The Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops applauds the implementation of one of the nation's strongest pro-life laws for protecting the unborn and ensuring the health of Texas women, despite a last-minute U.S. District Court ruling that affected only a portion of the law.
Texas Youth Pilgrimage to Brazil for World Youth Day, Celebrate Locally
Youth from across Texas traveled to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to participate in World Youth Day (WYD) 2013 at the end of July. In Rio, young Texas pilgrims joined their contemporaries from around the world for a celebration centered on Jesus Christ, to experience the universality of the Church, and to share their commitment to Christ and others.
For many, their journey began months ago with careful planning and continuous fundraising. Youth from Copperas Cove spent 18 months selling food, and holding car washes and garage sales to help pay their way to Brazil.
The Texas Catholic Conference has appealed to Governor Rick Perry to intercede on behalf of Douglas Feldman, who is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection at 6:00 p.m. today. Feldman was convicted of two charges of capital murder for killing Robert Everett and Nick Velasquez during a traffic altercation in 1999.
While expressing the deepest sympathies and prayers to the families of Feldman's victims for their loss and suffering, the Catholic Church continues to oppose the use of capital punishment. At a time when the sanctity of life is threatened in so many ways, state-sanctioned killing is not a solution, but undermines society's respect for life.
Senate Passes Pro-Life Bill; Bishops Thank All Who Heeded the Call
Two weeks of awe-inspiring activity among Texas Catholics and other pro-life advocates culminated late Friday with the Texas Senate passing House Bill 2, the Omnibus Pro-Life Bill, by a vote of 19-11. The vote followed an equally decisive 96-49 vote taken by the House of Representatives on Wednesday.
House Bill 2 requires sweeping improvements to abortion facility standards to better address complications, require abortion providers to comply with FDA standards for distributing the abortion drug RU-486, and prohibit late-term abortions that could come as far along as five months of pregnancy. Not only do these measures have the potential to reduce the number of abortions in Texas--estimated by some to be as much as 20,000 annually--but also they represent a tremendous advance for ensuring the health and safety of Texas women.
Seitz Installed as Newest Bishop for Diocese of El Paso
The Most Reverend Mark J. Seitz was installed formally as the sixth bishop of the Catholic Diocese of El Paso Tuesday, July 9 in a Mass attended by a joyous crowd at the El Paso convention center.
The installation was attended by Seitz’s brother bishops from across Texas, including former El Paso bishops Armando X. Ochoa and Raymundo Peña, Bishop Kevin Farrell of Dallas, and several other bishops and clergy.
San Antonio Archbishop Most Rev. Gustavo García-Siller, M. Sp.S., officiated the installation, and invited the representative from Rome, Msgr. Jean-Francois Lantheaume, chargé d'affaires at the Apostolic Nunciature for the Vatican in Washington D.C., to read the Apostolic Mandate, which appoints Seitz as the new bishop of El Paso.
Bishops Call for Prayer, Action on Abortion Legislation
We, the Roman Catholic Bishops of Texas, are asking that each and every one of our friends in the pro-life community to join us this week in prayer and action to protect the lives of the unborn in our state. We make this call because time is of the essence. To succeed, our voices must be heard by state lawmakers in acting to reverse the culture of death that continues to seep into our society.
Statement on Senate Bill 5 Vote on Abortion
The Texas Catholic Conference is disappointed that the disruptions in the Senate chamber thwarted the Texas Senate from passing Senate Bill 5 before the midnight deadline. The Senate votes record shows that with 19 yeas and 10 nays, the measure had received more than enough votes necessary to pass. As a result, measures to protect unborn life and to increase the health and safety of Texas women have been delayed. Given this and other essential issues that are awaiting legislative action, the TCC urges Governor Perry to call a second special session quickly to address this and the other issues that were not resolved before time ran out on the first special session.
Statement on Pro-Life Bills in Special Session
As the end of the Special Session looms, the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops strenuously urges Texas lawmakers to pass the pro-life measures currently before them in the House. Not only do these measures have the potential to reduce the number of abortions in Texas--estimated by some to be as much as 20,000 annually--but also they represent a tremendous advance for ensuring the health and safety of Texas women. While the Texas Catholic Conference opposes abortion, it equally values protecting and preserving the health of women, whose lives and dignity are just as precious as those destroyed by the act of abortion. Short of closing these abortions facilities, we must require that providers and practitioners meet the most rigorous, mandatory standards of medical inspections and regulation.