USCCB news

Latest News Releases from USCCB
  1.  WASHINGTON—The Migration and Refugee Services of USCCB and Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) today issued the following statement on the ongoing efforts to reunite children separated from their families at the border.

    "As we have long done, CCUSA and Migration and Refugee Services of USCCB are lending our experience and expertise to support Catholic Charities agencies in their efforts to reunite families and care for immigrant children during this sensitive time. While we strongly oppose the policies that led to these families being separated, we remain committed to working to ensure their safe reunification. Protection of families is a foundational element of Catholic Social Teaching and this moment calls on all people of good will to lend a hand to reunite these children with their parents."

    To learn more about how you can help visit: Justice for Immigrants and Catholic Charities USA

    About USCCB Migration and Refugee Services

    Migration and Refugee Services (MRS) fulfills the commitment of the U.S. Catholic bishops to protect the life and dignity of the human person. For more than 50 years, MRS has served and advocated for refugees, asylees, migrants, unaccompanied children, and victims of human trafficking. To learn more about MRS, please visit www.usccb.org/mrs.

    About Catholic Charities USA             

    Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) is the national office for the Catholic Charities ministry nationwide. CCUSA's members provide help and create hope to more than 8 million people a year regardless of religious, social, or economic backgrounds. To learn more about CCUSA, please visit our website at www.catholiccharitiesusa.org.


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    Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Migration and Refugee Services, MRS, Catholic Charities USA, CCUSA, Justice for Inmigrants.

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    Media Contacts:

    USCCB Contact: Mark Priceman            CCUSA Contact: Patricia Cole 

    MPriceman@usccb.org                              pcole@catholiccharitiesusa.org

    202-541-3064                                               703-236-6218

  2.  WASHINGTON—Lucas Koach has been appointed as Director of the Office of International Justice and Peace for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

    Monsignor Brian Bransfield, USCCB Secretary General, made the appointment, which will take effect July 30, 2018.

    Mr. Koach brings over 20 years of experience in Christian ministry and global humanitarian public policy. Since 2011, he has served as the Director of Public Policy and Advocacy for Food for the Hungry. Along with extensive interaction with the US Congress and administrative branch, he has participated in multilateral agency policy forums at the UN and the World Bank and has gained a reputation as a respected coalition builder. He serves on the Board of the Accord network, an association of 90 US-based Christian relief and development organizations and also the board of the Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities, which elevates the relief and development capacities of international faith-based organizations among multilateral institutions.

    Mr. Koach is a convert to Catholicism, having served many years prior as an associate pastor in the Anglican Church in Florida and Arkansas.

    "Mr. Koach brings the kind of experience, relationships, knowledge and managerial acumen necessary for a position of such breadth," said Msgr. Bransfield. "We look forward to working with him on the major international issues that are so important to the Church and the world."

    Lucas Koach graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from West Virginia Wesleyan College in 1992. He earned his Master of Arts in Counseling Ministries from the Denver Seminary in 2002. 

    For more information on the USCCB Office of International Justice and Peace, please visit: http://www.usccb.org/about/international-justice-and-peace/ 

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    Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Office of International Justice and Peace, Lucas Koach, Msgr. Brian Bransfield

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    Media Contact:

    Judy Keane

    202-541-3200

  3.  WASHINGTON— Pope Francis has appointed the Most Reverend Oscar Cantú as Coadjutor Bishop of San Jose, California. Bishop Cantú was up until now Bishop of Las Cruces, New Mexico.

    The appointment was publicized in Washington on July 11, 2018, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States.

    Bishop Cantú was born in Houston on December 5, 1966. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Dallas, and received his Masters in Divinity and Masters in Theological Studies from the University of St. Thomas, also in Houston. He also attended the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, where he earned his Licentiate in Sacred Theology (S.T.L.) as well as his Doctorate in Sacred Theology (S.T.D.). Bishop Cantú was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Houston in 1994.

    He spent his priestly career working in parishes throughout the Houston metropolitan area. His first assignment was as parochial vicar at St. Christopher Parish. He also taught at the University of St. Thomas and at St. Mary's Seminary. He served as pastor at Holy Name Parish. He was involved in the Christian Family movement; conducted retreats and worked with the Engaged Encounter ministry. Bishop Cantú was also involved in The Metropolitan Organization (TMO) that addresses social issues in the community.

    Bishop Cantú was appointed and then ordained Auxiliary Bishop of San Antonio and Titular Bishop of Dardano in 2008. In 2013, Bishop Cantú was appointed as bishop of the Diocese of Las Cruces, NM. He was installed as bishop on February 28, 2013.

    Bishop Oscar Cantú is the former Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on International Justice and Peace. He is currently a member of the USCCB Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America and Subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs.

    Most Rev. Cantú was one of two delegates chosen by the Bishops' Conference to represent the USCCB at Pope Francis' visit to Mexico in 2016.

    The Diocese of San Jose is comprised of 1,300 square miles in the state of California and has a total population of 1,918,044 of which 620,000 or 32.32 percent are Catholic.

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    Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Pope Francis, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio, Bishop Oscar Cantú, Diocese of San Jose, Las Cruces.

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    Media Contact:

    Judy Keane

    202-541-3200

     

  4.  WASHINGTON— The Cardinal who announced the election of Pope Francis to the world in 2013 with the famous phrase "habemus papam (we have a pope)," has died. Bishop Joseph C. Bambera of Scranton, Chairman of the U.S. Bishops' Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, has issued the following statement on behalf of the bishops of the United States who mourn the loss of Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran. Cardinal Tauran passed away on July 5th at the age of 75.  He had been suffering from Parkinson's disease. 

    Bishop Bambera's statement follows:

    "Ordained a priest in 1969, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran led a distinguished life in service to the Church. In 1975, he entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See and served as Vatican ambassador to the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Lebanon.  In 1988, he was named undersecretary for the Section for Relations with States in the Secretariat of State and in 1991 Pope John Paul II appointed him an archbishop. In the years that followed, he represented the Holy See in numerous international conferences. In 2007, he was named President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. 

    In this new role, Cardinal Tauran made a great impact on Catholic relations with non-Christian religions, most especially in convening interreligious coalitions to address the pressing questions of culture and society. He was especially tireless in his work to build relations with the Muslim community.   

    For those involved in interreligious dialogue, his death is a great loss. An important part of his legacy remains his commitment to interfaith understanding and cooperation in service to Christ and the Church. May he rest in peace." 

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    Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, Bishop Joseph C. Bambera,  Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs.

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    Media Contact:

    Judy Keane

    202-541-3200

  5.  WASHINGTON—The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is publishing a new document, Encountering Christ in Harmony: A Pastoral Response to Our Asian and Pacific Island Brothers and Sisters. The full text is available on the USCCB website at: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/cultural-diversity/asian-pacific-islander/upload/asian-and-pacific-island-pastoral-response-encountering-christ-in-harmony-2018.pdf .

    Approved by the U.S. bishops during their Spring 2018 General Assembly, the pastoral response will guide the Catholic Church in the United States in addressing the pastoral needs of Asian and Pacific Island communities and provide a framework for dioceses and parishes for creating their pastoral plans or actions specific to their circumstances.

    The Asian and Pacific Island population in the United States is the fastest growing minority population according to research referenced in the document. Yet, this population "tends to go unrecognized in the wider US society, and there remains a need to bring more attention and support to the Asian and Pacific Island communities," the bishops say in the pastoral response.

    Encountering Christ in Harmony aims to: (a) advance the Church's mission of evangelization to specific cultural groups; (b) assist dioceses, parish leaders, other Catholic entities, and the faithful in pastoral outreach to Asian and Pacific Island Catholics; and (c) provide resources and information about Asian and Pacific Island Catholic communities.

    The printed version of the document will be available at the USCCB online store (https://store.usccb.org/) at a later date.

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    Keywords:  United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, pastoral response, Encountering Christ in Harmony: A Pastoral Response to Our Asian and Pacific Island Brothers and Sisters, Asian and Pacific Island communities. evangelization.

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    MEDIA CONTACT:

    Judy Keane

    O: 202-541-3200