2018 Candidate Questionnaire Project
When it comes to marking our ballots, reconciling politics with the values of the Gospel and the tenets of our Catholic faith can be difficult. If we take the time to become familiar with the candidates’ positions on key issues, we are better prepared to address this challenge.
New Briefs from the Florida Catholic Conference
Archbishop Thomas Wenski issued a statement following the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, which is located in the Archdiocese of Miami. Pope Francis also offered his condolences to all those affected by this devastating attack.
Bishops of Florida Meet with Governor
While attending Catholic Days activities in Tallahassee, the bishops of Florida also had the opportunity to meet with Governor Rick Scott and First Lady Anne Scott at the Governor’s Mansion.
43rd Annual Red Mass to be Celebrated January 31 in Tallahassee
The Red Mass of the Holy Spirit, a nearly 800 year old tradition, originated in France in the 13th century as a service in which God was called upon to guide lawyers and judges in their pursuit of justice. The tradition soon spread to England where, during the reign of King Edward I, the entire Bench and Bar would mark the opening of each term of court by attending a Mass together. In those services, the priests, as well as the judges of the High Court, wore red robes to signify their willingness to defend the truth inspired by the Holy Spirit, even at the cost of shedding one’s blood. Thus, the celebration became popularly known as the “Red Mass.” Red Masses are celebrated throughout Florida and the United States at various times during the year. In Tallahassee, the Red Mass is scheduled annually during Catholic Days at the Capitol.
Bishops of Florida urge Governor Scott to spare life of Michael Lambrix
After over three decades on death row, Michael Lambrix is scheduled to be executed on Thursday, October 5, 2017, at 6:00 p.m. Lambrix received two death sentences for the 1983 murders of Clarence Moore and Aleisha Bryant.In a September 28 letter on behalf of the bishops of Florida, Michael Sheedy, executive director, Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops, appeals to Governor Rick Scott to commute Mr. Lambrix’s death sentence to a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
Gov. Scott sets October execution of death row inmate
Gov. Rick Scott on Friday scheduled an Oct. 5 execution for Cary Michael Lambrix, a Death Row inmate convicted of killing Aleisha Bryant and Clarence Moore in 1983 after escaping from a work-release program. Scott ordered Lambrix to be put to death last year, but the Florida Supreme Court put the executions of Lambrix and Mark James Asay on hold after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the state’s death-penalty sentencing system.
Abortion waiting period, death penalty in Florida news
On July 17, the Florida Supreme Court put a temporary block on a 2015 law requiring women to wait 24 hours before getting abortions. During a hearing July 19, Leon County Circuit Judge Terry Lewis gave Deputy Solicitor General Denise Harle 60 days to make her case on behalf of the state.
The law would require women to make at least two visits to health care providers before being able to have an abortion. While critics deem the law an unconstitutional violation of the right to privacy, supporters maintain the proposal gives women more time to consider the impact of the procedure.
Urge Extension of TPS Designation for Haitians
Tallahassee | Over 58,000 Haitians are at risk of having their Temporary Protected Status (TPS) terminated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). TPS allows these individuals to temporarily remain in the United States and support themselves legally while Haiti is being rebuilt. Haiti is still recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Matthew, which struck in October 2016 and is said to be the nation’s largest humanitarian emergency since the 2010 earthquake. Additionally, Haiti is plagued with a severe cholera epidemic and food shortages.
Issues of concern to Catholic community hit roadblocks
TALLAHASSEE | The issues of refugee resettlement and abortion became the basis of a decision by the Florida’s Legislature and a ruling of the Florida Supreme Court, respectively, in mid-February.
On Feb. 16, the Florida Supreme Court blocked a 2015 law that would have provided women 24 hours to reflect before having an abortion. In a 4-2 decision, justices overturned an appellate decision and agreed with a Leon County circuit judge who issued a temporary injunction against the law.
In the decision, Judge Barbara Pariente wrote: “(T)here is no additional evidentiary burden on challengers to establish by sufficient, factually supported findings showing a law imposes a ‘significant restriction’ on the right of privacy before a law that implicates the right of privacy is subjected to strict scrutiny.”
Abortion regulations struck down by U.S. Supreme Court distinct from Florida law
Tallahassee (June 27, 2016) – Today, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-3 decision, has overturned a Texas law that aims to protect the health and safety of women who undergo abortion.
Today’s decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt struck down requirements for abortion providers in Texas on grounds that are treated distinctly in Florida law.