Statement in Response to Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Immigrants and Public Benefits

WASHINGTON–On September 22, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that dramatically alters certain longstanding government policies related to legal immigrants’ access to essential safety net programs. Bishop Joe Vasquez, Chair of the Committee on Migration and Bishop of Austin, Texas, together with Bishop Frank Dewane, Chair of Committee on Domestic and Social Development and Bishop of Venice, Florida stated: “Yesterday’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking undercuts decades of administrative policies and guidelines on how immigrants are treated by the United States government. This further compounds strict eligibility guidelines already in place preventing many immigrants...

Domestic Justice Chairman Encourages Congressional Efforts to Address the Opioid Crisis

WASHINGTON—As Congress considers a bipartisan bill that addresses several aspects of the opioid crisis, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, applauded Congressional efforts to address the crisis and encouraged lawmakers not to allow politics to delay their work. Bishop Dewane’s full statement follows: “The opioid crisis has affected all corners of our country. Preliminary estimates by the Centers for Disease Control indicate that more than 72,000 Americans died of a drug overdose in 2017, which is about one death every eight minutes. In the face of the...

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Administrative Committee Statement on Sex Abuse Scandals; Committee Releases Actions to be Taken Within Its Authority

WASHINGTON–The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Administrative Committee has issued the following statement today in response to the recent sex abuse scandals. In the statement, the bishops say they pledge to “heal and protect with every bit of the strength God provides us.” Turning to the Lord “When each of us was ordained as a bishop, we were told: ‘Keep watch over the whole flock in which the Holy Spirit has appointed you to shepherd the Church of God.’ We, the Administrative Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, assembled last week in Washington at this...

Bishop Vásquez, Chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Migration Releases Statement on the Setting of the U.S. Refugee Limit for the Year 2019 (English & Spanish)

WASHINGTON—The United States Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo, announced yesterday that the Administration will set the Presidential Determination, the level of refugees allowed into the United States, at 30,000 refugees for 2019. This is the lowest number set in the history of the U.S. refugee admissions program which was formally created in 1980. Most Reverend Joe S. Vásquez, Bishop of Austin, Texas, Chair of the of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration, issued the following statement: “The announcement of the Presidential Determination is deeply disturbing and leaves many human lives in danger. To cut off protection...

Pope Francis Names Rev. Juan Miguel Betancourt, S.E.M.V., as Auxiliary Bishop of Hartford

WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has appointed Rev. Juan Miguel Betancourt, S.E.M.V. as Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Hartford. Father Betancourt is a member of the Institute of the Servants of the Holy Eucharist and the Blessed Virgin Mary (Esclavos de la Eucaristia y de Maria Virgen). Father Betancourt entered the Institute Servants of the Eucharist and the Virgin Mary as a canonical postulant on January 1, 1992. He professed vows as a religious on October 7, 1994. He received his bachelor’s in theological studies in May 2000 from the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico and earned a Master of...

AMENDED RELEASE: Pope Francis Accepts Resignation of Bishop Michael Bransfield; Archbishop Lori Instructed to Conduct Investigation into Allegations of Sexual Harassment

The following press release has been amended. Our initial release issued at 6am this morning was based on the entire notification we received from the Nunciature that did not include the additional information provided by the Archdiocese of Baltimore. WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Michael Bransfield from the pastoral governance of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, West Virginia. Pope Francis has appointed Archbishop William E. Lori as Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston. He will remain Archbishop of Baltimore. The Holy Father has additionally instructed Archbishop Lori to conduct an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment...