Positions on Social Issues
Abortion, Needs of the Poor, Aging
The Diocese supports freedom of choice in abortion. The Diocesan Council in 1969 endorsed "repeal of all laws governing the performance of an abortion by a licensed physician." Convention in 1972 gave support to New York's new law permitting prospective mothers "to choose to give or not to give birth to a child." Convention in 1974 (reaffirmed in 1986) endorsed the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court "allowing women to exercise their own conscience in the matter of abortions." The Diocese is an affiliate of the New York State Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights.
Advocacy; Needs of the Poor
Holding that the Church should be a major advocate for the poor, the homeless, and the hungry, the Convention has called upon congregations (1984 and 1986) and Regions and Interparish Councils (1973) to develop advocacy programs in aid of those "less able to articulate their needs" to Congress, state legislatures, and municipal authorities. This should involve monitoring of the delivery of human services (1982). (See also Hunger & Homelessness
, Social Services
Support for a federal health and hospital insurance program (now known as Medicare) was voted by Convention in 1963. In 1986, Convention called on clergy and congregations to recognize "the growing need for the Church to consolidate and coordinate its strength and resources for ministry to a burgeoning population of persons over sixty years of age." The Diocese is an affiliate of the New York State Coalition of the Concerned for Older Americans.