Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Our Diocesan Public Policy Committee asks that we again consider three urgent issues: the Dream Act, the opioid crisis, and the expansion of abortion in New York State.
Pope Francis invites us to join his initiative, Share the Journey: Love Your Neighbor, which is a two-year effort to deepen our understanding of and compassion for the realities faced by refugees and migrants. Bishop Vasquez, the Chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Migration, points out:
“The Catholic Bishops have long supported these immigrant youths and their families who are contributors to our economy, academic standouts in our universities, and leaders in our parishes…. They truly exemplify the extraordinary contributions that immigrants can provide to our nation.”
In our parishes on February 10 & 11, you are asked to consider prayerfully the federal Dream Act, which will protect from deportation 1.8 million immigrant youths who came here as children and grew up in this country. You will have the opportunity to be included among the thousands of parishioners in our Diocese who encourage your US legislators to pass the Dream Act.
Our second issue suggests ways for parishes to respond to the opioid crisis. Sadly, we are facing a growing epidemic of addiction. Too many of our young people and our elderly find themselves addicted to opioid prescriptions and pain killers. Our Catholic Faith tells us that we must respond to those facing this disease, just as Jesus responded to the sick and suffering of His day.
Our third pressing issue is the expansion of abortion of the child in the womb beyond the 24th week of life, which is currently legal only if the life of the mother is at risk. We cannot allow any further erosion to the dignity of every human life from the moment of conception. We need to speak out clearly to defend life when this bill moves towards possible passage into law.
Your support of the Diocesan Public Policy Committee’s educational and advocacy efforts help ensure that those who need our prayers and assistance will “have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10).
Asking the intercession of our patron, Saint John Fisher, I remain
Sincerely yours in Christ,
The Most Reverend Salvatore R. Matano