NM Bishops Nav
NM Conference of Catholic Bishops
About the NMCCB
Bishops' Biographies
Policy for Political Campaign Activities
2015 Legislative Session
2015 Issues, Legislation & Updates
Find Your Legislators
Take Action!
Other Links
USCCB: Faithful Citizenship Faithful Citizenship



St. Francis of Assisi

"Lord, make me an instrument of your peace."
- St. Francis of Assisi


2014 Legislative Session Wrap Up
By Allen Sánchez, Executive Director, New Mexico Conference of Catholic Bishops

The legislative session has come and gone and we witnessed victories and defeats. Above all, the lack of prolife legislation being introduced was the greatest defeat. No legislators introduced “bills” nor did the governor write a “message” which would have made prolife germane to the session.

A proposal very supported by the public failed to be placed on the November ballot for the people to make our youngest children a priority, a Constitutional Amendment to invest one percent of the land grant fund failed to pass one committee. With New Mexico ranking 50th in children’s well-being this issue has become the decisive issue of our time. We all read often about the sad situation our children are in.

Our children deserve to be number one, but they are not. New Mexican children are dead last in well-being. This translates into poor health, low performance in school, and a life in poverty. The bishops of New Mexico will continue to make children the centerpiece of the Catholic church’s policy agenda.

The state law that allows qualifying immigrants to get driver’s licenses was upheld. This protects the community and makes everyone safer. Children deserve to be driven in a car by a licensed person who has passed a driver’s test and eye exam. The driver should know the rules of the road.

The state legislature passed a state budget but fell short of funding the waiting lists of children, toddler and infant programs. Those waiting lists for services have now been turned into ‘NO’ lists. Once again, at the end of the legislative session the children of New Mexico have been left behind only to find themselves on ‘no’ lists and ranking 50th in the USA for well-being.

13.12.13 Statement on Assisted Suicide More>


UPDATE: August 15, 2011
LICENSES FOR ALL DRIVERS: A MATTER OF MERCY, FAIRNESS, AND SAFETY: We strongly support the positive impact that immigrants have made in our state and nation while, at the same time, we recognize the right of our country to regulate its own borders and to control international immigration. Those controls, however, should be influenced by a sense of justice and mercy in light of the God-given right of people to migrate when faced with grave social or economic dangers.

Importante: 15 de agosto 2011
LICENCIAS PARA TODOS LOS CONDUCTORES: UNA CUESTION DE PIEDAD, JUSTICIA Y SEGURIDAD:Nosotros apoyamos fuertemente el impacto positivo que los inmigrantes han hecho a nuestro estado y nuestra nación, aunque al mismo tiempo nosotros reconocemos el derecho de nuestro país para regular sus fronteras y para controlar la inmigración internacional. Sin embargo, estos controles deberían ser influenciados por un sentido de justicia y piedad en la luz del derecho que otorgó Dios a la gente a migrar cuando experimenten un grave peligro social o peligros económicos.
Más >



2011 Legislative Wrap Up Report
The Bishops of New Mexico were looking for wins in prolife legislation. Unfortunately, no proposed legislation to protect unborn life of a person will become law this year. Many attempts to organize a maneuver to move parental notification to a vote of the full Senate and full House of Representatives never materialized despite having a majority in both chambers in favor of “parental notification”.  Most people are shocked to know that in the State of New Mexico, a 12 or 13 year old girl can be taken off school grounds to an abortion clinic for an abortion and the parents do not have to be notified. More> 2011 Legislative Wrap Up

Wednesday, March 17, 2011: The New Mexico Conference of Catholic Bishops asks you to make this call NOW.
Please support the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, known as the “Little Isaac Bill,” HB 30.  This bill would make the killing of an unborn child as a result of violence toward the mother a crime.
This bill just made it out of the Senate Public Affairs Committee, and we are trying to get the Chair of the Senate Judiciary to hear it this afternoon.
Please call Senator Richard C. Martinez, (D-Los Alamos, Rio Arriba & Santa Fe-Dist. 5) at the Capitol Phone, 505.986.4487

  1. Thank him for his support of this bill.
  2. Ask him to hear this bill today in the Judiciary Committee.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011: The New Mexico Conference of Catholic Bishops needs YOUR help! NM Bishops, Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan, Bishop Ricardo Ramirez, and Bishop James S. Wall are asking you to call the senators and ask them to vote for the COMPROMISE of HB78 as amended in the Senate Judiciary that will continue to issue drivers licenses to undocumented immigrants.  This will require a renewal every two years and will toughen the penalty for fraud. Please contact your senator and tell them you support these bills.


Monday, February 28, 2011: We are asking you to contact your legislator to support a whole body vote on the "Parental Notification Act" (House Bill 229/Senate Bill 230) and the "Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act"  (House Bill 179/Senate Bill 222) scheduled to take place tomorrow, Tuesday, March 1, 2011.
Good news:  "The Land Grant Permanent Fund Distribution" bill (SJR10), which would amend the New Mexico Constitution to require a portion of the increased distribution to be used for early childhood education programs, has made it out of the Senate Judiciary Committee.  We now need you to call the Senate Finance Committee to voice your support for this amendment!  Please contact your legislator, specifically Sen. Mary Kay Papen, Sen. Howie C. Morales, and Sen. Sue Wilson Beffort, and tell them you support these bills.
As far as the "Guest Driver's Permit" Bill (House Bill 401), the New Mexico Conference of Catholic Bishops are currently negotiating it and are asking for your prayers.


The NM Conference of Catholic Bishops need your voice!  Please join us February 16 & 17 at the State Capitol or contact your legislator:
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 8:00 am - We support SJR10
The hearing for SJR10 (Senate Joint Resolution 10) requests an increased distribution from the permanent school fund to be used for early childhood education programs.  We are IN FAVOR of this!  For detailed information, click here.
Thursday, February 17, 2011 at 1:30 pm - We support HB229
House Consumer & Public Affairs will meet on the PARENTAL NOTICE OF ABORTION ACT (House Bill 229).  The sponsor of this bill is Rep. Alonzo Baldonado.  We are IN FAVOR of this!  For detailed information, click here.


2011 House and Senate Bill Numbers have been assigned:
SB 222 - Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act
HB 179 - Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act
SB 230 - Parental Notification Act
You can get more information and follow the progress of these bills by visiting the website www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/ and clicking on "2011 Bill Locator" on the right side of the page.

Death Penalty - A Bad Idea by Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan: Governor Susana Martinez has expressed her desire that the death penalty be reintroduced in the State of New Mexico for certain crimes. I believe that repealing the repeal of the death penalty would be a step backwards for our State. More>Death Penalty

NMCCB 2011 New Mexico Legislative Agenda
The 2011 Legislative Agenda of the New Mexico Conference of Catholic Bishops is as follows: Life, being the greatest gift from God, is top priority, as is concern for the poor. The Bishops support the passage of

    • “Parental notification” for a minor to have an abortion,
    • Ban on abortions after 20 weeks. Because of new research, we are able to argue that children in the womb feel full human pain after 20 weeks gestation.  Thus, we support the legislation scheduled to be introduced to ban abortions after 20 weeks.
      • (NB - The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: "Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law" (No. 2271),  the United States Supreme Court ruling allows some regulations limiting abortion.  We fully support  the ban on late-term abortion.
    • Invest in Kids Now
      Celebrates early childhood and brings attention to the urgent need to get children on the path to success. For further information contact Miguel Gomez at 505.924.8000 mgomez@investinkids.org
    • Farm worker-workman’s compensation
    • Funding for social programs for the poor (ex. School breakfast for poor children)
    • Support for tuition scholarship tax credits
    • The Bishops will oppose bills that cut funding to children’s programs, cut benefits to the poor, establish food tax, or create domestic partnership.
    We invite you to join us as Catholic citizens and become informed about the issues, then make "our voices" heard as well as the voices of those who can't speak for themselves.

Welcome to the New Mexico Conference of Catholic Bishops and the 2011 New Mexico Legislative Session More>

Bishops' Statements

10.04.26 New Mexico Catholic Bishops Speak Out Against Arizona's New Immigration Law Arizona's New Immigration Law

10.01.20 Statement of the New Mexico Catholic Bishops on Domestic Partnership  Domestic Partnership

09.03.28 New Mexico Repeals Death Penalty NM Repeals Death Penalty

NM Catholic Conference of Bishops' Press Conference On Embryonic Stem Cell Research
Thursday, January 25, 2007 at 2:30 PM Stem Cell Research

Pastoral Statement on Immigration Reform 2006

Bishops Support 2005 Crime/Family Restitution Program 2005   Crime Family Restitution

Catholic Conference Provides A Catholic View to Election 2002  (En Español)

Statement to the Interfaith Climate Change Training Event 2000

Environment Partnership For the Future 1998

Call to Prison Reform in New Mexico 1997

Toward a More Humane Corrections System 1996

NM Catholic Conference Opposes Death Penalty 1995