Continued misrepresentations about the Advanced Directives bill from the 83rd Texas Legislature have prompted the Texas bishops to issue a letter correcting the specifics of the reforms and how they comport with Catholic moral teachings.
The bi-partisan legislation (H.B. 1444 and S.B. 303) endorsed by the Texas Catholic Conference would have protected the lives of patients, respected the wishes of families, and safeguarded the consciences of medical providers at the end of life. It was a tremendous improvement over existing law, which fails to protect life by allowing unilateral Do Not Attempt Resuscitation orders for patient's without notice, permits withholding of nutrition and hydration to hasten death, and discriminates against the disabled when deciding to end treatment.
The reform bill endorsed by the bishops prohibited withholding of food or water, required patients and families be notified of their rights to reject DNARs, and provided a clear, balanced procedure for resolving disputes between doctors and families.
Opponents demanded continued interventions on patients, even if it was ineffective and against reasonable medical judgment. They prevented a vote in the Texas House after overwhelming support in the Texas Senate. Since then, they have continued a campaign that severely mischaracterizes the reform efforts as a way to influence legislative elections. The letter is here. available here.
Bishops 'Disappointed' By Federal Court's Ruling On Same-Sex Marriage
Texas' Roman Catholic Bishops issued a statement expressing disappointment at the decision by the Federal District Court in San Antonio to strike down the state’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage that voters approved in 2005. This is the latest maneuver in a unfortunate campaign to redefine marriage as a legal endorsement of individual lifestyles rather than as a sacred and beneficial social institution between one man and one woman. This campaign totally ignores the rights of children to know their father’s love and their mother’s love.
Come Celebrate Diocese's 100 Years
Bishop Mark J. Seitz has announced that the El Paso Diocesan Church will celebrate its 100th birthday March 1 at the Ysleta Mission. The mission is the oldest Catholic institution in the area that has become the Diocese of El Paso.
The celebration will include a concert, a parade of parishes and a Mass offered by Bishop Seitz. “On March 5, 1914, St. Pope Pius X announced that this unique border region of far west Texas and at that time, Southern New Mexico, would become a local Church with a Bishop of its own,” the bishop noted.
Programs Helps Those Indebted To Payday Lenders
Catholic Spirit – The Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP), Diocesan Council of Austin has launched a pilot program to help those crushed by debt from payday loan companies. The Predatory Loan Conversion Program pilot starts in February within five parishes in the diocese and is limited to those whose loans are $500 or less, said Stacy Ehrlich, executive director of the SVdP Diocesan Council.
Catholic Schools: Fanning The Flame Of Faith
By Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller
I once read the words of an Irish poet who wrote, “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” This tells us that while you fill up a pail only once it is limited by its capacity, but when you light a fire it spreads with great energy and the more you fuel it, the brighter it burns.
Comments On Payday Lending
By Bishop Curtis Guillory
In Jan. 22 2014, Bishop Curtis Guillory hosted Beaumont city leaders for a discussion of the impact of payday and auto-title lending in the area. Community leaders gathered at Catholic Charities of Southeast Texas in order to explore alternative loan products and possible city action to protect consumers from usurious lending rates.
Podcast: Christ Must Increase & We Must Decrease
By Bishop Michael Mulvey
On Saturday, January 11, nearly 1,000 catechists and parishioners turned out for our 25th annual ministry conference held at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi. The conference offered a number of workshops to help those in ministry in carrying out their work in the New Evangelization.