Florida Catholic Advocacy Network Updates (BAD VERSION)

 

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D. Michael McCarron to Retire as Executive Director After More Than Three Decades of Service  
The board of directors of the Florida Catholic Conference has approved plans of D. Michael McCarron, Ph.D. to step down as executive director at the end of this year. Having served the Florida bishops for thirty-three years, the last eighteen as executive director, McCarron will continue to consult with the Conference on public policy issues and assist with special projects.
Members of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops pray before the second day of proceedings at the bishops' annual fall meeting Nov. 12 in Baltimore. (CNS photo/Nancy Phelan Wiechec)

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D. Michael McCarron to Retire as Executive Director After More Than Three Decades of Service  
The board of directors of the Florida Catholic Conference has approved plans of D. Michael McCarron, Ph.D. to step down as executive director at the end of this year. Having served the Florida bishops for thirty-three years, the last eighteen as executive director, McCarron will continue to consult with the Conference on public policy issues and assist with special projects.
 
  
Archbishop Wenski to Chair U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice  
Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami has come away from the U.S. bishops’ annual fall General Assembly with two new assignments: chairman of the bishops’ committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development and member of the board of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC).
 
 
Scheduled Execution Stayed While New Drug Addressed  
The Florida Supreme Court has granted Askari Muhammad, formerly known as Thomas Knight, an evidentiary hearing, thus postponing his December 3 scheduled execution. The hearing will address Florida’s recent switch to midazolam hydrochloride, replacing pentobarbital sodium after its Danish manufacturer stopped selling the drug to U.S. prisons for use in executions. On October 15, Florida became the first state to use midazolam as the initial drug in a three-drug protocol in the execution of William Happ. Happ reportedly remained conscious, moving and alive for a longer period than anticipated, indicating that he may have experienced pain while being executed. Muhammad’s hearing will question if the new drug combination is cruel and unusual punishment. 
 
As we await the outcome of the hearing, the FCCB urges the community to continue to pray for the end of the use of the death penalty, for those on death row and for the victims of violent crime. 
 
Removing the Prior-Public Requirement from Popular Scholarship Program  
The Florida Tax Credit (FTC) Program is the most popular state scholarship program at present for Florida’s Catholic schools. After all, the program allows our schools to serve more than 9,100 students from low-income families who might not otherwise be able to obtain their dream of a Catholic kindergarten to 12th grade education.
 
Sadly, the FTC program is out of reach for some low-income students who could otherwise participate but are barred for no other reason than the fact that they are in grades 6-12 and did not spend the prior year in a Florida public school.
 
A key concern for the FCCB Education Department during the spring 2014 legislative session will be to advocate for the removal of this so-called “prior-public” requirement as a condition for eligibility for certain students to participate in the FTC program.
 
 
Education Leaders Convene in New York City for Commitment of Mutual Agreement; Unveil Groundbreaking Report on Contribution of Religious Schools  
Described by one participant as a “Magna Carta” for faith-based education, more than fifty leaders from an array of religious organizations and schools convened in New York City on November 19 to forge a collaborative agreement. In particular, the delegation signed a two-page “Commitment of Mutual Agreement” to promote the rights of parents to select the education setting deemed most suitable for their schoolchildren. James Herzog, FCCB associate director for education, joined representatives from Catholic dioceses or organizations along with Jewish, Muslim and Christian faiths and nonprofit education groups to sign the agreement at a special one-day meeting.
 
“It was an honor to join like-minded individuals in signing this powerful statement,” Herzog said. “It was a clear call for parental empowerment in education and a resounding cry to protect low-income families. ”The signing was a highlight of the first annual “Religious School Leaders’ Summit” sponsored by the American Center for School Choice and its Commission on Faith-based Schools. Another highlight was the unveiling of a groundbreaking 29-page report entitled “Religious Schools in America: A Proud History and Perilous Future”. “The summit recognized that faith-based schools are a national treasure and truly an extension of religious freedom for both individuals and families,” Herzog added. 
 
 2014 Catholic Days at the Capitol – Join Us in Tallahassee!  
 Join Catholics from around the state for Catholic Days at the Capitol, March 25-26, 2014. 
 
Participants attend a legislative briefing on human life and dignity issues prior to meeting with lawmakers in their Capitol offices. The schedule also includes a luncheon for participants, the bishops of Florida and state legislators.
 
In addition, Catholic Days participants are invited to the annual Red Mass of the Holy Spirit con-celebrated by the bishops of Florida. 
 
Pre-registration is required to attend Catholic Days at the Capitol.
 
 
Bishop Lynch to Serve as 2014 Red Mass Homilist  
The annual Red Mass of the Holy Spirit will be con-celebrated by the bishops of Florida on Wednesday, March 26 at the Co-Cathedral of St. Thomas More, Tallahassee. Bishop Robert N. Lynch of St. Petersburg will serve as homilist. Attended by state officials, lawmakers, judges, members of the legal profession and the community, the Red Mass is celebrated to pray for those working in the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government.