News briefs - 05/16.2014

Immigrant rights groups decry DHS decision on driver’s licenses

A coalition of immigrant and civil rights groups strongly objected to a decision last week by federal officials to reject the proposed design for a California driver’s license for undocumented immigrants, which the U.S. Department of Homeland Security deemed not to be differentiated enough for security purposes from citizens’ licenses.

Washington authorities want the license to state on its face “that it is not acceptable for official federal purposes,” as opposed to the proposed design which carries a similarly-worded disclaimer on the back. The proposed front of the license has the initials “DP,” for Driving Privilege in contrast to citizens’ licenses which have “DL” for Driver’s License.

The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) was among the groups decrying the ruling on the initial design for driver’s licenses, which are scheduled to be issued by the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles no later than January 1, 2015.

“AB 60 was drafted in a balanced way, taking into account federal guidelines and our needs as a state,” said Joseph Villela, CHIRLA’s director of policy. “Pointedly, AB60 was approved by the California Legislature and signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown because it prohibits a rush to racial profiling.”

“We’re continuing to work with the DMV and state legislators on holding the line on making the license as free of discrimination as possible for undocumented people,” said Zach Hoover, executive director of LA VOICE, part of the PICO National Network.

“We’ve had extensive conversations with partner congregations who have undocumented members,” he noted. “They are willing to accept a license that is not exactly the same [as for citizens], but they are very concerned about discrimination, especially in areas targeting the undocumented,” such as cities that have not ended 30-day predatory impounds.

“We need to err on the side of safety,” added Hoover. “We don’t need any more families torn apart. The license should be a tool for integration, not discrimination. We want to do everything to mitigate against discrimination up front.”

On June 4, 6-8 p.m., Dolores Mission Church (171 S. Gless St., Los Angeles) will host a public meeting with DMV representative, Lizette Mata, who will discuss proposed regulations on eligibility and required documentation for a driver’s license under AB 60. On June 24, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., a public hearing to receive comments on the proposed regulations will take place in the Junipero Serra Building (Carmel Room), 320 W. Fourth St., Los Angeles.

—Paula Doyle


Bipartisan effort to support persecuted Christians launched

Over 200 Christian representatives from a variety of denominations have united in support of a bipartisan congressional initiative to support Christians facing persecution in Egypt, Iraq, and Syria.

The “Pledge of Solidarity & Call to Action on behalf of Christians and other Small Religious Communities in Egypt, Iraq and Syria,” was launched May 7 by Reps. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) and Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.).

The initiative was started to address the silence facing Christians in the Middle East “facing an existential threat to their  presence in the lands where Christianity has its roots” due to “abuse and injustice from extremist Islamic forces.”

“Recognizing the spiritual, humanitarian and geopolitical implications of this historic flight, we have joined together to affirm our moral obligation to speak and act in defense of religious freedom for all human beings,” the pledge stated.

The document explained the violence and persecution facing Christians in countries throughout the Middle East, particularly in Egypt, Iraq, and Syria, where Christian refugees have fled due to persecution.


Religious leaders can help counter Boko Haram, U.S. bishops say

U.S. bishops have urged their government to partner with both Christians and Muslims in the country to counter Boko Haram while denouncing the “heinous” kidnapping of schoolgirls in Nigeria.

“Building unity among all Nigerians will help build peace and prosperity for all,” Des Moines Bishop Richard Pates told National Security Adviser Susan Rice in a May 9 letter.

“I am encouraged that the United States Government has taken additional measures to help the Nigerian government bring perpetrators to justice,” continued Bishop Pates, who is chair of the U.S. bishops’ international justice and peace committee.

Members of the radical Islamist group Boko Haram kidnapped nearly 300 girls, most of them aged between 16 and 18, April 14 from their boarding school in Borno, Nigeria’s northeastern-most state. All but 53 of the girls, who escaped, are still in the hands of their captors.


Pope’s trip to Holy Land a historic milestone, ambassador says

During a press briefing on Pope Francis’ upcoming trip to the Holy Land, the Israeli Ambassador to the Holy See explained that the visit marks an important historical moment both spiritually and politically.

“It will be another milestone of historical importance not only in the relations between Israel and the Holy See, but also between the Catholic Church and the Jewish people,” Dr. Zion Evrony observed in his May 13 address to diplomats and journalists.

“All Israelis, regardless of their religious affiliation, are looking forward to greeting Pope Francis and his delegation with an open heart and most warmly. He will be an honored guest. He will be welcomed as a true friend of the Jewish people.”

Dr. Evrony is the sixth Israeli ambassador to the Holy See following the initiation of diplomatic relations in 1994, and originally presented his credentials to retired pontiff Benedict XVI in 2012.

Noting how he has already met with Pope Francis several times, Dr. Evrony revealed that each time he greets the pontiff with the common phrase “Shalom,” the pope replies to him in Hebrew.

The Tidings will be reporting from the Holy Land during the pope’s trip. Get updates on Twitter @thetidingsnews and check for regular updates.


Seeking the face of God in the Scriptures

Archbishop José H. Gomez

Prayer is seeking the face of God. The Catechism of the Catholic Church recalls the story of how St. John Vianney once found a peasant praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament. The saint asked him what he was doing, and the man replied: “I look at him and he looks at me.”


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February 13, 2016

  • Saturday, February 13

    World Day of the Sick Mass, Mass and Anointing of the Sick, 12:30 p.m., Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels,  555 W Temple St, Los Angeles. Archbishop Gomez presiding with other bishops and priests. Special section designated for those in wheelchairs with volunteers available to help. Limited parking available for $8. Carpooling is encouraged. For more info: Chuck Huebner at cjhuebner or Jim LoCoco at



    Bosco Tech’s Yurak Memorial Run & Kids’ Fun Run, Check in begins at 8 a.m., Memorial Run at 9 a.m., Fun Run at 10 a.m., Bosco Tech, 1151 San Gabriel Blvd., Rosemead. Race registration is $35 per person. For school groups of 10 or more, the cost is $30. To register online, go to or; same-day registration available at check-in table. Included: racing fees, finisher medal, goodie bag and BBQ lunch. Plaques will be awarded to the top five male and female runners and to the fastest runner under 18.All proceeds to benefit Bosco Tech’s Yurak Athletic Center (YAC). 


    Cabrini Literary Guild “Sweetheart Bingo” Meeting, Sat., Feb.13 at Oakmont Country Club, 3100 Country Club Drive, Glendale. Meeting starts at 11 a.m., lunch at 12 p.m. ($30/person), and bingo social at 1 p.m. Bingo cards are $5 each, or $20 for five cards. For reservations, call (818) 790-3485.


    Footprints: Making Tracks for Neighbors in Need, 8:30 - 11:30 a.m., Bishop Amat High School track, 14301 Fairgrove Ave., La Puente. Catholic Charities San Gabriel Region will present this annual walk/run fundraiser to increase awareness about poverty, hunger and homelessness in the San Gabriel Region. Proceeds benefit those lacking basic needs, such as food, clothing, transportation and shelter. This is a come anytime, leave anytime event, with the first lap around the track to be led by Bishop David O'Connell. For more information, visit or contact Mary Romero at (213) 251-3582 or

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