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The Voice of Religion In the Public Square the Capitol 2015 General Assembly The Voice of Religion In the Public Square.

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Presentation on theme: "The Voice of Religion In the Public Square the Capitol 2015 General Assembly The Voice of Religion In the Public Square."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Voice of Religion In the Public Square www.ccky.org Catholics @ the Capitol 2015 General Assembly The Voice of Religion In the Public Square

2 The Voice of Religion In the Public Square www.ccky.org Created in 1968, CCK is the official public policy voice of the 4 Catholic dioceses in KY CCK Board of Directors Most Reverend Joseph E. Kurtz William F. Medley Archbishop of Louisville Bishop of Owensboro Reverend Most Reverend Robert Nieberding Roger J. Foys Diocesan Administrator, Lexington Bishop of Covington

3 The Voice of Religion In the Public Square www.ccky.org CCK Staff 1042 Burlington Lane Frankfort, Kentucky 40601 502 875 4345 www.ccky.org cckstaff@ccky.org Jason D. Hall Executive Director Andrew Vandiver Associate Director

4 The Voice of Religion In the Public Square www.ccky.org 400,000 Catholics

5 The Voice of Religion In the Public Square www.ccky.org We are asked to exercise Faithful Citizenship We have the power to influence …beyond what we know It is about political responsibility …not just about a particular election We use very practical ways to influence …public debate and policy …the life and dignity of every personWe have a consistent moral framework: …the life and dignity of every person

6 The Voice of Religion In the Public Square www.ccky.org Moral principles of Scripture and Catholic moral and social teaching Right to life and dignity of human person Family, community, participation Rights and responsibility Option for the poor and vulnerable Dignity of work and rights of workers Solidarity Caring for God’s creation

7 The Voice of Religion In the Public Square www.ccky.org Themes provide moral framework “These themes from Catholic social teaching provide a moral framework that does not easily fit ideologies of “right” or “left,” “liberal” or “conservative,” or the platform of any political party. They are not partisan or sectarian, but reflect fundamental ethical principles that are common to all people.” –Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility from the Catholic Bishops of the United States (2007), 55.

8 Pope Francis on Political Participation In her dialogue with the State and with society, the Church does not have solutions for every particular issue. Together with the various sectors of society, she supports those programs which best respond to the dignity of each person and the common good. In doing this, she proposes in a clear way the fundamental values of human life and convictions which can then find expression in political activity. - Evangelii Gaudium, 241

9 The Common Good The Common Good is “the sum total of social conditions which allow people, either as groups or as individuals, to reach their fulfilment more fully and more easily.” - Gaudium et Spes, 26

10 The Common Good To take a stand for the common good is on the one hand to be solicitous for, and on the other hand to avail oneself of, that complex of institutions that give structure to the life of society, juridically, civilly, politically and culturally, making it the pólis, or “city”. The more we strive to secure a common good corresponding to the real needs of our neighbours, the more effectively we love them.Every Christian is called to practise this charity, in a manner corresponding to his vocation and according to the degree of influence he wields in the pólis. This is the institutional path — we might also call it the political path — of charity, no less excellent and effective than the kind of charity which encounters the neighbour directly, outside the institutional mediation of the pólis. When animated by charity, commitment to the common good has greater worth than a merely secular and political stand would have. - Pope Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, 7

11 The Voice of Religion In the Public Square www.ccky.org Recent Victories Human Trafficking Religious Freedom Restoration Act DNA Testing First ever hearing on abolition of death penalty Creation of state health care exchange/expansion of Medicaid Juvenile Justice

12 The Voice of Religion In the Public Square www.ccky.org CCK Legislative Agenda Women Have a Right to Know Abolish the Death Penalty Parents Have a Right to Choose Cap Payday Lending Restoration of Voting Rights & Expungement Tax Reform (EITC) & Minimum Wage

13 The Voice of Religion In the Public Square www.ccky.org Protecting Human Life Women Have a Right to Know The patient has the right to and is encouraged to obtain from doctors and other direct caregivers –appropriate, current, and understandable information about diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis. Except in emergencies when the patient lacks decision-making ability and the need for treatment is urgent, the patient is –entitled to the chance to discuss and request information about the specific procedures and/or treatments, the risks involved, the possible length of recuperation, and the medically reasonable alternatives and their risks and benefits. Patients have the right to know the identity of doctors, nurses, and others involved in their care, as well as when those involved are students, patients, or other trainees. The patient also has the right to know the immediate and long-term financial implications of treatment choices, insofar as they are known. American Hospital Association Patient Bill of Rights http://mhcc.maryland.gov/consumerinfo/hospitalguide/patients/consumer_help/bill_of_rights.htmhttp://mhcc.maryland.gov/consumerinfo/hospitalguide/patients/consumer_help/bill_of_rights.htm -

14 The Voice of Religion In the Public Square www.ccky.org This legislative proposal advocates for good medical practice as promoted by the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure. This state agency is responsible for protecting the public by ensuring that only qualified medical and osteopathic physicians are licensed. On its website it states that it uses its newsletter to “provide important information to physicians practicing in the state.” In its Fall 2004 newsletter the Board expressed how important it is for patients to have a face-to-face evaluation with health care professionals: –Consumers obtaining prescriptions, medications, and/or medical treatment from Internet web sites without an adequate evaluation by a physician pose an immediate threat to the public health and safety…. The Board feels a valid physician/patient relationship cannot be established without an initial face-to-face evaluation by a health care professional. Women Have a Right to Know

15 The Voice of Religion In the Public Square www.ccky.org Women Have a Right to Know 311.725 Requirement of voluntary and informed written consent for abortion -- Cabinet's duty to produce and make available informational materials -- Abortions in medical emergencies. –(1) No abortion shall be performed or induced except with the voluntary and informed written consent of the woman upon whom the abortion is to be performed or induced. Except in the case of a medical emergency, consent to an abortion is voluntary and informed if and only if: (a) At least twenty-four (24) hours prior to the abortion, a physician, licensed nurse, physician assistant, or social worker to whom the responsibility has been delegated by the physician has verbally informed the woman of all of the following: –1. The nature and purpose of the particular abortion procedure or treatment to be performed and of those medical risks and alternatives to the procedure or treatment that a reasonable patient would consider material to the decision of whether or not to undergo the abortion; –2. The probable gestational age of the embryo or fetus at the time the abortion is to be performed; and –3. The medical risks associated with the pregnant woman carrying her pregnancy to term;

16 The Voice of Religion In the Public Square www.ccky.org Women Have a Right to Know (b) At least twenty-four (24) hours prior to the abortion, in an individual, private setting, a physician, licensed nurse, physician assistant, or social worker to whom the responsibility has been delegated by the physician has informed the pregnant woman that: –1. The cabinet publishes the printed materials described in paragraphs (a) and (b) of subsection (2) of this section and that she has a right to review the printed materials and that copies will be provided to her by the physician, licensed nurse, physician assistant, or social worker free of charge if she chooses to review the printed materials; –2. Medical assistance benefits may be available for prenatal care, childbirth, and neonatal care, and that more detailed information on the availability of such assistance is contained in the printed materials published by the cabinet; and –3. The father of the fetus is liable to assist in the support of her child, even in instances where he has offered to pay for the abortion;

17 The Voice of Religion In the Public Square www.ccky.org Women Have a Right to Know “in an individual, private setting” – the court has said this can be a recorded telephone message. And this has become the practice. –But, that means you cannot know if 24 hours has elapsed since the phone call was made. –And the patient is unable to ask questions or receive information specific to her medical history.

18 The Voice of Religion In the Public Square www.ccky.org Women Have a Right to Know SECTION 1. A NEW SECTION OF KRS 311.250 TO 311.379 IS CREATED TO READ AS FOLLOWS: –Anytime informed consent is required by law to be given in an individual private setting, the informed consent shall be valid only when a physician or physician's agent has a face-to-face meeting with the patient and both parties are physically located in the same room.

19 The Voice of Religion In the Public Square www.ccky.org Women Have a Right to Know This law will better protect the rights of women in the process of making a decision that is not reversible. We believe it reduces the number of babies aborted and therefore the post-abortion trauma that we know to be sadly real for some women. Recent studies show with greater certainty that pro-life legislation has been effective in reducing the number of abortions that have taken place. (See “USING NATURAL EXPERIMENTS TO ANALYZE THE IMPACT OF STATE LEGISLATION ON THE INCIDENCE OF ABORTION” by MICHAEL J. NEW, PH.D., Heritage Center Report, January 2006.)

20 The Voice of Religion In the Public Square www.ccky.org Protecting Human Life Abolish the Death Penalty Assuming that the guilty party's identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor. If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people's safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and more in conformity with the dignity of the human person. Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm—without definitively taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself—the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity "are very rare, if not practically non-existent." Catechism of the Catholic Church, second edition

21 The Voice of Religion In the Public Square www.ccky.org Abolish the Death Penalty the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity “are very rare, if not practically non- existent.” –Timothy McVeigh –Saddam Hussein

22 The Voice of Religion In the Public Square www.ccky.org Abolish the Death Penalty The practice of capital punishment does not foster respect for human life. Killing as a solution cheapens that respect. To meet violence with violence entrenches a mentality that constricts a society’s moral imagination to seek alternatives to violent solutions. Our opposition to capital punishment is inspired by a gospel value – "no human life, no matter how wretched or how miserable, no matter how sinful or lacking in love, is without worth; no one is beyond realizing and receiving Christ's redemptive grace of conversion at any moment during life." Abolishing capital punishment would become a step towards breaking the cycle of violence. REVERENCE FOR LIFE: THE PURSUIT OF JUSTICE A Pastoral Letter from the Catholic Bishops of Kentucky November 1999

23 The Voice of Religion In the Public Square www.ccky.org Abolish the Death Penalty Kentucky Assessment Team on the Death Penalty Linda Ewald, Co-Chair, University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law, Louisville Michael J. Z. Mannheimer, Co- Chair, Northern Kentucky University Salmon P. Chase College of Law, Highland Heights Hon. Michael Bowling, Steptoe & Johnson PLLC, Middlesboro Allison Connelly, University of Kentucky College of Law, Lexington Hon. Martin E. Johnstone, Kentucky Supreme Court (Retired), Prospect Hon. James Keller, Kentucky Supreme Court (Retired), Lexington Frank Hampton Moore, Jr., Cole & Moore, P.S.C., Bowling Green Marcia Milby Ridings, Hamm, Milby & Ridings, London

24 The Voice of Religion In the Public Square www.ccky.org Abolish the Death Penalty Kentucky Assessment Team on the Death Penalty More than a 60% error rate in capital sentencing Inadequate Retention of Evidence Law Enforcement Inadequately Protects Against Wrongful Convictions Inconsistent Application of the Death Penalty Judges fail to instruct jurors adequately about sentencing guidelines Public Defender caseloads exceed national standards No statewide standards regarding defense attorney qualifications Mentally disabled are subject to execution Lack of data-keeping to ensure system is fair and effective

25 The Voice of Religion In the Public Square www.ccky.org Abolish the Death Penalty Other Voices Raising Concerns Kentucky Commission on Human Rights – October 17, 2012 “The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights urges members of the Kentucky General Assembly to repeal the law allowing the use of the death penalty and calls upon the Governor to sign the same.” New York Times: Kentucky’s Egregious Death Penalty – October 25 “Kentucky can ensure that heinous criminals are no longer threats to society by sentencing them to life without parole. It is time for the state to end the death penalty.” Prosecutors: Ky. capital punishment unfair (Lexington HL) – March 7 “The hallmark of our criminal justice system is that its process is fair and its results are reliable and accurate. Our reversal rate undermines this hallmark. These troubling issues in capital cases must be addressed now.”

26 The Voice of Religion In the Public Square www.ccky.org Promoting Family Life Parents Have a Right to Choose In Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship the U. S. Bishops teach the following about the education of children: “Parents—the first and most important educators—have a fundamental right to choose the education best suited to the needs of their children, including public, private, and religious schools. Government, through such means as tax credits and publicly funded scholarships, should help provide resources for parents, especially those of modest means, to exercise this basic right without discrimination. Students in all educational settings should have opportunities for moral and character formation.” (FCFC, 72.)

27 The Voice of Religion In the Public Square www.ccky.org Parents Have a Right to Choose We want to influence public policy for all the children of KY: students in our public schools and our non-public schools –Education business tax credit –Busing subsidy Government, through such means as tax credits and publicly funded scholarships, should help provide resources for parents, especially those of modest means, to exercise this basic right without discrimination.

28 Cap Payday Lending Payday loans are 2-4 week loans at $15 per $100 borrowed Effective interest rate of 391% State database shows borrowers are often trapped in debt cycle Congress has limited rates to 36% for military families

29 Restorative Justice Kentucky one of only three states to bar felons from voting for life HB 70 would provide for automatic restoration for all but very serious crimes Expungement would allow felons who don’t re-offend a chance at better employment and greater self-sufficiency

30 The Voice of Religion In the Public Square www.ccky.org Principles of Tax Reform Spending should first assure that the basic needs of all people - especially those who are poor and vulnerable - are addressed as a priority before other appropriations are made All citizens and corporations have the right and responsibility to contribute to the common good through the payment of taxes

31 The Voice of Religion In the Public Square www.ccky.org Principles of Tax Reform The State of KY should seek and maintain revenues sufficient to meet the basic needs of all, especially the poor and vulnerable Taxation in any form should be based on one’s ability to pay All forms of taxation should be fair and just in their treatment of the poor

32 The Voice of Religion In the Public Square www.ccky.org Principles and Prudential Judgment Policy issues like tax reform involve the exercise of prudential judgment The principles should be honored but individuals may disagree about the best way to honor them and achieve other goals, such as economic growth A tax reform proposal must be evaluated comprehensively, looking at its overall effect in relation to our principles

33 The Voice of Religion In the Public Square www.ccky.org Principles and Prudential Judgment For example, expanding the sales tax base, on its own, violates our principles due to its regressive nature However, as part of a larger package that included an expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit, it might be acceptable.

34 Earned Income Tax Credit Historically has attracted bipartisan support Encourages work and development of skills Is “refundable” Is proven to reduce poverty and its effects - number of children in poverty would be 25% higher if not for federal EITC State EITC would help offset negative effects of proposals like a local option sales tax

35 The Voice of Religion In the Public Square www.ccky.org The Way We Do Things Is Important Involved in the political process but not partisan, never championing any candidate or party Church is principled but not ideological Clear about moral teaching but always civil, practice virtues of justice and charity, work with others Engaged in the political process but not used Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility from the Catholic Bishops of the United States (2007), 58-60.

36 The Voice of Religion In the Public Square www.ccky.org Communication To Legislators: Start with a Thanks We appreciate your service to the public and your building up of the common good!

37 The Voice of Religion In the Public Square www.ccky.org Goals of Meeting with Your State Senator and State Representative Communicate information; Dispel myths; Respond to questions; Emphasize your significance; Express availability as resource during legislative session; Begin to develop a relationship for the long haul.

38 The Voice of Religion In the Public Square www.ccky.org “…we are all really responsible for all.” Saint John Paul II, On Social Concern, 1987 John Paul II


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