News from the Archdiocese
On Wed, Oct 16, 2019 at 8:21 AM Missouri Catholic Conference <[email protected]> wrote:
I am writing to let you know that the Missouri bishops voted at their October meeting to support a ballot initiative to expand Medicaid in Missouri. The initiative (No. 2020-063) proposes a constitutional amendment expanding Medicaid to include the working poor earning up to 133% of the federal poverty level. If sufficient signatures are collected, this proposal would appear on the ballot in the fall of 2020.
Attached is a copy of the Missouri bishops’ position on ballot initiative 2020-063 for your review. Also attached is a copy of initiative 2020-063 itself.
Signatures are currently being collected by advocates in favor of initiative 2020-063. You may be asked by parishioners if they can collect signatures in your parish. It is up to you to decide if you want to allow signatures to be collected in your parish. We would ask that if you do allow it, please be sure the ballot language does NOT include language mandating coverage for contraception and funding for Planned Parenthood, as an earlier petition for Medicaid expansion (No. 2020-027) included such language. A copy of ballot initiative 2020-027, which the bishops oppose, is also attached.
If you have any questions about the bishops’ position on this initiative, please contact me at the Missouri Catholic Conference in Jefferson City at 573-635-7239.
Tyler McClay Executive Director/General Counsel Missouri Catholic Conference
Statement of the Missouri Catholic Conference on Ballot Initiative (2020-063) to Expand Medicaid We wish to express our support for the current effort to expand the Missouri Medicaid (MO HealthNet) program. MO HealthNet currently provides health coverage to Missouri’s most vulnerable citizens, including the elderly, the disabled, pregnant women, and children. It plays a vital role in sustaining the healthcare delivery system in our state. In our Catholic ministries throughout the state, however, we find that there are still many Missouri citizens who lack access to affordable healthcare coverage that is so necessary for human flourishing. We, therefore, support expanding the program to cover low-income workers, since doing so will help lead to better health outcomes for them and enhance their ability to continue working to support themselves and their families. We recognize that some may not agree with expanding Medicaid by way of a constitutional amendment or in a manner that bypasses the state legislative process. We offer our support for this effort because of the unmet healthcare needs of the working poor and to ensure the continued delivery of care to those who need it most through the Missouri healthcare system, including Missouri’s Catholic hospitals. We offer this support understanding that current federal law includes pro-life protections in Medicaid through the Hyde Amendment. We encourage Catholics and others of goodwill to give serious consideration to supporting this effort to expand the Missouri Medicaid program.
CATHOLIC BISHOPS OF MISSOURI
Most Reverend James V. Johnston, Jr. Vice Chairman Bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson Executive Chairman Archbishop of St. Louis Most Reverend W. Shawn McKnight General Chairman Bishop of Jefferson City Approved October 16, 2019 11 Most Reverend Edward M. Rice B
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
In the United States today, numerous Catholic sisters, brothers, and religious order priests past age 70 benefit from the Retirement Fund for Religious collection. Donations to this special collection provide funding that helps religious communities care for senior members and plan for long-term retirement needs.
On the weekend of November 3, all parishes in the Archdiocese of St. Louis will take up the annual collection for the Retirement Fund for Religious, an opportunity for you to acknowledge the thousands of senior Catholic sisters, brothers, and religious order priests for their faithful service.
Whether or not we realize it, we are all beneficiaries of the tremendous contributions these women and men have made to the Church in the United States. Through hard work, prayer, and sacrifice, they built Catholic schools and hospitals, initiated programs to promote social justice, and ministered to the neediest among us.
Today, many religious communities struggle to care for their elderly members. Elder sisters, brothers, and religious order priests dedicated their lives to service and prayer, and some lack adequate retirement savings. Increasing health-care costs and decreased income make it difficult to provide necessary medical care, costly medications and basic services.
Please consider making a financial gift to assist with the care of our senior Catholic sisters, brothers, and religious order priests. Many thanks for considering this request.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson
Archbishop of St. Louis