The following comes from a September 24 KCRA article by David Bienick:
As Pope Francis spoke to members of Congress on Thursday, some of the issues he raised remained up for debate at California’s state Capitol.
Supporters and opponents of a bill that would legalize assisted suicide held demonstrations on opposite sides of the state Capitol.
Lawmakers approved the bill, known as ABX2 15, during the final days of the legislative session.
The Catholic Church has lobbied hard to defeat the bill and is among the groups calling for Governor Jerry Brown to veto it.
“No, they’re not happy about it. But turns out what people do in private homes is different than what the church wants them to do,” said Elizabeth Wallner, a supporter of the bill.
The bishops of Sacramento and Stockton recently appeared at a news conference with Senate Pro Tem Kevin de Leon to help promote another piece of legislation that deals with climate change.
Despite the bishops support, opposition from the oil industry forced lawmakers to pass a scaled-down version of the legislation, known as SB 350.
Monsignor James Murphy, a spokesman for the Diocese of Sacramento, said the Church must choose which political battles it wishes to fight.
“I think that’s true, yes,” said Murphy.
He said the Catholic Church is mostly likely to have an impact on issues such as climate change and immigration.
In the past, the Catholic Church has taken a more confrontational approach to dealing with dissident political leaders.
In 2003, Bishop William Weigand of Sacramento suggested then Governor Gray Davis, a practicing Catholic, should stop receiving communion at mass because of his support of abortion rights.
“That was a long time ago,” said Davis on Thursday.