Around the Country: Quotes
by Christopher Dodson
Executive Director, North Dakota Catholic Conference
June 2013

We can learn a great deal from what is happening in other states. Here is a selection of quotes by state Catholic conference representatives from the last few months. To find out more about the activities of other state Catholic conferences, go to:

“We cannot wait to put an end to the separation of families, the exploitation of workers, and the death of hundreds of human beings in the desert every year. This suffering must end.”
Arizona Bishops on Need for Comprehensive Immigration Reform

"I am hopeful that in Colorado we will someday soon put an end to these senseless attacks on religious liberty,"
Jennifer Kraska, Colorado Catholic Conference

“Abortion-on-demand is legal in California, but no law or change in the law can make it moral or good.”
Carol Hogan, California Catholic Conference, on bill to allow abortions by non-physicians

“Treating people fairly, which we support, is one thing; treating different types of relationships as if they were equivalent is another.”
Michael Sheedy, Florida Catholic Conference, on “domestic partnership” legislation

“[W]ith scant days left in the session, shouldn’t lawmakers be focused on the future and making it secure for its residents by passing a budget that protects the poor and vulnerable, and by paying down a backlog of unpaid bills that imperils services for those in need?”
Robert Gilligan, Catholic Conference of Illinois, reacting to calls for quick passage of a bill to redefine marriage.

“Frankly, it has proven difficult to pass abortion-related legislation when 1) A great majority of Democrats oppose further regulation; and 2) a few Republicans will not vote for restrictions on abortions or regulation of clinics because they believe it is legitimizing legal abortion.”
Tom Chapman, Iowa Catholic Conference

“We measure governmental policies by asking this primary question: how will this policy affect poor persons. Today, the Governor answered correctly.” Patrick Delahanty, Kentucky Catholic Conference, on the governor’s decision to expand Medicaid

"Unfortunately this referendum will only divide the prolife community and drain scarce time and resources from other more important prolife goals." Mary Ellen Russell, Maryland Catholic Conference, on efforts to refer the recent abolition of the death penalty

“We believe reforming Medicaid—in a manner that is acceptable—follows a moral track that will lead to sound public policy and an increased standard of living in our state.”
Michigan Catholic Conference and the state’s Catholic Health Care systems

“The outcome, though expected, is no less disappointing.”
Minnesota Catholic Conference on state senate’s vote to redefine marriage

“Opposition to Medicaid expansion will not prevent the Affordable Care Act from being implemented.”
Moe Wosepka, Montana Catholic Conference

“Until it is clear beyond reasonable dispute that unmarried adult relationships, including same-sex relationships, do not pose risks for children, it would be irresponsible to authorize adoption pursuant to such relationships.”
James Cunningham, Nebraska Catholic Conference, testifying in opposition to bill to allow joint adoption by unmarried adults

“It is unnecessary, extreme and dangerous. . . .Not only does the bill defy public opinion, but it also defies common sense.” 
New York Catholic Conference on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s attempt to expand abortion access in a state that already has the nation’s highest abortion rate

“The US Department of Defense . . . has put in place [programs] to prevent suicide. What message would New Jersey be sending to our military if as a state we passed a bill encouraging troubled individuals to take the path of suicide?”
Patrick R. Brannigan, New Jersey Catholic Conference, testifying against measure to legalize assisted suicide

“Given the nearly $1 million cost that a Special Session for legislative redistricting already represents, the Texas bishops think it not only reasonable, but financially prudent, to ask legislators to use their time efficiently to fulfill their responsibilities to protect life and defend the unborn.”
Jeffrey Patterson, Executive Director of the Texas Catholic Conference in letter to Governor Rick Perry asking the governor to include pro-life legislation in special session

“The Catholic Church in Washington State and its affiliated organizations do not now, nor will we in the future, offer coverage for abortion in our health care plans.” Seattle Archbishop Peter Sartain testifying against bill mandating all health plans to cover abortion

“Public policy should not compound that tragedy [of poverty and indebtedness] by encouraging businesses that prey on ignorance and indebtedness.”
John Huebscher, Wisconsin Catholic Conference, in response to legislation that would exempt rent-to-own contracts from the state’s consumer protection laws