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Bishops visit St. Justin's Latin Church in Nablus
Thursday, September 18, 2014 by Jen Hardy/Catholic Relief Services

Members of the USCCB's 2014 peace pilgrimage to the Holy Land celebrate Mass and meet with parishioners of St. Justin's Latin Church in Nablus. The Christian population in Nablus is small, but parish priest Father Johnny Abu Khalil calls it a "community of hope" and prays for a peaceful resolution to conflict.

The bishops visited Jacob's Well in Nablus, which is located in the crypt of a modern Greek Orthodox church. They offered a prayer for peace at the well and drank water from the well. It is thought to be the place where Jesus met the Samaritan woman.

The USCCB and Catholic Relief Services led a peace pilgrimage with 18 bishops from across the country to the Holy Land from September 11-18, 2014. These bishops will follow in the footsteps of Jesus by 2,000 years, follow in the footsteps of Pope Francis, who visited the Holy Land in June, and follow the devastation of the war in the Holy Land by only days. Their message: Prayer is powerful; peace is possible.

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Bishops meet with Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah
Wednesday, September 17, 2014 by Jen Hardy/Catholic Relief Services

Members of the USCCB's 2014 peace pilgrimage to the Holy Land met political leaders from the PLO (Dr. Hanan Ashrawi and Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah) and former Israeli President Shimon Peres. The bishops conveyed key messages of peace and heard from the political leaders about steps forward toward peace in the Holy Land.

Meeting with Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah.

The USCCB and Catholic Relief Services led a peace pilgrimage with 18 bishops from across the country to the Holy Land from September 11-18, 2014. These bishops will follow in the footsteps of Jesus by 2,000 years, follow in the footsteps of Pope Francis, who visited the Holy Land in June, and follow the devastation of the war in the Holy Land by only days. Their message: Prayer is powerful; peace is possible.

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Peace Pilgrimage - Gaza
Tuesday, September 16, 2014 by Matt McGarry/Catholic Relief Services

A delegation of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) visited the Gaza Strip, September 14. The bishops celebrated Mass with the local Christian community, talked to residents and surveyed the destruction of the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas. They also met the staff of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the bishops’ international relief agency, who have been working to provide disaster relief to those impacted by the violence.

CRS Gaza field manager Bassam Nassar shows bishops from the USCCB some of the damage incurred in Gaza during the 2014 Israeli-Gaza conflict.

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Cardinal O'Malley: Government Report Confirms Bishops’ Concern on Abortion Coverage
Tuesday, September 16, 2014 by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

A new report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) “confirms the U.S. bishops’ longstanding concern about abortion coverage” in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), said Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The report, “Health Insurance Exchanges: Coverage of Non-excepted Abortion Services by Qualified Health Plans,” was issued by the GAO, an independent reviewing agency of the U.S. government, on September 15.

Despite repeated claims by President Obama and other supporters that the ACA would not promote abortion, the report identified over a thousand health plans eligible for federal premium subsidies that cover elective abortions. On five state exchanges, every plan covers such abortions in 2014; in another three large states, 95 to 98 percent of the plans do so. The Act’s alleged requirements regulating abortion coverage do not exist or are widely ignored. Many health plans do not inform enrollees about their inclusion of abortion coverage; they do not tell them how much they are being charged for such coverage; and they do not charge a “separate payment” for abortions that is distinct from the premium payment eligible for federal tax subsidies. While state insurance departments are supposedly tasked by the federal government with ensuring that these health plans maintain segregated accounts for abortion funds to keep them separate from federal funds, the report indicates that this is not taking place.

“This report confirms the U.S. bishops’ longstanding concern about abortion coverage that we raised both before and after enactment of the Affordable Care Act by Congress,” said Cardinal O’Malley. “Surveys have shown that most Americans do not want elective abortion in their health coverage, and do not want their tax dollars to fund abortions. Their wishes are not being followed, and it can be difficult or impossible for them to find out whether those wishes are respected even in their own health plan."

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Peace Pilgrimage
Monday, September 15, 2014 by Jen Hardy/Catholic Relief Services

Members of the USCCB's 2014 peace pilgrimage to the Holy Land meet with H.B. Patriarch Fouad Twal at the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. The 18 bishops from the United States celebrated Mass at the Patriarchate and met with leaders from the Greek Orthodox Church, Anglican Church and other Christian leaders. The peace pilgrimage occurred 3 weeks after a ceasefire of fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

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Bishop Richard J. Malone is one of 18 United States bishops traveling through the Holy Land over the next week and a half. Follow their journey through a series of social media platforms, combined here for easy reading.

 

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Bishop Malone receives blessing before trip to Holy Land
Wednesday, September 10, 2014 by Office of Communications

Bishop Richard J. Malone receives a blessing from Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, before he leaves on a pilgrimage for peace to the Holy Land. 

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Bishop Malone travels to Holy Land for peace pilgrimage
Monday, September 08, 2014 by Office of Communications

Bishop Richard J. Malone will be among 18 Catholic bishops from the United States taking part in the Bishops’ Prayer Pilgrimage for Peace in the Holy Land, scheduled for Sept. 10-19. Bishop Malone will deliver a prayer at Jacob’s Well in Ramallah on Sept. 14, and lead a Muslim-Christian Prayer for Peace with students at Bethlehem University on Sept. 18.

A collaborative project of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Relief Services, the pilgrimage will raise consciousness in the U.S. about the need to pray for peace and reconciliation in the Holy Land.

“There is an urgency to give a witness on the part of the Catholic Church in the United States, through the bishops, to recognize the need for peace and justice, and use this witness as another way of resolving this violent situation,” Bishop Malone said.

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Bishop Malone names two to Catholic schools advisory board
Thursday, September 04, 2014 by Office of Communications

A well-respected educator and a human resources expert have been named by Bishop Richard J. Malone to the Catholic Schools Advisory Council. Members of the council serve on committees aimed at updating the current diocesan Catholic school strategic plan, Faith in Tomorrow, which was designed to strengthen and grow Catholic elementary education in the Diocese of Buffalo.

Robert T. Scott, AFSC, president of St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute in Kenmore, is beginning his 44th year of service at the Christian Brothers’ school. He first served as a religion and social studies teacher, then as vice principal for student affairs, principal, and now president. In addition, he has served on the Board of Regents at Canisius College and is presently a board member of the NativityMiguel Middle School of Buffalo and Christian Brothers Academy in Syracuse. Scott is a member of the Mission Education Council of the Christian Brothers’ District of Eastern North America. He was awarded Letters of Affiliation as a member of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools in 2001.



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Bishop visits students at SS. Peter & Paul on first day of classes
Wednesday, September 03, 2014 by Office of Communications

Bishop Richard J. Malone watches an exothermic reaction take place with fifth-grade teacher Carol Quinn and student Phillip Attea.

The bishop visited SS. Peter & Paul School in Williamsville on Wednesday morning and greeted students on their first day back to school.  Following an assembly, he toured a STREAM (science, technology, religion, engineering, arts, math) classroom.

The STREAM initiative is being launched in Catholic elementary schools across Western New York.  SS. Peter & Paul School is one of 10 STREAM pilot schools.

(Photo by Patrick McPartland/Staff Photographer)

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