Tuesday, May 10, 2005

California Catholics Gather at State Capitol for Lobby Day

On April 26, 2005 Catholics from all over California gathered at the State Capitol to raise their voices on behalf of those who are poor, vulnerable, or voiceless. Over 800 participants gathered downtown at the Crest Theater for an inspirational program and Mass.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comMsgr. Eugene Boyle, retired priest from the Diocese of San Jose and member of the Diocesan Human Concerns Commission was the homilist at the Mass. In his homily, Msgr. Boyle said, "Searching for the signs of the times in the spirit of Jesus will mean recognizing all the forces working against humanity as forces of evil...lack of respect for the sacredness of life, which promotes abortion, stem cell research with embryos, and assisted suicide; racism and xenophobia, which is the dark side of the immigration debate; individual and corporate greed, which is the basis of widespread economic insecurity and poverty...failure of present government to recongize the state budget as a theological statement that should especially include funds for education and health care..."

After the morning program and Mass, the group marched to the steps of the Capitol for a rally followed by lunch in Capitol Park. The afternoon was designated for visits to the legislators.

Speakers at the rally addressed the following key issues:

AB654 Legalization of Assisted Suicide/Legalizacion del suicido asistido
It would legalize assisted suicide for individuals diagnosed with a terminal illness who have six months of less to live. The California Catholic Conference opposes the bill.

AB696 Food Security/Garantias alimenticias
A package of measures designed to reduce paperwork and administrative barriers to food stamps and CalWORKS benefits. We support the bill.

AB930 Naturalization Funding/Fondos para la naturalizacion
It would provide funding to local governments, faith-based and community organizations to assist legal permanent residents in becoming naturalized citizens. This bill is sponsored by Catholic Charities. We support it.

In addition to the above, the California Catholic Conference identified a number of other bills as either major or significant.

According to the Legislative Calendar, June 3 is the deadline for all bills to clear their House of Origin.

For additional information and current updates in Spanish and English, see the website for the California Catholic Conference, http://www.cacatholic.org/.


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