News Releases

Statement on Physician-Assisted Suicide Legislation

Date posted: March 5, 2024

Following is a statement from Dennis Poust, executive director of the New York State Catholic Conference, regarding physician-assisted suicide legislation (A-995-A Paulin / S2445-A Hoylman-Sigal) in the state legislature:

“There are countless reasons to oppose physician-assisted suicide that have nothing to do with one’s religious beliefs.

“For one, the idea itself, while shrouded in warm euphemisms, involves asking a doctor to prescribe a lethal dose of chemicals whose sole purpose is to end a person’s life. As the Medical Society of the State of New York writes in opposing this bill, ‘physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia have not been part of the normative practice of modern medicine.’


Statement on Settlement of Sisters of Life Pregnancy Center Litigation

Date posted: November 9, 2023

In a settlement of a federal lawsuitSisters of Life v. McDonald, New York State has agreed to a court order protecting the Sisters from government intrusion into their religious ministry as part of a “pregnancy center study” law passed by the legislature and signed by Governor Hochul in 2022. The settlement was announced yesterday. The Sisters were represented by Becket, a prominent national religious liberty law firm.

Following is a statement by Kristen Curran, director of government relations for the New York State Catholic Conference:

“We join the Sisters of Life in giving thanks to God that New York State has agreed to exclude them from the anti-woman pregnancy center study. The agreed-upon court order correctly recognizes the rights of the Sisters to continue their invaluable and critical ministries.

“The Sisters of Life carry out beautiful and important work in their communities, offering women hope and help at a time when New York offers them darkness and death. Our pro-abortion politicians have so prioritized the practice that they now seek to eliminate any other option for women in crisis. The Sisters truly walk with moms in need as they help them to safely access the resources and guidance necessary to keep their babies and to thrive. 

“The disgraceful pregnancy center study bill was written out of a vindictive desire to eliminate any option for women other than the Planned Parenthood political machine. It weaponizes the Health Department against pro-life pregnancy centers and the women and babies they serve. It is horrifying that, at a time when the infant mortality rate is rising, New York State would expend a single penny to bring down resources that exist to help women keep their babies. 

“We celebrate with the Sisters of Life and continue to pray that the entire pregnancy center study will be abandoned, so that all of the people doing good work to serve women and babies may continue to do so without harassment.”

The New York State Catholic Conference represents the Catholic Bishops of New York State in public policy matters.

Statement on Passage of Abortion Telehealth Legislation

Date posted: June 21, 2023

Following is a statement by Kristen Curran, director of government relations, regarding the legisature’s passage of legislation (A1709, Reyes/S1066-B, Mayer) providing legal protections to health practitioners who prescribe abortion-inducing medication to out-of-state women.

Since Roe v. Wade was overturned, New York has sought to become the abortion capital of the United States. Despite allowing abortion until the moment of birth, the state has spent hundreds of millions of dollars and passed dubious legislation in an effort to present abortion as the best and only choice for mothers in crisis.

This legislation is nothing more than political pandering – eroding standards through which doctors can be held accountable in order to appear progressive on the issue of abortion. New York Should respect the laws of other states, just as other states should respect New York’s.

We continue to stand in solidarity with moms and babies by fighting for true support, in the form of improved maternity care, support for infants, and funding for safety net programs that might make women feel positioned to carry their pregnancies to term.

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.