We have a new website! It has all of the essential resources as the old (statements by Washington's Bishops, etc.) but with a new design that is optimized for mobile devices. On the website you will also find "WSCC Guidance  on Forming Consciences  & Voting Decisions."  

     
 
 
The following is an excerpt from a recent post on To Go Forth (a blog from USCCB's Department of Justice, Peace & Human Development):

"When inflammatory rhetoric, uncivil accusations, and personal attacks abound, the temptation can be to turn off the news, shut the newspaper, and ignore the Twitter feed for the next four weeks. ... We must allow the Holy Spirit to guide us so that we may model love and mercy in our families, at our workplaces, and in the public square. We must also urge candidates and elected officials to engage in dialogue that is civil and respectful.

"Civil dialogue means that when speaking with others with whom we disagree:
  • We should begin with respect.
  • We should decide neither to degrade the persons, characters, and reputations of others who hold different positions from our own, nor spread rumors, falsehoods, or half truths about them.
  • We should be careful about language we use, avoiding inflammatory words and rhetoric.
  • We should not assign motives to others. Instead, we should assume that our family members, friends, and colleagues are speaking in good faith, even if we disagree with them.
  • We should listen carefully and respectfully to other people.
  • We should remember that we are members of a community, and we should try to strengthen our sense of community through the love and care we show one another.
  • We should be people who express our thoughts, opinions, and positions-but always in love and truth.
"As an individual and as a family, reflect on Pope Francis' guidelines on dialogue and consider how you can put them into practice in your own conversations.

"Encourage civil dialogue in your parish. Include the civil dialogue insert in your bulletins in English and Spanish."

Your parish may wish to show the video reflections by Cardinal Wuerl and byFranciscan Media on civil dialogue.
 

     
  Last month Congress passed a Continuing Resolution which will fund the government through December 9th plus provide a full year of appropriations for Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and related programs.  The bill also included an additional $1.1 billion to prevent the spread of the Zika virus, $500 million in grants to help states recover from recent floods and $37 million to fight the opioid epidemic. As part of the deal, an agreement was reached to include funds to deal with the lead contamination crisis in Flint, Michigan, in the Water Resources Development Act bill - although complete details will need to resolved when Congress returns after the election. Congress is now on recess until November 14th.  When the members return, Congress will have only twenty days during the lame-duck session to finalize government appropriations for the year and pass legislation before the end of the congressional year.  

     
 
 
With communications cut in many areas, and bridges and roads destroyed, preventing access to the hardest hit communities (especially in Haiti), the full extent of the damage from Hurricane Matthew is still emerging. Catholic Relief Services (CRS) has made an initial commitment of $5 million to provide the most vulnerable with critical supplies, like food, water and shelter. In addition to accepting your donations, the CRS website offers prayers and intercessions specific to Hurricane Matthew for use with your families and parishes. Catholic Charities USA is also responding to aid people in the southeastern U.S. states hit by Matthew.
 

     
 
Join Pope Francis in celebrating World Food Day on Oct. 16.  His 2016 message will be posted here. As you celebrate this day and reflect on what faith-inspired action you may be called to take, here are 7 Ways to be a Good Steward of the Harvest from our friends at Catholic Relief Services.

You can also take action with the U.S. Catholic Bishops and CRS through Catholics Confront Global Poverty by participating in this action alert to fight global hunger.

 

     
  On November 8, voters in California will vote on an initiative that would abolish the death penalty in that state. The California Catholic Conference and theCatholic Mobilizing Network have produced a riveting video that portrays four Catholics who share why they oppose the death penalty. The Catholics include a former warden at San Quentin prison and two people whose loved ones were murdered. This video brings to life a simple yet profound message: the Catholic Church opposes the death penalty and works for the end of capital punishment. Over 100,000 people have already watched this video! In the coming weeks and months, thousands more will hear this unambiguous message of life and mercy from our Church. Help spread the message far and wide that the death penalty is not needed in society.  

     
 

The next statewide Cornerstone Catholic Conference is planned for Tacoma next October in 2017. In the coming weeks, WSCC will hold meetings in Seattle (Oct. 27) and Tacoma (Nov. 15) with prospective volunteers - if you would like to help, please contact Jim Thomas at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 206-301-0556.

Regretfully, the Diocese of Spokane had to cancel the 2016 regional Cornerstone that had been planned for October 22.
 
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The Washington State Catholic Conference (WSCC) is the public policy voice of the Catholic Bishops of Washington State.