Virginia General Assembly in Session: Are You Speaking Up for Life and Justice?

By: Jeff Caruso, Director of the Virginia Catholic Conference

Since before the Virginia General Assembly went into session on Jan. 12, the Virginia Catholic Conference has been busy working to ensure that proposed policies benefit the common good as understood in Catholic moral and social teaching, including respect for life from conception to natural death; preferential concern for the poor and “the least among us;’’ economic and social justice; support for the family and marriage; and parental choice in education.

Virginia Capitol, Richmond

Guided by the bishops and in a spirit of prayer, we’ve researched issues and held face-to-face meetings with legislators, government officials and other advocacy organizations.

Our recently developed agenda details the focus of our efforts during this 46-day session. High priority items include:

  • Protecting gains we made last year in restricting state abortion funding,
  • Ensuring that abortion clinics are subject to state regulation,
  • Preventing new biotech programs from funding embryonic stem cell research,
  • Stopping death penalty expansions,
  • Providing tax credits for corporate donations to scholarship programs for low-income K-12 students,
  • Providing immigrants with access to healthcare, and protecting them from harmful policies.

Especially now that the session has begun, the Virginia Catholic Conference is asking Catholics throughout the Commonwealth to join its efforts on behalf of life, dignity and the common good.

There are three key ways to become involved:

1) Act. Become a Conference’s e-mail advocacy network member and respond to its alerts.

  • Throughout the session (and beyond) members receive regular e-mail alerts pertaining to legislation being debated in the Virginia General Assembly (and, periodically, issues being considered in the U.S. Congress.) The Conference highlights the moral and social teaching involved, and urges its members to contact their legislator to advocate the Virginia Bishops’ stance. (This can be done with a few clicks of the mouse.) Also, members are encouraged to forward alerts to interested friends.
  • We know that our members’ legislative involvement has had a significant impact on legislation. During the 2010 session, for instance, legislation that significantly reduced abortion funding for Medicaid was attributed to constituent interest in the issue. We ask members to act on as many alerts as possible.

2) Advocate. Join the Virginia Catholic Conference at Catholic Advocacy Day in Richmond on Thursday, Jan. 27.

  • It’s a great chance to learn the issues, pray and take part in grassroots advocacy. Catholic Advocacy Day begins at St. Peter’s Church with prayer and a word from our bishops. Conference staff give updates on legislative items under consideration in this year’s General Assembly, then participants caucus with other Catholics from their state senatorial district to decide who and how they will discuss the issues with their state senator and delegate.
  • Register online at

3) Pray.

  • Prayer is the essential tool. We ask for prayers of wisdom and persistence for our state and federal lawmakers, executives and other government officials, and for our Bishops, Conference staff, our e-mail advocacy network members—all of whom are essential to this work on behalf of the Common Good.

We hope you will join us!

Take action at

  • Join the Virginia Catholic Conference network and receive alerts
  • Spread that link to friends
  • Join us for Catholic Advocacy Day

“In the Catholic moral tradition, responsible citizenship is a virtue and participation in the political process is a moral obligation.  This obligation is rooted in our baptismal commitment to follow Jesus Christ and bear Christian witness in all we do.” (U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, 2007)

2 thoughts on “Virginia General Assembly in Session: Are You Speaking Up for Life and Justice?

  1. Ok! I just read a newspaper report about how President Obama is committed to protecting the so-called constitutional right for women to procure an abortion. I have waited far too long to post these comments, and if they are withdrawn because they seem overly harsh, I will post them on my website and on ABC News Online. In fact, I plan to do so after posting them here anyhow. So pardon me if I come across as steamed because I am at this point and if the Church approved apparitions of Akita Japan and Fatima Portugal are to be taken seriously, so is the Eternal Father.

    The plain truth is that abortion, artificial contraception, cohabitation, homosexual acts, fornication, viewing of pornography, divorce and remarriage without a Catholic annulment, assisted suicide, euthanasia, sterilization operations, and yes, the death penalty are grave offenses and are actions in some sense by persons who are in the process of becoming enemies of the People of God. I will withhold judgment for those of you who think I am a white redneck. I will have you know that I go to great lengths every day to offer up my daily crosses and even looks of disapproval as I step into and out of most daily Masses I attend for the many of these folks that are most likely in the state of mortal sin. I will withhold such a judgment on the women who have abortions because many of these women do such under great duress. The real culpability stands with the political leadership including the Republican senators and representatives who are not forceful in advocating an effective overthrow of Roe vs Wade as well as the same for state level political leaders.

    Sadly, many veterans of the U.S. armed forces who attend Mass seem to acquiesce with stupid attitudes in speech and actions suggesting that we have to support the U.S. Constitutional process and not interfere with Roe vs Wade, otherwise. To these Veterans and other self-described conservatives, be mindful that the judgment mentioned by Our Lady of Fatima and Our Lady of Akita, can make the Gulf War and the War in Afghanistan as well as the Vietnam War, the Korean War, and WWII look like namby-pamby land in comparison.

    If we do not change the course we are headed on and convert to an authentic prolife attitude in action and in words, it may be the case that various nations will be annihilated and by this Our Lady meant, not political change and regime overthrow, by physical erasure from the surface of the Earth. Mind you, the potential for such occurrences are locked up within the nuclear missile fields within Russia, on Russian nuclear submarines, and like-wise within Chinese missile fields.

    You don’t believe me when I state the horror that can be unleashed by our adversaries should they grow too tired of our government’s hypocrisy, then do yourself a favor and view online clips from the movie “The Day After” and realize that the images of persons being vaporized along with the buildings they are hiding in is a happy field day in comparison to what would actually happen.

    Our Lady of Akita (and yes, the associated apparitions have received Church approval) stated that if we as humanity do not come to a full conversion, than fire will reign down from Heaven and wipe out the great portion of humanity. Neither the faithful nor the sinners will be spared and the survivors will be so desolate so as to envy the dead. No, there are no superheroes or ascetics that will not be adversely affected by such. All will suffer greatly. The Entire World will thus know of the Father’s anger.

    You do not believe me! Then it is wise to remember the horrible effects of the 12.5 kiloton yield atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima. Russia has thousands of warheads on active alert, most of which are each about 40 to 80 times the power of the device that destroyed Hiroshima. They have perhaps 10 or 20 thousand additional warheads in storage if you can trust them not to be deliberately underestimating their reserves. I do not trust U.S. government assessments of Russia’s stockpile anymore because I do not trust anyone who does not respect their mother, including Our Supremely Prolife Spiritual Mother.

    I do not mean to try to impress folks by this strongly worded language, however, I do intend to impress upon the reader that in a very real sense, “GOD cannot stand or take such non-prolife ingratitude anymore”

    Now, I do not hold to conspiracy theories, but I have to wonder what is so threatening about to the U.S. government that it feels it must acquiesce to the Roe vs Wade legacy and also support the death penalty and murder of poor broken convicted felons while owners and operators of abortion mills freely walk our streets and while Catholic Bishops desecrate the Mass and the Holy Eucharist by not disallowing pro-abortion Catholics to receive the Holy Eucharist. No! The real threat is not from folks like me, but the potential threat of thousands upon thousands of Russian nuclear warheads, nuclear armed cruise missiles, and nuclear armed bombers unleashing Russia’s and much of the rest of the world’s perhaps years of pent up anger at watching our hypocritical politicians gloat over how we won the Cold War.

    Now, I love my country the United States, but now I am forced to pick sides and support the Vatican on pro-life matters to the absolute letter. I do not give a hoot if I might seem hypocritical just because I sin at times. The time for passive acceptance of global mortal sin is over. Gentleness under the guise of not being showy is a poor excuse for not speaking out against the dire threat humanity faces and so I am forced to speak out.

    I will not comment any further to those who may respond in anger or disgust at this thread, because my stated attitude could not be more resolute.

    I will not engage in stupid counterarguments because I have much more important work to do.

  2. I thought I would offer a much more gently worded pro-life concern which is much truer to my heart. As a large middle age going on late middle age man with a German ancestry, I can get a bit grumpy at times.

    Now we can perhaps most help the Pro-life cause by offering up all of our daily sufferings, humiliations, unkind and insulting words we receive, for the eternal salvation of absolutely all living pro-abortion folks regardless of how their actions are related to pro-abortion activities. This includes all of those who have or procure abortions, pro-abortion rights political leaders at the federal, state, and local levels, and all clinic operators that perform abortions and the like.

    For the record, I offer several times per day to spend any time I will stay in Purgatory for all pro-abortion folks and indeed, most especially for those who insult me or talk ill of me behind my back or otherwise disturb my peace of mind and heart so that absolutely all such folks will be saved, and that any and all of such folks who did so in this life but who are now in Purgatory will be very speedily brought to Heaven and inherit relatively great degrees of Eternal Glory. I go even as far as to somehow volunteer to suffer in Purgatory (as long as I do not get too toasty, Grins and Giggles!) so that all of the above persons will be saved even under the condition that I pass having undergone full remission of all temporal and Purgatorial punishment due to the numerous sins I have committed thus far in life and the numerous additional ones I will most likely commit.

    The salvation of souls is heartedly important to me to the extent that I will not let one soul, even my worst enemy go to Hell on my prayer watch even if such would mean that I must forever forgo the title of Canonized Saint, a title I would be very, very lucky to earn given my spiritual disposition to commit petty sins in such a numerous manner, that the Lord must get irritated by me at times.

    The point is, that you do not need to worry regarding my previous post that I am a red neck. I can have coarse mannerisms and language at times but such is more a product of my verbal spontaneity and cyclothymic personality style. And so, I apologize if I have offended anyone by my previous post.



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