SC Catholic Conference will make a legislative impact

Sometimes Catholics in the state feel like their voices go unheard on important legislative matters, but there is a way to change that.

Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone recently approved the creation of the South Carolina Catholic Conference and Michael Acquilano, director, said they are already making an impact.

The conference is a public policy organization that makes sure faith is represented effectively on all matters of import, such as pro-life issues, marriage and education.

“The goal is to bring zeal to the pews and get people engaged,” Acquilano said, adding that they are guided by the Gospel and the teachings of the Catholic Church.

It’s easy to become involved. Simply visit and register.

People will have the opportunity to choose the topics they are most passionate about, and will then receive email updates on anything that impacts those issues.

For example, someone concerned about immigration will be updated on all state and federal government policies that affect immigration, and directed to the appropriate legislators to lend the power of their voice in either support or opposition.

Catholic conferences are found in almost every state and can directly impact votes important to the Church. For example, in Massachusetts, the conference was key in defeating that state’s assisted suicide bill.

Acquilano said the Catholic community in South Carolina has already demonstrated a strong voice, lending support to the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would extend protection to unborn children who have reached 20 weeks fetal age.

The act was passed by the S.C. Senate Committee by an 8-6 vote on May 2 and is expected to come before the full Senate by the end of May.

And the more people involved, the louder the voice.

“Imagine if I had 50,000 or 100,000 people across the state that I could turn to,” Acquilano said.

The Catholic conference could make the difference in other issues currently being debated by the state legislature, including school choice and sex education.

Acquilano said members of the conference will receive newsletters and have access to video updates. They can also join the Facebook page for community sharing.

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