Mission & Identity

 

The Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development is staffed by the Office of Domestic Social Development, which 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.

Happening Now

Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Build Back Better Act
On November 3, 2021, as the U.S. House of Representatives prepares to consider the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Build Back Better Act, six bishop chairmen of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) write a letter to Congress on the legislation.

Catholic Leaders Call for Global Discernment and Cooperation to Address the Climate Crisis at COP26
In advance of the UN annual meeting on climate, Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and Bishop David J. Malloy of Rockford, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on International Justice and Peace, together with Mr. Sean Callahan, president and CEO of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), release an October 31, 2021 statement . 

Federal Budget Reconciliation
In a September 7, 2021 letter to Congress, the chairmen of five USCCB committees ask Congress to work toward policies that will help those on the margins of society, strengthen families, protect religious freedom, promote care for creation, and respect the rights and dignity of every human life.

Growing Climate Solutions Act
On September 7. 2021 Archbishop Paul S. Coakley and Mr. James Ennis, Executive Director of Catholic Rural Live, write to Congress in support of the Growing Climate Solutions Act, a bill empowering farmers to develop climate solutions that benefit agriculture as well as the environment.

Labor Day Statement for 2021
For Labor Day, September 6, 2021, Archbishop Paul S. Coakley issues an annual statement, A Dream for a Better Economy.  

Bishop Chairman Welcomes Update to USDA Benefit Addressing Hunger
Archbishop Paul S. Coakley issues a statement on August 21, 2021 welcoming the USDA’s update to the Thrifty Food Plan and the resulting increase in SNAP benefit amounts.

Moral and Human Dimensions of the FY 2022 Agriculture Appropriations Legislation
On behalf of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committees on Domestic Justice and Human Development and International Justice and Peace, Catholic Charities USA, Catholic Relief Services, and Catholic Rural Life write a July 12th, 2021 letter to Congress to address the moral and human dimensions of the FY 2022 Agriculture Appropriations legislation.

Increase Funding for Housing Programs
Urging an increase in funding for housing programs, Archbishop Paul S. Coakley and Sr. Donna Markham of Catholic Charities USA write to Congress on June 29, 2021 regarding fiscal year 2022 appropriations for Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies.

Letter to Congress Regarding the Right to Vote
Recognizing the importance of ensuring the integrity of the elections processes, Archbishop Paul S. Coakley and Bishop Shelton J. Fabre write a June 24, 2021 letter to Congress regarding proposed legislation to ensure the right to vote is available to all citizens.

Faith for Just Lending Coalition Support Challenge to Rule Overriding State Usury Laws and Legalizing Predatory Lending
On June 16, 2021, Archbishop Paul S. Coakley and the Faith for Just Lending Coalition write to Congress to express support for the Congressional Review Act (CRA) challenge to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s (OCC) “National Banks and Federal Savings Associations as Lenders” rule. The OCC rule overrides state usury laws, legalizing predatory lending even in states that have outlawed it.

Letters and Statements in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

2020-2021

Extend the Eviction Moratorium
On March 26, 2021, Chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Archbishop Paul S. Coakley, Sr. Donna Markham, Director of Catholic Charities USA, and Sr. Mary Haddad, Director of Catholic Health Association write to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Walensky urging her to take immediate action to extend the Centers for Disease Control’s eviction moratorium for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.

USCCB Letter to Congress on Additional COVID-19 Relief
February 3, 2021

Backgrounder on COVID-19 Relief that Meets the Needs of the Poor & Vulnerable
January 2021

Bishop Chairman Calls on Congress, White House to Reach a Deal on COVID Relief that Prioritizes Urgent Needs
Archbishop Paul S. Coakley, September 8, 2020

Bishop Chairman Issues Labor Day Statement on Rebuilding a Dignified Post-COVID World
Archbishop Paul S. Coakley, September 2, 2020

Bishops Call for COVID-19 Relief for Those Most in Need
On July 30, 2020, bishops write to Congress to renew their call for relief that focuses on those people who are most in need and advances the common good of all who have been affected by the deadly COVID-19 virus.

Bishops Letter to House on Health Care during the COVID-19 Pandemic (May 7, 2020) | Bishops Letter to Senate on Health Care during the COVID-19 Pandemic (May 7, 2020)
On May 7, 2020, bishops write to Congress to renew their call for health care that upholds the dignity of the person and the common good of all who have been affected by the deadly COVID-19 virus.

Bishop Chairmen Urge FDA to Develop Ethical Vaccine for COVID-19
Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, Archbishop Paul S. Coakley, Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades, and Bishop John F. Doerfler, April 17, 2020

Letter to Senate Committee on Education, Labor, and Pensions and to House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor on Relief During Coronavirus Pandemic
Bishop Michael C. Barber, Archbishop Paul S. Coakley and Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville
April 9, 2020

Bishop Chairmen Issue Statement on Rationing Protocols by Health Care Professionals in Response to Covid-19
Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades, Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann and Archbishop Paul S. Coakley, April 3, 2020

U.S. Bishops’ Chairman for Domestic Justice and Human Development Praises Lawmakers for Historic Emergency Legislation on Coronavirus Relief
Archbishop Paul S. Coakley, March 28, 2020

News Release: USCCB Statements on Coronavirus (COVID-19)
March 13, 2020

U.S. Bishops' Chairman of Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development Encourages Lawmakers in Providing Aid and Relief to Those Affected by Coronovirus
Archbishop Paul S. Coakley, March 12, 2020

News Release: Chairman of U.S. Bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development Encourages Lawmakers in Providing Aid and Relief to Those Affected by Coronavirus
Archbishop Paul S. Coakley, March 12, 2020

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