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  • Communities of Salt and Light: Reflections on the Social Mission of the Parish
  • Vatican statements on social justice
  • Cardinal Bernardin New Leadership Award
  • The Saintly Life of Edith Stein and Solidarity
  • Climate Change Justice and Health Initiative

  • Living as Missionary Disciples Book Available Now Special Offer from the USCCB Store Ad for NABRE Bibles 
     

    Domestic Social Development

     

    Happening Now

    Increasing Costs of Housing have Disproportionately Impacted Poorer Americans
    Bishop Frank J. Dewane and Sr. Donna Markham write to Congress to urge adequate funding for the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies FY 2018 appropriations for programs that serve poor and vulnerable households struggling to make ends meet.

    News Release: U.S. Bishops Chairman Responds to CBO Report on Senate Health Care Bill
    Bishop Frank J. Dewane, June 26, 2017

    News Release: U.S. Bishops Chairman Reacts to Draft Senate Health Care Bill
    Bishop Frank J. Dewane, June 22, 2017

    Action Alert:  Tell Your Senators to Insist on Changes to the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017

    Comments on the Renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement
    Bishop Frank J. Dewane and Bishop Oscar Cantú submit comments to the U.S. Trade Representative outlining moral principles to be considered in the evaluation of any proposed trade deal.

    Letter on the U.S. Senate's Regarding Policy that Affects Health Care
    In a letter to the Senate, the chairs of four USCCB committees write to outline vital principles and to consider as they move forward on health care reform.

    The Federal Budget is a Moral Document

    In a letter to Congress, the chairs of six USCCB committees write to reaffirm that the federal budget is a moral document with profound implications for the common good of our nation and world.

    Our Shared Obligation to Care for the Environment
    In joint letters with Catholic Relief Services, Bishops Cantú and Dewane and Mr. Sean Callahan write to National Security Advisor McMaster and Secretary of the Treasury Mnuchin to reaffirm the importance of U.S. Leadership and urge continued commitment to the Paris agreement and noting that funding for climate change related adaptation and mitigation programs as part of the agreement is urgently needed.

    News Release: Bishop Frank J. Dewane calls on Senate to strip harmful proposals from House-passed health care bill.

    Chairman Statement on the Planned Executions in Arkansas
    Stating that justice and mercy are better served by commuting their sentences to life imprisonment, Bishop Frank J. Dewane  writes to Governor Hutchinson in a plea for reconsideration of the plan to execute seven men in eleven days.

    Letters to Secretary of Commerce and to U.S. Trade Representative Regarding Trade Agreements
    In joint letters, Bishops Oscar Cantú and Frank J. Dewane write to Secretary of Commerce Ross and to U.S. Trade Representative Lighthizer commending the President's decision to withdraw the United States from further consideration of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and outlining moral principles for evaluation of proposed trade deals.

    News Release: U.S. Bishops Chairman Opposes Environmental Executive Order
    Bishop Frank J. Dewane, March 29, 2017

    News Release: Bishops welcome constructive dialogue in Congress to protect creation and address climate change

    Bishop Frank J. Dewane and Bishop Oscar Cantú, March 16, 2017

    Letter to the House of Representatives Regarding the American Health Care Act
    After a careful review of the American Health Care Act legislation and the report from the Congressional Budget Office on the plan, Bishop Frank J. Dewane writes to Congress to commend some provisions and highlight the grave challenges that must be addressed before passage presented by others.

    USCCB Chairmen Call on Congress to Consider Moral Criteria During Debates on Health Care Policy
    In a letter from March 8, 2017, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities, Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration call on Congress to consider moral criteria during debates on health care policy.

    Letter to Congress on the Moral and Human Dimensions of the Federal Budget
    Addressing the moral and human dimensions of the Federal Budget, chairs of six policy committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops write to Congress to offer moral criteria to help guide decision making.

    Our Shared Obligation to Care for the Environment
    Chairs of the Committee on International Justice and Peace and the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development in collaboration with Mr. Sean Callahan, President and CEO of Catholic Relief Services write to Secretary of State Tillerson about our shared obligation to care for the environment.

    Preserve Important Gains in Health Care Coverage and Access
    In a January 18th letter to Congress, Bishop Frank J. Dewane urged members of Congress to work in a bipartisan fashion to protect vulnerable Americans and preserve important gains in health care coverage and access. 

    The New U.S. Poverty Statistics and Our Catholic Response
    The Census Bureau has released its updated statistics on income and poverty. Understanding and utilizing this data help guide our advocacy efforts and improve our educational outreach. Watch the webinar that discusses the statistics and what it all means for people struggling to make ends meet. You can also view the slideshow.

    2016 Labor Day Statement | En Español
    Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski
    September 5, 2016

    Call to Support Legislation Reforming Mental Health Care
    Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski encouraged continued legislative prioritization of mental health care that embraces every human person as valued and filled with inherent dignity.

    Faith For Just Lending Calls for End of Predatory Payday Loans
    A non-partisan group of religious leaders, practitioners, and social service providers, working together to end the debt trap caused by predatory payday loan, write to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Cordray to support efforts of the Bureau to draft a payday lending rule.

    Addressing the Moral and Human Dimensions of the FY 2017 Agriculture Appropriations
    In a joint letter to Congress, the USCCB, Catholic Relief Services, Catholic Charities USA, and Catholic Rural Life write to Congress urging members of the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and related Agencies to support robust funding for both domestic and international food aid, and for conservation and rural development programs, and to resist cuts.

    Letter to Congress Urging Adequate Funding for HUD Programs in FY 2017
    As work begins on the Fiscal Year 2017 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies appropriations bill, Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski and Sr. Donna Markham urge adequate funding for programs that serve poor and vulnerable households struggling to make ends meet.


    Mission & Identity

    "Jesus' command to his disciples… means working to eliminate the structural causes of poverty and to promote the integral development of the poor."

    - Pope Francis

    The Office of Domestic Social Development is part of the Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development.

    The Office assists the bishops in advancing the social mission of the Church in the United States, especially in educating the faithful on Catholic social teaching. The bishops advocate for policies that advance justice, defend human dignity and protect poor and vulnerable communities.

    The office also serves the bishops in their efforts to accompany and empower the poor and marginalized, especially though the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.

    Read more
    about the Office of Domestic Social Development's mission and mandate.

    DSD: Working on the Margins

    Comments on the Renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement
    Bishop Frank J. Dewane and Bishop Oscar Cantú submit comments to the U.S. Trade Representative outlining moral principles to be considered in the evaluation of any proposed trade deal.

    Letter on the U.S. Senate's Regarding Policy that Affects Health Care
    In a letter to the Senate, the chairs of four USCCB committees write to outline vital principles and to consider as they move forward on health care reform.

    The Federal Budget is a Moral Document
    In a letter to Congress, the chairs of six USCCB committees write to reaffirm that the federal budget is a moral document with profound implications for the common good of our nation and world.

    Our Shared Obligation to Care for the Environment
    In joint letters with Catholic Relief Services, Bishops Cantú and Dewane and Mr. Sean Callahan write to National Security Advisor McMaster and Secretary of the Treasury Mnuchin to reaffirm the importance of U.S. Leadership and urge continued commitment to the Paris agreement and noting that funding for climate change related adaptation and mitigation programs as part of the agreement is urgently needed.

    Letters to Secretary of Commerce and to U.S. Trade Representative Regarding Trade Agreements
    In joint letters, Bishops Oscar Cantú and Frank J. Dewane write to Secretary of Commerce Ross and to U.S. Trade Representative Lighthizer commending the President's decision to withdraw the United States from further consideration of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and outlining moral principles for evaluation of proposed trade deals.

    Letter to the House of Representatives Regarding the American Health Care Act
    After a careful review of the American Health Care Act legislation and the report from the Congressional Budget Office on the plan, Bishop Frank J. Dewane writes to Congress to commend some provisions and highlight the grave challenges that must be addressed before passage presented by others.

    USCCB Chairmen Call on Congress to Consider Moral Criteria During Debates on Health Care Policy
    In a letter from March 8, 2017, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities, Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration call on Congress to consider moral criteria during debates on health care policy.

    Letter to Congress on the Moral and Human Dimensions of the Federal Budget
    Addressing the moral and human dimensions of the Federal Budget, chairs of six policy committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops write to Congress to offer moral criteria to help guide decision making.

    Our Shared Obligation to Care for the Environment
    Chairs of the Committee on International Justice and Peace and the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development in collaboration with Mr. Sean Callahan, President and CEO of Catholic Relief Services write to Secretary of State Tillerson about our shared obligation to care for the environment.

    Letter to the House Committee on Ways and Means Regarding the Child Tax Credit
    In a letter expressing opposition to legislation requiring inclusion of the taxpayer's social security number in order to claim the refundable portion of the child tax credit, Archbishop Wenski, Bishop Elizondo, and Sr. Donna Markham write to urge Congress to vote against the measure should it be brought before the Committee on Ways and Means.

    Letter to Congress Urging Support for the Second Chance Act

    In a letter to the House Judiciary Committee, the Most Reverend Thomas G. Wenski and Sr. Donna Markham urge support for the Second Chance Act siting that the legislation is an important step in addressing issues facing formerly incarcerated individuals reentering society.  The legislation would support programs proven to reduce recidivism.

    Letter to Congress in Support of the Puerto Rico Chapter 9 Uniformity Act
    In order to address the suffering of the Puerto Rican people resulting from the financial crisis gripping Commonwealth's economy, Archbishop Wenski writes to Congress stating that they can and should remedy the situation by advancing the Puerto Rico Chapter 9 Uniformity Act.

    Letter to Congress Regarding Sentencing Reform Act of 2015
    In a joint letter, the Most Reverend Thomas G. Wenski and Sr. Donna Markham, President and CEO of Catholic Charities USA, write to the House Committee on the Judiciary to express support of the Sentencing Reform Act of 2015 and to urge the cosponsors to remain committed to addressing broader criminal justice reform through legislation which provides programming for incarcerated individuals as well as assistance for them in transitioning back into their communities.Joint Letters to Congress and U.S. Department of State on Climate Change and Reduction of Carbon Emissions

    Joint Letters to Congress and U.S. Department of State on Climate Change and Reduction of Carbon Emissions
    In advance of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, Archbishop Wenski, Bishop Cantú, Sr. Donna Markham, and Dr. Carolyn Woo write to Congress and to the U.S. Department of State to urge U.S leadership in addressing climate change by supporting global commitments to reduce carbon emissions.

    Joint Letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee Regarding the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015
    The Most Reverend Thomas G. Wenski and Sr. Donna Markham write in support of the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015 (S.2123) and welcome it as a bipartisan first step towards reforming our nation's broken criminal justice system.

    A Peace Economy: Rebalancing Spending Priorities
    The priorities of federal spending--where the dollars actually go, and how many--has received much less attention, so the real imbalance that exists in the federal discretionary budget is unknown to many.

    Anti-Poverty Programs and the Federal Budget
    The federal budget includes powerful and effective life-saving antipoverty programs that protect vulnerable people and families as well. Learn how the Church is fighting poverty and promoting peace in our families, communities, and common home.

    Background on Criminal Justice
    U.S. Bishops call for reform of the criminal justice system to promote the common good, help restore a sense of community, promote rehabilitation and resist the violence that too often en-gulfs much of our culture.

    Background on Predatory Banking & Payday Lending
    Learn more about predatory banking and payday lending and what the Church is doing to combat their devastating effects.

    Capital Punishment
    Cardinal O’Malley and Archbishop Wenski have welcomed the U.S. Supreme Court’s January 23 announcement that it would review the drug protocols of lethal injection executions in the State of Oklahoma.

    Racial Disparities and Perverse Incentives
    In an opinion piece, Archbishop Wenski calls for an end to mass incarceration, takes aim at racial disparities in sentencing, and criticizes the perverse incentives of a profit-driven prison industry.

    Environmental Justice
    Archbishop Wenski and Bishop Pates have written the Environmental Protection Agency on the importance of protecting Creation and the health of poor and vulnerable communities by setting a national standard to reduce carbon pollution from existing power plants.

    Catholic Campaign for Human Development
    Learn how CCHD is helping communities support environmental justice. Since 2013, CCHD has invested nearly $2.5 million and partnered with over 35 community-based organizations and 31 dioceses in 22 states to support environmental justice.

    Living Wage
    The USCCB supports a living wage for workers.

    Corporate Welfare and the Minimum Wage
    In an opinion piece.in the Sun Sentinel, Archbishop Wenski calls for an end to "corporate welfare" and an increase in the federal minimum wage.


    More Domestic Issues



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