Statements and Documents

Joint Statement of the Spiritual Leaders of the Roman Catholic Dioceses of South Dakota on Ballot Measure to Legalize Marijuana

Joint Statement of the Spiritual Leaders of the Roman Catholic Dioceses of South Dakota on Ballot Measure to Legalize Marijuana

Frontpage News, Joint Statements, Statements and Documents
June 6, 2024 On June 3, 2024, the South Dakota Secretary of State certified for the November general election ballot an initiated measure that would legalize the use, possession, and distribution of marijuana (cannabis) for so-called “recreational” purposes. The proposal has been designated as Initiated Measure 29. As Christians we must carefully consider how “recreational” marijuana legalization will affect the welfare of individuals and the common good. As spiritual leaders, desiring that every person in our state experience well-being in mind, body and spirit, we share this resource with the hope that it may shed light on how we can support human flourishing, and avoid that which brings harm to others and the common good. There is a widespread perception in society today that marijuana is a harmless drug. This…
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Joint Statement of the Spiritual Leaders of the Roman Catholic Dioceses of South Dakota on Certification of Abortion Amendment

Joint Statement of the Spiritual Leaders of the Roman Catholic Dioceses of South Dakota on Certification of Abortion Amendment

Frontpage News, Joint Statements, Statements and Documents
May 21, 2024 Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, On May 16, 2024, the South Dakota Secretary of State certified for the November 5, 2024 election ballot a proposed constitutional amendment that would legalize abortion through all nine months of pregnancy. The Secretary has designated the proposal as Amendment G. This amendment would overturn dozens of pro-life laws in South Dakota that protect preborn children and their mothers from the dangers of abortion. The certification decision may be challenged in court due to irregularities in the petition circulation process, some of which were previously identified by the state attorney general. If a legal challenge ensues, we should pray that it results in the removal of this extreme measure from the ballot, given the threat it poses to South Dakota’s most…
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Statement of the Bishops of South Dakota – Joint Letter of Fiducia Supplicans

Statement of the Bishops of South Dakota – Joint Letter of Fiducia Supplicans

Frontpage News, Joint Statements, Statements and Documents
December 22, 2023 Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, We have received a number of inquiries from the faithful concerning Fiducia Supplicans, a Vatican document published Monday on the topic of blessings. It specifically discusses the offering of a blessing by a priest to persons living in situations of unrepentant serious sin, such as same-sex sexual relationships, fornication, or adultery. Blessings can have a liturgical or ritual expression (e.g., the blessing of the sick or the blessing of an altar), while others remain less formal (e.g., the prayer before meals or a parent’s blessing of their children at bedtime). Blessings can be used to seek God’s protection against evil, to set things aside for the worship of God (e.g., the blessing of a chalice), or to ask God’s favor or…
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Statement of the Bishops of South Dakota on the Anniversary of the Overturning of Roe v. Wade

Statement of the Bishops of South Dakota on the Anniversary of the Overturning of Roe v. Wade

Frontpage News, Joint Statements, Statements and Documents
June 24, 2023 “For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy.” (Luke 1:44) Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ: On this occasion of the first anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, we write to exhort the Catholic faithful and all persons of good will to reflect on our shared responsibility to protect all vulnerable human life, most especially our preborn brothers and sisters. The Dobbs decision, as we stated one year ago, represents a “giant leap forward toward the ultimate goal of protecting each and every life from the beginning of its existence.” The Supreme Court, by overturning the Roe v. Wade decision of 1973, has finally allowed South Dakota…
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PES and Propaedeutic Announcement

PES and Propaedeutic Announcement

Frontpage News, Joint Statements, Statements and Documents
June 21, 2023 Memorial of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, Religious Dear Friends in Christ, I am pleased to announce movements within our diocese that will allow us to continue to grow in missionary discipleship and holiness. First, in 2021 God blessed us by sending members of the religious community of Pro Ecclesia Sancta (PES), whose name means “for the holiness of the Church.” With two PES priests serving in Mitchell, and PES sisters and a men’s formation house with a PES priest and PES brothers in the Sioux Falls area great things have been happening. While the PES sisters will remain in Sioux Falls, the PES leaders have discerned that the PES priest and brothers in the formation house should move to Mitchell to be closer to the PES priests and…
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St. Patrick Absolution Decree

St. Patrick Absolution Decree

Statements and Documents
The optional March 17 memorial to Saint Patrick falls on a Friday this year, a day of abstinence from meat during the season of Lent. Part of the celebration of this great saint is often a meal which includes meat, specifically a traditional Irish fare which includes corned beef. Inquiry has been made of whether in honor of the saint a dispensation might be granted from the obligatory day of abstinence. I hereby decree that those who participate in an event remembering Saint Patrick where meat is served are dispensed from the obligation to abstain from meat with the proviso that another form of penance be undertaken on that day.For those who do not participate in such a memorial to Saint Patrick the day of abstinence remains as a sign of the penitential call of Lent.Saint Patrick, pray…
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Respect Life month

Respect Life month

Statements and Documents
Memorial of Our Lady of the RosaryDear Brothers and Sisters,How fitting it is that October, designated “Respect Life Month,” opens with the feast of St. Therese of Lisieux. Known by her nickname, the Little Flower, because she humbly considered herself one of the smallest flowers in God’s garden, St. Therese died at the young age of 24. Despite her short and hidden life as a cloistered contemplative sister, she became a great Doctor of the Church because of her insight that all persons can become holy by doing the smallest of things with great love. St. Therese’s “Little Way” is a testimony to the great value of each and every human life, even those with little or no value in the eyes of the world. Created in the image of…
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Gifts of the Divine Creator: on being Male and Female

Gifts of the Divine Creator: on being Male and Female

Statements and Documents
Memorial of Saint John Vianney To all Catholic Faithful of the Diocese, God’s love, by its very nature, seeks the good of others through a communion of loving friendship. God created human beings with unique and complementary features as males and females. God’s love, reflected in the very order of his creation, is generative. By leading us into a communion of friendship with himself and others, divine love fulfills what we most long for. In baptism we are blessed with the very gift of God’s own spiritual life. Created in God’s image and likeness, and with the help of the grace we receive through the sacraments, we can truly live as we were made to live, sharing in the communion of loving friendship with God and others. When we receive…
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Statement of the Bishops of South Dakota on the U.S. Supreme Court’s Abortion Ruling

Statement of the Bishops of South Dakota on the U.S. Supreme Court’s Abortion Ruling

Joint Statements
June 24, 2022 Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court released its decision in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The court’s majority overturned its prior rulings in the cases of Roe v. Wade (1973) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), which asserted that a right to abortion exists in the U.S. constitution. The Dobbs ruling is a momentous decision that will once again allow the sanctity of life to be protected by law. We are grateful for this decision. It honors this country’s highest aspirations to be a society that secures “liberty and justice for all.” From the moment of conception, there exists a whole, separate, unique human life with an immortal soul given by God. This life is…
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Statement of the Bishops of South Dakota Regarding Covid-19 Vaccination Requirements

Statement of the Bishops of South Dakota Regarding Covid-19 Vaccination Requirements

Joint Statements
We have recently received a significant number of inquiries from the faithful concerning general requirements for some persons to receive a Covid-19 vaccination.We addressed many moral aspects of choosing a vaccine in a statement on December 30, 2020. As we said then, one may accept Covid-19 vaccines in good conscience if certain conditions are met, but doing so is not a universal moral duty. We echoed the Vatican, which explained in a doctrinal note that “practical reason makes evident that vaccination is not, as a rule, a moral obligation.” Rather, with attention to the common good, the decision to receive a Covid-19 vaccination should be discerned in light of many factors, several of which we described in that statement.Now, recent inquiries from the faithful raise the corollary question of whether…
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