SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The Catholic bishops of California are backing proposed ballot measures to require parental notification before a minor's abortion and to end use of the death penalty in the state.
The endorsement, contained in a statement posted Jan. 10 on the website of the California Catholic Conference, marks a departure from the bishops' long-standing policy of not taking a stand on potential initiatives until they have qualified for the state ballot.
But the "convergence" of the two proposed initiatives presents "a unique teaching moment on life and family," the bishops said.
"These two initiatives have appeared at the same time on the political landscape and bring into sharp focus important moral issues, namely our society's treatment of nascent life, family life and even a sinful or errant life," they added. "In keeping with our fundamental principles, we believe that social policy should respect and support the role of parents in caring for their children. Justice should uphold human dignity as it protects the community."