Welcome and Justice for Persons with Disabilities: A Framework of Access and Inclusion

Welcome and Justice pamphlet
A Statement of the U.S. Bishops

"Since the parish is the door to participation in the Christian experience, it is the responsibility of both pastors and laity to assure that those doors are always open. Costs must never be the controlling consideration limiting the welcome offered to those among us with disabilities since the provision of access to religious functions is a pastoral duty (6)."
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Guidelines for the Celebration of the Sacraments with Persons with Disabilities

Photo of clergy member holding a Chalice
Approved by the U.S. Bishops

"When persons with disabilities are embraced and welcomed, and invited to participate fully in all aspects of parish community life, the Body of Christ is more complete. The Church owes persons with disabilities her best efforts in order to ensure that they are able to hear the Gospel of Christ, receive the sacraments, and grow in their faith in the fullest and richest manner possible (Paragraph 59)."
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Published in 1995, revised in 2017

NCPD Board Affirmation of Pastoral Statement of U.S. Catholic Bishops on Persons with Disabilities

Child bringing the gifts to the altar during Mass

"We further acknowledge that every Christian receives a divine call to service and fraternal love within the faith community. As members of the Body of Christ, persons with disabilities have the proper right to be active participants in the life of the Church. We recognize that the bare assertion and protection of rights can become a sterile exercise whenever it lacks the Christian presumption of our common call to friendship with one another in Christ. For these reasons, we seek to foster the full and meaningful participation of individuals with disabilities in the life of their parish communities by offering NCPD resources and training to assist diocesan efforts to educate clergy, pastoral staff, and lay leaders to further their outreach to and support of parishioners with disabilities in every aspect of parish life."
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Published in 2018