In late 2004, Virginia’s Catholic bishops founded the Virginia Catholic Conference to represent them and their dioceses of Arlington and Richmond by advocating for public policy that reflects natural law, advances human dignity and serves the common good. The Conference primarily addresses policy issues considered by the Virginia General Assembly and state agencies. In addition, the Conference supports the efforts of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, which addresses federal policy issues considered by the U.S. Congress and executive branch in Washington, D.C.
What We Do
Led by Diocese of Arlington Bishop Michael F. Burbidge and Diocese of Richmond Bishop Barry C. Knestout, the Conference advocates for:
Respect life initiatives that protect human life and dignity in every stage of development and circumstance, from conception until natural death.
Social justice initiatives that protect the rights and serve the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable members of the human family, including children, the elderly, people with disabilities, immigrants and refugees.
Family life and education initiatives that preserve and support religious liberty, the institution of marriage as the union of one man and one woman, the family and parental choice in their children’s education.
How We Do It
The Conference advocates by:
Building and maintaining relationships with state and federal lawmakers, as well as other advocacy organizations with shared interests.
Supporting diocesan efforts by providing resources that apply Church teaching to current issues.
Promoting grassroots and grasstops advocacy among Catholics and other people of goodwill. This includes using the VCC email advocacy network and in-person advocacy, such as visits to legislators’ district or capital city offices.
Communicating regularly with parishes and Catholic entities, as well as Catholic and secular print, electronic and social media.
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