News Releases

Reimbursement to School Districts for CVA Settlements

Date posted: May 23, 2023

Memorandum of Opposition

Re: A6201 Brown, K
In relation to reimbursement to school districts for CVA settlements

The above-referenced legislation would authorize the state to reimburse public school districts for Child Victims Act (CVA) settlements or judgments. The New York State Catholic Conference opposes this legislation.


Statement on Legislation to Hand Out Abortion Pills on Public College Campuses

Date posted: May 2, 2023

Following is a statement by Dennis Poust, executive director of the New York State Catholic Conference, on Governor Kathy Hochul’s signing of legislation to hand out abortion pills on public college campuses:

“It’s tragic that young women away from home for the first time and facing a crisis pregnancy will be simply handed abortion pills to take care of the ‘problem,’ rather than be given the multi-layered supports they need. Governor Hochul’s single-minded focus on increasing abortions in the state, as though she’s trying to win some sort of ghoulish contest, is terribly misguided. New York has many problems that need tackling; access to abortion is not one of them.”


Statement on Senate Passage of Paid Family Leave After Stillbirth

Date posted: March 13, 2023

Following is a statement by Kristen Curran, director of government relations for the New York State Catholic Conference, on the passage of S2175 (Kennedy), which provides paid family leave after a stillbirth.

“The birth of a stillborn child is a tragic and life-altering event that affects some 24,000 Americans every year. The physical and mental anguish experienced by mothers, fathers, and their families as they mourn the death of a child is indescribable. Time is the only thing that can begin to heal such a loss, yet stillbirth has not been a qualifying condition for family leave in New York. On March 9, the Senate began to change that with the passage of S2175, Senator Tim Kennedy’s bill to provide for paid family leave after a stillbirth. We applaud Senator Kennedy, Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Minority Leader Rob Ortt, and the entire Senate on the unanimous passage of this bill and the numerous heartfelt remarks offered in its support.


Radical Solidarity

Date posted: February 16, 2023

A Pro-Life, Pro-Woman Legislative Agenda for New York

To be truly pro-life is to care for people from life’s beginning to its natural end. Moms and babies deserve the full support of society not just to survive, but to thrive. As New York continues to prioritize only one choice for vulnerable women, we offer a different vision. True choice exists when women, mothers, children, and families are supported. We stand in radical solidarity with moms and their children through the following pro-life agenda:


Statement on Lifting the Charter School Cap

Date posted: February 8, 2023

In testimony today before a Joint Legislative Budget Hearing on Elementary and Secondary Education, the New York State Council of Catholic School Superintendents strongly opposed Governor Kathy Hochul’s plan to lift the charter school cap in New York City absent commensurate support for tuition-paying families in the state’s religious and independent schools.

“While the Governor portrays her proposal as a commonsense means of providing options to families, the reality is that the proposal would supplant educational options rather than supplement them,” said James D. Cultrara, executive secretary of the Council and Director for Education of the New York State Catholic Conference.


Statement on Gov. Hochul signing legislation permitting human composting

Date posted: January 2, 2023

Following is a statement of Dennis Poust, executive director of the NYS Catholic Conference:

“Throughout human history and in every culture, the disposition of human remains has followed a variety of rituals, but always involving interment or cremation. The process of composting is associated with the sustainable disposition of organic household or agricultural waste to be repurposed as fertilizer for gardens or crops. But human bodies are not household waste; they are vessels of the soul. Therefore, the Bishops of New York State do not believe the process meets the standard of reverent treatment of earthly remains. More

Statement on the death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

Date posted: December 31, 2022

(CNS/Paul Haring)

Following is a statement by Dennis Poust, executive director of the New York State Catholic Conference, on the death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI:

The Bishops of New York State and the staff of the NYS Catholic Conference mourn the passing of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. At the same time, we give thanks to God for the Holy Father’s profoundly consequential ministry as a priest, bishop, cardinal, pope, and, finally, as pope emeritus. It was in the humility of his final role that he paved a new path for viewing the modern papacy. More

Statement on New Substantial Equivalency Regulation

Date posted: September 12, 2022

Following is a statement from Dennis Poust, executive director of the New York State Catholic Conference, on behalf of the New York State Council of Catholic School Superintendents, regarding the regulation to be adopted today by the Board of Regents in relation to New York State law requiring nonpublic schools to provide quality secular educations that are substantially equivalent to public schools:

“We’re grateful to Commissioner Rosa and the Regents for the seriousness with which they considered this issue. Every child in New York State deserves a quality education, and our Catholic schools have always been more than happy to demonstrate that we are substantially equivalent to — and often exceed — public schools in the education we provide. We are particularly grateful that the Regents have come to a solution that allows multiple pathways to demonstrate substantial equivalency, without burdensome and potentially problematic reviews by local public school districts.

“We’re confident that all of the Catholic schools in the state will be deemed substantially equivalent under the new guidelines. Our tuition-paying families have already deemed us so for generations.”

The Catholic Conference represents Cardinal Timothy Dolan and the Bishops of New York State in public policy matters.

Statement on Passage of Bill to Enshrining Abortion in State Constitution

Date posted: July 1, 2022

Following is a statement from Kristen Curran, director of government relations for the New York State Catholic Conference on the anticipated passage today of legislation to begin the process of amending the state Constitution to include abortion rights:

“Unfortunately, this bill solidifies the message that New York has been sending women for some time now: Abortion is positive, empowering, and the key to success. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Women, children, and their families deserve support and compassion. Baby formula is scarce, raising a family is unaffordable, and the fallout from the pandemic continues to take its toll. New York State should be pouring resources into helping women and families, not promoting abortion through limitless funding, advertisements, and splashy legislation.

“Our elected officials should stop promoting abortion as a woman’s best and only choice, and focus instead on true support for women, children, and families.”

In order for the amendment to become law, the bill must pass two successive legislatures and be put before the voters in a referendum. The Catholic Conference represents the Bishops of New York State in public policy matters.

A statement on the Dobbs decision by the Catholic Bishops of New York State

Date posted: June 24, 2022

En español, aqui

‘We Give Thanks to God’

We give thanks to God for today’s decision of the United States Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. This just decision will save countless innocent children simply waiting to be born.

On this historic day, our gratitude extends to the millions of heroic Americans who have worked tirelessly toward this outcome for nearly a half-century. Women and men, children and adults, believers and non-believers, people of every culture and background have advocated for life. They have been a charitable and compelling voice for the voiceless, and today, their voice has been heard.

As Catholics, we have prayed and fasted, held vigils, offered Masses, and peacefully witnessed in these last five decades. We have joined others in educating schoolchildren, opening pregnancy care centers, walking with mothers, offering post-abortion counseling, and marching, year after year, to the United States Supreme Court to witness for life. Today, our voice has been heard.

With the entire pro-life community, we are overjoyed with this outcome of the Court. However, we acknowledge the wide range of emotions associated with this decision. We call on all Catholics and everyone who supports the right to life for unborn children to be charitable, even as we celebrate an important historical moment and an answer to a prayer.

We must remember that this is a judicial victory, not a cultural one. The culture remains deeply divided on the issue, which will be evidenced by the patchwork of state statutes pertaining to abortion across the country. To change the culture and build a culture of life, we need to enact family-friendly policies that welcome children, support mothers, cherish families and empower them to thrive. We outlined our vision for a pro-life New York in our recent statement, available here, and we rededicate ourselves to helping every expectant mother to carry her baby to term.

Building a culture of life is not solely the responsibility of the government or those heroic individuals working on the front lines, in crisis pregnancy centers and other ministries. All of us need to respect the dignity and sanctity of human life in everything we do: in how we treat our children, spouses and parents; in the way we behave in our place of work; in sum, how we live Jesus’ two great commandments to love God and love our neighbor.

Love, charity and reverence for human life from the moment of conception through natural death – these will build and sustain a culture of life.

Millions of Americans have worked tirelessly for almost 50 years towards this outcome. We thank them with every fiber of our being. Their vital work continues, and we commit ourselves to it.

Timothy Cardinal Dolan

Archbishop of New York

Most Rev. Edward B. Scharfenberger

Bishop of Albany

Most Rev. Robert J. Brennan

Bishop of Brooklyn

Most Rev. Michael W. Fisher

Bishop of Buffalo

Most Rev. Terry R. LaValley

Bishop of Ogdensburg

Most Rev. Salvatore R. Matano

Bishop of Rochester

Most Rev. John O. Barres

Bishop of Rockville Centre

Most Rev. Douglas J. Lucia

Bishop of Syracuse

And the Auxiliary and Emeritus Bishops of NYS