More bishops back signature gathering for parental notification initiative in their dioceses

Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles and Oakland Bishop Salvatore Cordileone have joined a growing chorus of California prelates urging Catholics to get behind qualifying a parental notification measure for the November 2012 ballot.

The initiative, sponsored by Californians for Parental Rights, has already won the endorsement of all the bishops of California, but signature gathering to qualify it for the ballot is a diocese-by-diocese matter decided by particular bishops.

The initiative, said Archbishop Gomez in a Jan. 18 statement posted on the archdiocesan website, “would protect the right of parents to be involved in a minor’s decision to terminate a pregnancy by requiring physicians to notify parents 48 hours prior to performing an abortion on a minor under 18.” 

“California currently has no parental involvement law,” continued the archbishop’s statement. “I believe that the role of responsible parents in guiding a girl facing a pregnancy is essential to the Church’s commitment to family and our respect for the lives of both the unborn and that daughter. The Parental Notification Initiative assures that parents can reflect their values and exercise their responsibility in guiding and caring for their children.”

Signature gathering to qualify the initiative has already begun in the Los Angeles archdiocese. Some signatures were collected at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels on Jan. 21 following a special Requiem Mass for the Unborn concelebrated by Archbishop Gomez. In his statement, the archbishop said he encouraged signature gathering at archdiocesan parishes, “especially on weekends through February 2012.”

In the Oakland diocese, organizing is under way for signature gathering in parishes there following a strong endorsement of the initiative by Bishop Cordileone in a column published Jan. 23 in the diocesan newspaper, The Catholic Voice.

“Yes, we have seen this on the ballot before, and, thankfully, we will likely have a chance to vote on it again,” wrote Bishop Cordileone. ”The parental notification initiative, now in the signature-gathering phase, is always a reminder to us of the schizophrenic state of the law here in California: a doctor or nurse who would give a minor an aspirin without the consent of the minor’s parent is liable to a malpractice lawsuit, but they can perform an abortion on girls as young as 12-years-old without her parents even knowing about it.”

“Who could possibly be opposed to such a reasonable law, especially when state law requires parental consent — not just notification — for the most minor of medical procedures?” asked Bishop Cordileone. “Only one constituent group possibly could: those who stand to profit from the abortion industry.”

“This is a law that any reasonable person can support, regardless of where they stand on the abortion issue, because it is a question of parental rights,” wrote the bishop. “In fact, this should be one of the few laws that can unite people on all sides of the abortion debate.”

“This election, then, is the time for all of us, once and for all, to take a stand against big abortion and in favor of parents and their daughters,” said Bishop Cordileone. “No one should be allowed to wedge their way into this most sacred relationship, let alone those who would profit from such a horrendously life-changing procedure on a vulnerable young girl.”

Other bishops who have authorized signature gathering in their diocese include San Bernardino Bishop Gerald Barnes and Sacramento Bishop Jaime Soto.

Californians for Parental Rights must gather 807,615 valid signatures by April 30 for the measure to qualify for the Nov. 6, 2012 ballot.

For more information on the initiative, Click Here.



Posted Thursday, January 26, 2012 12:15 AM By JLS
Slowly the question of whose children are they begins to dawn on Catholic Church Fathers. Does this indicate that Catholic clergy are beginning to realize that the word “father” has some sort of substantial meaning? Are we witnessing the onset of a miracle of fatherhood in the Church? Will the clergy begin passing out cigars as they realize they are fathers? Or will we witness the buzzards flying in and pecking away the seeds sown by the Lord?

Posted Thursday, January 26, 2012 6:25 AM By Ted
Who ever said they have to defend the faith by being “nice” about it. Firmness works, we know. Nice loses rights with our current government. A bishop needs to be a mensch about it, not act like a pansy.

Posted Thursday, January 26, 2012 7:52 AM By Wynette Sills
In the Sacramento Diocese, Bishop Soto and Diocesan Respect Life Coordinator Steve Patton will host a Signature Gathering Training Workshop for Pastor-identified parish representatives on Saturday, February 4th, from 1:00-3:00 pm at St. Rose Parish, south Sacramento. Each Pastor has been asked to identify 2-3 parish representatives to attend this meeting, so please contact your Pastor if you are interested in working on this important effort. We need EVERY parish to participate! At the Training Workshop parish representatives will be given flyers, petitions, and training instructions. Bishop Soto has identified two specific weekends for signature gathering in the Sacramento Diocese- the weekends of February 18/19 and February 25/26. We are very thankful for Bishop Soto’s leadership and strong support for the Parental Notification Initiative, especially in this very important signature-gathering phase. Additionally, our California Bishops support the SAFE initiative to end the use of the death penalty, which will also be included in the training workshop. If you are interested in helping with the Signature Gathering for Parental Notification in the Sacramento Diocese, please let me know at Parental Notification will save over 2,000 lives each year, based on successes seen in other states. Your help is needed!

Posted Thursday, January 26, 2012 8:06 AM By Paul
Sure wish we could have given SB48 the same support. While the rest of the christian community was trying to fight this the California Bishops wouldnt allow us to gather signatures. Also recently during the homily at our church in Chino Hills the pastor allowed a spokeman for an effort to battle Edison over the powerlines and poles to give a presentation with a model of one of the towers on the alter. Our efforts to fight SB48 were not even shown the light of day. Makes one wonder what our focus is on. Its not the saving of souls !!

Posted Thursday, January 26, 2012 8:56 AM By Abeca Christian
Evil forces are trying to take bit by bit our parental rights and have for many years now succeeded. Even well known Catholic Therapist have gone that level as well. I’m thankful that our Bishops see the importance of parental rights. When a therapist all it see’s dysfunctional situations with bad parents, now they assume that all parents are like that but not all parents are bad, there are many good loving parents with moral values, there are still many and we can not work against them, we must stand up and defend what little rights they have now to parent right their children without outside forces undermining their authority!

Posted Thursday, January 26, 2012 9:00 AM By Catherine
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of notification cure! Where is the preventive medicine? How about bishops joining the chorus of a parental notification that truly inspires parents to teach their children the Catechism of the Catholic Church so their children HAVE the necessary graces and tools to avoid choosing the mortal sins of pre-marital sex and abortion?

Posted Thursday, January 26, 2012 9:19 AM By Fr. Bob B
What in the world would stop EVERY Catholic Bishop in California (including Auxiliary Bishops) from supporting both the Parental Notification Initiative and implementing concrete steps to gather signatures in favor of it???? Read the papers. The federal and California administrations would have us be silent, thus interfering with our right to the free exercise of our religion—-which extends beyond freedom to attend church, but rather includes our right to practice our religious values in the public square. Let’s show the politicians we’re alive!

Posted Thursday, January 26, 2012 9:23 AM By John F. Maguire
I support this notification initiative, but: Editorial personnel at the CCD, do please meet the full-disclosure standards of workaday journalism by making it a point to acknowledge publicly that major financial support has been extended to this worthy cause by the CCD’s founder and preceptor.

Posted Thursday, January 26, 2012 10:39 AM By Ron
I am sure the Bishop of San Jose will jump into the fray…soon…hopefully…soon…

Posted Thursday, January 26, 2012 10:58 AM By Tracy
Wynette Sills, What a great idea! Maybe Archbishop Gomez could organize this type of event in the various regions of the Los Angeles Archdiocese. This would be a great help toward not only gathering enough signatures, but educating the electorate before they get bombarded with the oppositions rhetoric.

Posted Thursday, January 26, 2012 11:22 AM By Abeca Christian
The reality folks is that parents can do preventative care at home but the evil forces are still strong and real out there. Our kids are having to deal with more pressure than ever, not all kids are mature enough to handle the forces against family values, indoctrination is real and hard core out there. It’s everywhere, TV, books, even Therapist are going against families by their ill assumptions that all fits one size medicine. I am seeing even in the most devout families, obedient to Christ’s church, biblical teachings, CCC studies etc, they are still having to deal with the undermining of their parental authority, they are having to suffer these trials because they are parents who care deeply about their child’s salvation but ultimately children have free will and when some find the opportunity to cling to a system that will protect their so called rights to undermine a parent, just so they can do what they feel is best for them, remembering that they are immature still and spiritually they are being attacked, some will go against everything their parents and the faith has taught them. I am grateful that our church is finally standing together to help with this. I hope we win! God bless our Bishops!

Posted Thursday, January 26, 2012 12:15 PM By Zoe
Just got word directly from the Diocese of Orange’s Respect Life Director that Bishop Brown has APPROVED petition signings tentatively for Feb. 12th or Feb. 19th. Info was just sent to all respect life reps.

Posted Thursday, January 26, 2012 2:44 PM By Peggy
Is this being organized in the SF Archdiocese? I don’t hear Ab. Niederauer…

Posted Thursday, January 26, 2012 3:58 PM By Kenneth M. Fisher
IMPORTANT Question, can one sign up to work for the Parental Notification initiative without agreeing to work for that other one? God bless, yours in Their Hearts, Kenneth M. Fisher

Posted Thursday, January 26, 2012 7:16 PM By LauretteElsberry
Ken, one is not obligated to work for the abolition of capital punishment. This is a prudential issue. The protection of young girls from the evil of abortion without parental notification is not prudential; it is a moral issue, as is the abortion issue. Also, look at it this way. In California we have tens of thousands of abortions per year, perhaps 20,000 of them done on minor girls without a parent’s knowledge. On the other hand we have had only 13 (read it correctly – thirteern – since 1976. A simple question: Which number reflects the more serious problem?

Posted Thursday, January 26, 2012 8:52 PM By Vincent
Take your children to pray at abortion clinics. The life you save may be your grandchild’s.

Posted Thursday, January 26, 2012 9:06 PM By Ron
Peggy: Do you believe in miracles?

Posted Thursday, January 26, 2012 10:33 PM By JLS
Yes, if the bishops do not show the politicians that they are alive, then they’ll never get to earn their crimson colors.

Posted Friday, January 27, 2012 10:27 AM By John F. Maguire
JLS: More or less, politicians, after all, do know that bishops are alive. The primary point, however, is that although bishops, as the apostolic and sacerdotal co-agents of Christ the Sovereign Priest, are indeed commissioned to teach, govern, and sanctify, these same bishops do not constitute the “front ranks” of the Church in the world of politics; nor should they. Here is Pope Pius XII on the topic: “The faithful, and more precisely, the laity are stationed in the front ranks of the life of the Church, and through them the Church is the living principle of society” (Pius XII, address delivered on February 20, 1946, quoted in Fulton J. Sheen, _Missions and the World Crisis_ (Milwaukee: Bruce, 1963), p. 83. Pius XII, I venture, would not approve of today’s lay introversion, today’s well-nigh obsessive fixation on bishops; worse, today’s lay-initiated blog-inquisition of bishops.

Posted Friday, January 27, 2012 7:51 PM By Kenneth M. Fisher
Laurette, You missed my point. It is that can we work at our parishes for the “Parental Notification” initiative and not work for the “Death Penalty” initiative since they are both being held on the same day. A priest who posts on this site has brought us how convenient it was for them to schedule both on the same day, and that is why I am asking this question. God bless, yours in Their Hearts, Kenneth M. Fisher

Posted Friday, January 27, 2012 9:09 PM By JLS
No they don’t, Maguire. There is no nationally prominent bishop who is doing anything poignantly Catholic. Were these bishops to do nothing, it would make no difference. You need to look into history and see what bishops who live up to their calling have done … you will find zero comparison with … nationally prominent … bishops. The only bishops in the USA who have jumped the do nothing ship are not nationally prominent in terms of influence. I suspect the reason for this is that the popes do not see any of the holier candidates as likely to survive the pressure. Let’s see you tackle this one, Maguire.

Posted Saturday, January 28, 2012 6:53 AM By Larry
“Pius XII, I venture, would not approve of today’s lay introversion, today’s well-nigh obsessive fixation on bishops; worse, today’s lay-initiated blog-inquisition of bishops.” Where the bishops are not doing their job, I think he would approve.

Posted Saturday, January 28, 2012 12:46 PM By John F. Maguire
Prominent bishops are not doing anything “poignantly Catholic”? Don’t you mean pointedly Catholic? In any event, JLS, I agree neither with your assessment nor your summary dismissal of the Church’s episcopate.

Posted Saturday, January 28, 2012 5:12 PM By Ron Maxson
As a Knight of Columbus it seems like this is a natural. Let’s get our brothers organized today as willing help to our pastors and as witness to our founding commitment.

Posted Saturday, January 28, 2012 7:42 PM By JLS
“poignantly” Catholic, Maguire, not “pointedly”: It means lukewarm, instead of inflamed with passion either one way or the other. Maguire, of course you do not agree. You do not agree for the reason that you do not understand … The best you can do is continue to prevaricate … You are good at it. You should become a professional prevaricator, if you already are not.

Posted Saturday, January 28, 2012 9:40 PM By JLS
Oops, there is one nationally prominent bishop I can think of who is in fact doing poignant Catholic works, and this would be Cardinal Burke. There are also other bishops who are doing what faithful bishops do but not any of these men are nationally prominent; hopefully these men will be raised to national influence.

Posted Sunday, January 29, 2012 1:04 PM By John F. Maguire
Sorry, JLS, I am disinclined to agree with your claim that the word poignantly “means lukewarm, instead of inflamed with passion…” Anyway, here is the Merriam-Webster Dictionary on the topic: [1] poignantly PERVASIVE — a poignant perfume. [2]: a(1): painfully affecting the feelings: PIERCING a(2) TOUCHING. (3) a: Pleasurably stimulating b: Being to the point: APT. We agree, I hope, that poignantly does, on occasion, mean pointedly; but neither pointedlly nor its other (just now listed) meanings carry “lukewarm” as a connotation. ~ Nor, JLS, do I think you use the word prevarication correctly. If the existence of a falsehood shows up in a post of mine, I’m duty bound to redress the falsehood by way of retraction. That’s a universal norm of civil discourse.

Posted Monday, January 30, 2012 8:31 PM By JLS
Maguire, all you have to do is look up the word in a reliable dictionary, and then apply its possible meanings to what I wrote … but not to worry, one of my university literature teachers, a grad student, could not do that either; so you’re in good company.

Posted Monday, January 30, 2012 8:38 PM By JLS
Maguire, your not infrequent falsehoods have been pointed out by numerous others. You prevaricate, evade, avoid, and wander away from the challenge. And going back to you failure to grasp a concept that you are hostile to, poignant means, as you’ve listed “strong”. The episcopate at the top is as weak as at any time in history. Maguire, one afternoon when I was wandering the library at Catholic University in Wash DC I happened upon the doctoral dissertations of many bishops in this nation, including Cdl Mahony’s. Oddly when I returned months later to look at them again, they were gone. I scanned them and was almost scandalized at their lack of quality. The episcopate today in this nation is not a strong point of Church history, Maguire. You can read some of the writings by uneducated manual laborers and petty businessmen, usually entitled Epistle of St XXX, and find infinite insight … not so with these princes of the Church in America in our time.

Posted Tuesday, January 31, 2012 1:33 AM By Kenneth M. Fisher
Hi Ron, 5:12 PM, First we must get our brother KofCers to insist that Article 162-7 finally be enforced and the pro-abortion and pro-sodomite public figures be expunged from our ranks! God bless, yours in Their Hearts, Kenneth M. Fisher

Posted Tuesday, January 31, 2012 6:11 AM By MIKE
Maguire and JLS, Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict) got it right in the ‘Ratzinger Report’ – that many of today’s Bishops rely on the Bishop’s Conferences. ” It happens that with some bishops there is a certain lack of a sense of individual responsibility, and the delegation of his inalienable powers as shepherd and teacher to the sturctures of the local conference leads to letting what should remain very personal lapse into anonymity. The group of bishops united in the conferences depends in their decisions upon other groups, upon the commissions that have been established to prepare draft proposals. It happens then that the search for agreement between the different tendancies and the effort at mediation often yield flattened documents in which decisive positions (where they might be necessary) are weakened.” – Cardinal Ratzinger pg 60. Basically some Bishops are abdicating their required jobs. “The really powerful documents….were those than came from individual courageous bishops” – pg 61.

Posted Tuesday, January 31, 2012 6:43 AM By JLS
Excellent, MIKE, and this is what I’ve been trying to say, that many bishops have turned over the religious rule to the man in the street.

Posted Tuesday, January 31, 2012 6:56 AM By John F. Maguire
Cardinal Ratzinger’s observation is true, Mike, but there are always those who jump over the horse, by which I mean, in the present context, there are always those who do not understand that National Episcopal Conferences (worldwide) constitute an expression of the affective and effective COLLEGIALITY of Catholic Bishops as interrelated wholes nation by nation. This collegiality is not a part of the Apostolic structure of the Church, that’s true. On the other hand, Mike, this collegiality is SUBSIDIARY to that Apostolic structure. Accordingly, collegially formed National Episcopal Conferences are organized by canon law as a modality of the Church. Consequently, an Internet-driven lay revolt against the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is as warrantless as it is counter-ecclesial.

Posted Tuesday, January 31, 2012 7:09 AM By JLS
Maguire, your “Cardinal Ratzinger’s observation is true … but” – more proportionate thinking?

Posted Tuesday, January 31, 2012 7:56 AM By MIKE
Maguire, I hope you meant to say that each Diocese Bishop has full responsibility in his own Diocese, and is not subject to any Bishop’s conference. Canon law was written to keep conferences in check, since they are not the Magisterium. Any Bishop who goes along to get along will have to answer to Jesus. There have been many abuses against the Faith from the USCCB in the past – such as donating money to pro-abortion groups. We must know our Faith through the Bible and the CCC, and reject those things that are not truly of our Faith. Those things that are in full support of our Faith rather than personal opinions should be adhered to – including those things that come from Conferences. If the Conferences (Committees, etc), were to clean House to include only a staff that adhere’s 100% to the CCC in its entirety, then we would be able support them 100% of the time. Unfortunately that is not the always the case.

Posted Tuesday, January 31, 2012 8:19 AM By MIKE
Maguire, and for the record – there’s nothing that I would like better than to be able to support ALL Bishops and ALL Bishops Conferences at all times. I long for this UNITY- unity in following the teachings of Jesus, and unity in following Jesus’s and the Magisterium’s teaching in the CCC. But when Staff or Committees put forth their own political definitions and their own political statements in the name of the Church which we are NOT required to follow it CAUSES DISUNITY. That is why Bishop’s and their Conferences have to be more discerning in what they print. For UNITY we must all follow the ‘CCC 2nd Ed” without picking and choosing, and that includes Bishops and their Conferences. Let us all pray for Unity within our Church. Conferences should stick to those things that we are REQUIRED to adhere to only – then the backlash against them would be curtailed. Please see – CCC: “The political community and the Church” 2244, 2245, and 2246.

Posted Tuesday, January 31, 2012 10:36 AM By John F. Maguire
In reply to Mike: I’m not ready to say that I disagree with your post, but here’s the thing: it is precisely because Cardinal Ratzinger is right — as you’ve correctly pointed out, right that National Episcopal Conferences are not a part of the Apostolic Church (only subsidiary to it, I’ve added) — that we are NOT required to adhere to its statement save (1) when those statements have been appropriated by Apostolic authority or (2) in the ordinary sense in which we are required to adhere, however critically, to reasonable statements, not least reasonable statements from a National Episcopal Conference. All of which is why I would fight shy of saying that “Conferences should stick to those things that we are REQUIRED to adhere to only.” Whether we are discussing China or the United States, National Episcopal Conferences function as collegial modalities of the Church by way of mediating the relationship between Church and State. Since such Conferences have no teaching mandate, they are not — nor were they ever intended to be — preceptors of doctrinal unity. Rather, doctrinal unity is guaranteed by the Apostolic unity of Catholic Bishops with the Bishop of Rome. Does Episcopal-Conference collegiality open the door to the phenomenon of remissive Episcopal Conferences? Yes, but this why Cardinal Ratzinger so strongly emphasized what you emphasize, namely, the exclusively Apostolic character of the Bishops of the Catholic Church as, and precisely as, Bishops.

Posted Tuesday, January 31, 2012 2:14 PM By Abeca Christian
Mr. Maguire I didn’t have the chance to read this thread but can you be direct and answer one question? Since this article is about Parental Notification, are you agreeing that it should be law? Just wondering, I don’t have time to read this thread and just wanted a yes or no answer, not a long explanation of things. : )

Posted Tuesday, January 31, 2012 2:40 PM By John F. Maguire
In reply to Abeca C.: In this thread, I posted my answer to your direct, on-point question at CCD January 26, 9:23 PM. Thank you for asking!

Posted Tuesday, January 31, 2012 3:35 PM By k
Mr. Maguire said he supports it. I support it, too. Most states have it. Planned Parenthood always plays the “puts kids from dysfunctional homes at risk” card, which honestly, it can. I think in those circumstances, police and social services would need to be notified. All defeating it does for kids from abusive homes is give them one less opportunity to get help.