January 16, 2023

Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

In observance of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, we reflect on how we are all called to “create a community built upon justice and fraternal love.”

“Even in this wealthy nation, committed by its Founding Fathers to the dignity and equality of all persons, the black community suffers a disproportionate share of economic deprivation. Far too many of your young people receive less than an equal opportunity for a quality education and for gainful employment. The Church must continue to join her efforts with the efforts of others who are working to correct all imbalances and disorders of a social nature. Indeed, the Church can never remain silent in the face of injustice, wherever it is clearly present.


In the most difficult hours of your struggle for civil rights amidst discrimination and oppression, God himself guided your steps along the way of peace. Before the witness of history the response of non-violence stands, in the memory of this nation, as a monument of honour to the black community of the United States. Today as we recall those who with Christian vision opted for non-violence as the only truly effective approach for ensuring and safeguarding human dignity, we cannot but think of the Reverend Dr Martin Luther King, Jr, and of the providential role he played in contributing to the rightful human betterment of black Americans and therefore to the improvement of American society itself.” – Saint John Paul II (1987)



“In today’s world, which increasingly faces the challenges of social injustice, division and conflict that hinder the realization of the common good, Dr. King’s dream of harmony and equality for all people, attained through nonviolent and peaceful means, remains ever timely. ‘Each one of us is called to be an artisan of peace, by uniting and not dividing, by extinguishing hatred and not holding on to it, by opening paths of dialogue’ (Fratelli Tutti, 284). In this way we will be able to see ourselves, not as ‘others’, but as neighbors, in the truth of our shared dignity as children of Almighty God. Only by striving daily to put this vision into practice can we work together to create a community built upon justice and fraternal love.” – Pope Francis (2021)


“Beyond remembering and quoting Dr. King today, we must act to address racial disparities in the criminal justice system, access to affordable housing and healthcare, and economic opportunities. The USCCB continues to support policy changes in these areas of society.” Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (2023)

Updates from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

Women and Children: In addition to retaining the long-standing, bipartisan pro-life appropriations riders, the recently passed federal omnibus bill included three bi-partisan provisions that will assist pregnant and parenting women and their children:


  • The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, a USCCB-endorsed bill that requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to workers with medical needs due to pregnancy or childbirth.
  • The PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act, a USCCB-endorsed bill that requires employers to extend simple accommodations, such as a reasonable break time and a place other than a bathroom, for mothers to express breastmilk at their places of employment. 
  • A USCCB, CCUSA, and CHA-supported provision that requires 12 months of continuous coverage for children enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP and makes the state option to provide 12 months of continuous coverage during the postpartum period permanent.


Born-Alive Act: Bishops' Pro-Life Chairman Commends House for Passing "Born-Alive" Bill


Religious Freedom: Cardinal Dolan on Religious Freedom Day: There Is No Freedom Without the Truth

WCC 2023 Public Policy Positions

The WCC's 2023 Public Policy Positions are designed to inform state legislators, policy makers, and other interested parties about the Church's public policy positions and the principles that undergird them.

2023-24 Legislature and Citizen Resources

To find out who your legislators are, go to the Wisconsin State Legislature's home page and enter your address under Who Are My Legislators. Other legislative resources include:

You can also follow state government by tuning in to WisconsinEye, the independent, nonpartisan news service that provides uncut video coverage of state government proceedings.

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