CBA Immediate Past President spoke at the 2023 Speculum Iustitiae Conference
Peter H. Wickersham, as Immediate Past President of the Catholic Bar Association, recently had the singular privilege of speaking at the 2023 Speculum Iustitiae Conference of Canon and Civil Lawyers hosted by Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke at the beautiful Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wisconsin. In addition to Cardinal Burke, the other speakers included: The Most Reverend Salvatore J. Cordileone, Archbishop of San Francisco; Dr. William Daniel, JCD, Professor in the School of Canon Law at the Catholic University of America; and Reverend Réginald-Marie Rivoire, F.S.V.F., Defender of the Bond and Promoter of Justice at the ecclesiastical Tribunal of Rennes. A nearly twenty-five year health care attorney, Peter presented on the topic, “Dishonorable Disobedience or Conscientious Objection: Defending Conscience Rights in the New Health Care Paradigm.” More information about the 2023 Conference can be found at www.speculumiustitiae.com
CBA Local Affiliate in the News
In an article discussing the double role of St. Thomas More as the patron saint of statesmen and others working in the political and legal fields as well as the patron saint of the Diocese of Arlington, Jonathan Liedl talks with local CBA Affiliate President Mattias Caro. Read the full article here.
David K. DeWolf Appointed President-Elect of the Catholic Bar Association
The Board of Directors of the Catholic Bar Association has voted unanimously to appoint CBA Board Member David K. DeWolf of Spokane Valley, Washington, as President Elect. He fills the vacancy created by the resignation of Dr. Charles R. Helms of Dallas, Texas, who stepped away for personal reasons. Dr. Helms remains an active member of the CBA’s Board of Directors and Chair of the Education Committee.
A founding member and early supporter of the Association, Professor DeWolf was elected to the Board during the October 2022 General Assembly and has served as Chair of our Advocacy Committee. He is Professor Emeritus of Gonzaga School of Law, a graduate of Yale Law School, a member of the State of Washington Bar, and a member of the Albrecht Law Firm. He is a leading expert on tort law in Washington and the co-author of Washington Tort Law & Practice. Professor DeWolf and his wife, Priscilla, are members of Mary Queen Parish in Spokane.
In addition to his service to the CBA, Professor DeWolf serves on the Board of the Chesterton Academy of Notre Dame and is a Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. The Catholic Bar Association is a community of legal professionals that educates, organizes and inspires its members to faithfully uphold and bear witness to the Catholic Faith in the study and practice of the law.April 19, 2023
The Catholic Bar Association joins Amicus Brief in the Supreme Court in support of the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine
CBA joins a friend-of-the-court brief in support of lawsuit to hold FDA accountable for illegally approving RU486
The Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine and others, represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), recently sued the federal Food and Drug Administration in Texas challenging its approval of the abortifacient mifepristone (proprietary trade name "RU486"). AHM moved for a preliminary injunction asking the Court to order the FDA to withdraw its approval of mifepristone.
The suit and motion ask the court to recognize the profound legal and ethical consequences of the FDA’s improvident and illegal approval of chemical abortion drugs, and in particular its failure to implement or enforce safeguards necessary to ensure adequate, informed consent for women who use such drugs.
The CBA joined an amicus brief supporting Plaintiff's Complaint and the Motion for Preliminary Injunction. We joined in the Amicus Brief as part of the Catholic Health Care Leadership Alliance, of which the CBA is a founding member, and in our own right.
On February 14 at 1:00 pm ET/ 10:00 am PT, ADF Senior Counsel Erik Baptist will discuss the lawsuit in a Teleforum featuring a 20-30 minute discussion followed by brief Q&A.
Usually, one must be affiliated with the ADF to view its teleforums, but our friends at the ADF will permit CBA members to view the presentation without joining (although you might consider joining the cost-free network!). You may register for tomorrow's Teleforum HERE. (Select "Other ADF Affiliation")
ADF's press release is set forth here.
Homily of Archbishop Joseph Naumann
on the occasion of the Catholic Bar Association Mass
Twenty-Ninth Sunday of Year C
Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Dallas Texas
Thank you for your invitation to be the homilist at the CBA Red Mass being celebrated on this 29th Sunday of the Liturgical Year. It is a privilege to be with you. I am very grateful for the Catholic Bar Association. This is such an important and necessary organization for the Church in the United States. I am grateful to the leaders and all who worked hard to begin this Association and work hard to make it grow.
God definitely has a sense of humor. What are the chances that the Red Mass for the Catholic Bar Association would coincide with the liturgical calendar’s selection for tonight’s Gospel featuring what is sometimes referred to as the Parable of the Corrupt Judge? Fortunately, we do not have any of those in the 21st Century USA Courts. When I was involved in planning Red Masses many years ago, I was always told the key to a successful turn out of attorneys for a Red Mass was to get as many Judges as possible to attend.
The Catholic Bar Association’s Founding President, Joshua McCaig, has published an article on The Federalist website. The article, which is dated September 20, 2022 and entitled “Biden Admin Silently Erases ‘Unborn Child’ In Legal Argument Pushing Abortion On Religious Medical Workers,” details the efforts of the Biden Administration to compel emergency healthcare workers to participate in elective abortion procedures by ignoring clear language of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (“EMTALA”) which specifically safeguards the health and safety of an unborn child whose mother presents to an emergency facility. McCaig outlines the efforts of medical and religious societies and State governments to counteract the Administration’s misleading guidance concerning EMTALA’s requirements.
Federal District Judge denies Motion to Dismiss and issues a Preliminary Injunction in State of Texas v. Becerra
Judge Hendrix of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas issued an Order on Tuesday, August 23, 2022, denying Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss and imposing a Preliminary Injunction in the case of State of Texas v. Becerra. The case pertains to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Becerra’s guidance to providers, issued in the aftermath of the SCOTUS decision in Dobbs, suggesting that elective abortion could be mandatory emergency or stabilizing care under the Emergency Medical Treatment & Labor Act (EMTALA), regardless of state law. The State of Texas filed suit seeking to prevent enforcement of the HHS guidance in the State. The Catholic Healthcare Leadership Alliance (CHCLA), of which the Catholic Bar Association (CBA) is a Founding Member, filed an Amicus Curiae brief that was mentioned in the Judge’s Order. The CBA’s Founding President, Joshua McCaig, was instrumental in the preparation and filing of the brief.
PRESS RELEASE: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Re: The Catholic Bar Association Congratulates the Supreme Court on Its Dobbs Decision
With its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the United States Supreme Court has overturned its illegitimate fifty-year-old opinion, Roe v. Wade. In doing so, the Court has moved the American legal system back toward being a system of law and not of men.
Roe was illegitimate because it had no basis in law. It was the creation of a majority of the Justices who had a pro-abortion policy objective. As one “pro-choice” Yale Law School professor put it, Roe “…is not constitutional law and gives almost no sense of an obligation to try to be.” Roe was an attempt to impose a judicial solution for a perceived social and political problem by the invention of a right to abortion that had no support in the Constitution or in American law. The country is well-rid of it. Thus, as conscientious lawyers, we applaud the Dobbs decision as the long-awaited overturning of a dreadful legal decision.
Moreover, as Catholics, we applaud the effect the decision will have in reducing the frequency of elective abortions in the United States. “Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law….” ¶2271 Catechism of the Catholic Church.
The Roe decision authorized the establishment of one of the most permissive abortion regimes in the world under which even a human being capable of life outside of his mother’s womb could be killed legally. The issue is now returned to the political process, where it should have been all along.
Just as the issuance of the Roe decision fifty years ago represented an assault on our legal system, so too does the “leaking” of a draft of the Dobbs decision months before the decision was officially issued by the Court. A probable purpose for the leak was to bring public pressure to bear on enough Justices to change the outcome of the case. This purpose has been borne out in the loud, illegal demonstrations outside of the homes of Justices who appeared to favor overturning Roe. They and their families have been made to feel unsafe in their own homes. When the Roe majority abandoned the judicial function for a legislative one, abortion supporters learned that ignoring the law is acceptable to achieve desired political ends.
The leaking of the draft opinion was deplorable and subversive of the judicial process, as are the demonstrations at the homes of Justices of the Supreme Court, and should be condemned by people of good will.
The high court should be commended for finally righting a terrible moral and historical wrong. An untold number of innocent human lives will be spared as a result. Laws protecting innocent human life should be passed and enforced. And we call upon those in authority to enforce laws already on the books to protect judges and juries against violence.
The Catholic Bar Association is a national community of legal professionals that educates, organizes and inspires its members faithfully to uphold and bear witness to the Catholic Faith in the study and practice of the law.
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Email: info _at_ catholicbar.org
For Immediate Release:
BREAKING: Catholic Bar Association Plays Founding Role in Establishing the Catholic Health Care Leadership Alliance
WASHINGTON, D.D. - The Catholic Health Care Leadership Alliance (CHCLA) is officially launching during a press conference today at the Kirby Center at Hillsdale College, in Washington, D.C. The alliance is founded by five organizations, one of which is the Catholic Bar Association (CBA), a national association of Catholic legal professionals whose mission is to educate, organize and inspire its members to faithfully uphold and bear witness to the Catholic faith in the study and practice of the law.
Joshua McCaig, a health care attorney who served as the founding president of the CBA and is a Director on the Board of the CHCLA, stated “The Catholic Health Care Leadership Alliance is a broad coalition of organizations, encompassing various professions and specialties, committed to protecting and advancing Catholic Health Care through education, advocacy, evangelization and mutual support of its members.”
The mission of CHCLA, as an alliance of faithful Catholic organizations, is to support the rights of patients and professionals to receive and provide health care in accordance with the moral, ethical, and social teachings of Jesus Christ and His Church through ongoing evangelization, education, advocacy, and mutual support.
McCaig stated “This Alliance will work to ensure that the legacy of Catholic Health Care in the United States not only endures, but thrives.”
In addition to the Catholic Bar Association, the CHCLA is founded by the Catholic Medical Association, The National Catholic Bioethics Center, the Catholic Benefits Association, and the Christ Medicus Foundation. The Alliance welcomes members who desire to be a part of a community that shares a mission of advancing Catholic health care.
“It is our hope that this Alliance, and the expertise brought by its members in the areas of medicine, law, policy, advocacy, education, and bioethics, will serve as a unique resource to health care providers, patients, the Church, and our country” stated McCaig.
The president of the Catholic Bar Association, Peter Wickersham, stated “In an era when the ethical delivery of healthcare services is under attack, the Catholic Health Care Leadership Alliance’s establishment couldn’t be more timely. The Catholic Bar Association is honored to be a part of this indispensable effort.”
The Most Reverend James D. Conley is the Chair of the CHCLA Episcopal Advisory Board and is the Bishop of Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska. Bishop Conley stated “This Alliance brings together the best minds in medicine, law, business, and theology. I look forward to working with CHCLA and my brother Bishops to guide and support the work of CHCLA in this important work that will not only bring faithful medicine to our people, but bring our people to a deeper relationship with God.”
For more information on CHCLA visit www.catholichealthalliance.org. For information on the Catholic Bar Association visit www.catholicbar.org.
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