USCCB General Assembly - 2014 November (Open Thread)

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) 2014 Fall General Assembly will take place in Baltimore November 10-13. You can access links to live video of the public sessions, related USCCB news releases and coverage from Catholic News Service on this page. Links to the agenda, speeches, votes and other material will be posted in the right hand column of this page:

Liturgical items top agenda at USCCB general meeting in Baltimore
By Mark Pattison Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) – Liturgical matters will take center stage on the agenda of action items at the fall general meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, to be held Nov. 10-13 in Baltimore.

There will be five liturgical items up for consideration. All are subject to amendments from bishops. All but one require approval of two-thirds of the bishops, followed by final approval from the Vatican.

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, who is president of the USCCB, will deliver his first presidential address. He was elected to a three-year term last November. As is customary, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, apostolic nuncio to the United States, also will address the assembly.

During the meeting, the bishops will choose a new secretary-elect for the USCCB, and vote for the chairmen-elect of five committees.

A number of presentations will be made, including one on underserved communities and Catholic schools, and another on a recent pilgrimage of prayer for peace in the Holy Land.

The bishops also will conduct the canonical consultation on the sainthood cause of Father Paul Wattson. Father Wattson was an Episcopal priest who co-founded the Society of the Atonement, also known as the Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Atonement, to further Christian unity. He was received into the Catholic Church as were all men and women in the society at the time, and devised the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, still observed each January.

On the first day of the meeting, the bishops will concelebrate Mass at the Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore in honor of the 225th anniversary of the establishment of the Archdiocese of Baltimore. Baltimore was the first diocese founded in the United States. The bishops had similarly marked the bicentennial of the U.S. hierarchy in 1989 with a Mass at the basilica.

The liturgical items up for consideration:

– A revised translation of the ritual book “Dedication of a Church and Altar,” used whenever a new church is built or when a new altar is made. The revised English translation incorporates the modifications from the Code of Canon Law as well as bringing the translation into conformity with the Roman Missal, Third Edition.

– A first-ever official English translation of the ritual book “Exorcisms and Related Supplications,” revised after the Second Vatican Council, and promulgated in Latin in 1999 with an amended version in 2004. The main part of this book is the rite of major exorcism and includes an introduction outlining criteria for its use, which is always the decision of the bishop alone. While this text affirms the reality of evil in the world, it even more so affirms the sovereignty of Jesus to overcome any and all evil.

– A supplement to the Liturgy of the Hours of an English translation of the prayers used for the feast days of saints who have been added to the general calendar since 1984.

– Modifications to the Revised Grail Psalms, originally approved in 2010 by the Vatican. The USCCB Committee on Divine Worship recommended improving the translation and its “sprung rhythm” to make proclamation and singing easier.

The fifth liturgy-related item would authorize rewriting for later approval guidelines from its 1995 document “Guidelines for the Celebration of the Sacraments with Persons with Disabilities” in light of medical developments and increased awareness of challenges faced by Catholics today, such as gluten intolerance, also known as celiac disease.

Other action items to be addressed by the bishops include the 2015 USCCB budget, the 2016 diocesan assessment, and a proposal to proceed on a revision to the “Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services.”

In USCCB elections, Archbishops Gregory M. Aymond of New Orleans and Timothy P. Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services have been nominated as secretary-elect. The five committees seeking chairmen-elect, and their bishop-nominees, are:

– Committee on Communications: Bishop William F. Murphy of Rockville Centre, New York, and Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas.

– Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church: Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller of San Antonio, and Bishop Joseph J. Tyson of Yakima, Washington.

– Committee on Doctrine: Bishop Robert J. McManus of Worcester, Massachusetts, and Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron of Detroit.

– Committee on National Collections: Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi of Mobile, Alabama, and Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento, California.

– Committee on Pro-Life Activities: Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York and Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles.

The secretary-elect and the chairmen-elect will serve one year in that capacity and then begin a three-year term.

The bishops also will vote on members for the board of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network and Catholic Relief Services, the USCCB’s international aid and development agency, as well as hear a presentation by Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the CRS board, and CRS president Carolyn Woo on CRS’ work on capacity building.

Other presentations scheduled for the USCCB meeting:

– Underserved communities and Catholic schools, presented by Archbishop George J. Lucas of Omaha, Nebraska, chairman of the Committee on Catholic Education, and Bishop Daniel E. Flores of Brownsville, Texas, chairman of the Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church.

– The pilgrimage of prayer for peace in the Holy Land, presented by Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace.

– USCCB engagement with the church in Africa, presented by Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington.

– The observance of the Year of Consecrated Life and the “Guidelines for the Reception of Ministers in the United States, Third Edition” and plans for their implementation, presented by Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Raleigh, North Carolina, chairman of the Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations.

– A status report on the 2013-16 USCCB strategic plan, “The New Evangelization: Faith, Worship, Witness,” presented by Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle, USCCB secretary,

– Separate reports by Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco, chairman of the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage; Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty; and the USCCB working group on the life and dignity of the human person.

The Pope will preside over the conference’s first morning session and he will deliver a twenty-five minute address in which he is expected to “revisit the controversies raised by [October’s Synod] from the perspective of how men and women relate to one another,” according to Crux’s Inés San Martín. Those calling for an end to the Pope’s silence during the Synod are sure to welcome confirmation of his conference participation.

The Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) will sponsor the half-week-long event. And, the Pontifical Councils for the Family, Interreligious Dialogue, and Promoting Christian Unity will co-sponsor it. The dicasteries’ leadership will attend and chair sessions of the conference.

During the morning session of November 17, German Cardinal Gerhard Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, will introduce Pope Francis. Swiss Cardinal Kurt Koch will chair that afternoon’s session. Koch replaced Cardinal Walter Kasper when Pope Benedict XVI named him the President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity in July 2010. Dr. Janne Haaland MatlÁry, former Secretary of State of the Kingdom of Norway, will deliver a presentation entitled “The Family: Still the Basic Unit of Society.” And, French Bishop Jean Lafitte, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Family and a professor at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute, will offer the afternoon session’s concluding presentation on “The Sacramentality of Human Love According to Saint John Paul II.”

On Tuesday, November 18, French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, will chair the morning session. The President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, Italian Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, will chair the afternoon’s session.

Spanish Jesuit Archbishop Luis Ladaria, Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, will chair the afternoon session on Wednesday, November 19. A theological conservative, Ladaria is a ranking member of the Vatican’s task force for dialogue with the Society of St. Pius X. That morning, conference participants will attend Pope Francis’ Wednesday General Audience.

At the conference’s conclusion, American Capuchin Archbishop Charles Chaput will deliver an intervention on the Eighth World Meeting of Families to be held in Philadelphia in September 2015. An hour-long “Declaration on Marriage” will be read at the close of the conference.

The content of that declaration is unknown. But, if the past is prologue, then one can make an educated guess about what it will contain. Here’s a tip: above all, look for clarity from Müller, Koch, Tauran, and Paglia. They participated in October’s Synod; they’re the principle sponsors of this conference.

I’m sorry, the above is an outline on the Vatican conference on marriage, I posted it in the wrong thread. Could a moderator please remove it :o

< The Vatican provided principles outlining how “to ensure that Catholic health care institutions neither cooperate immorally with the unacceptable procedures conducted in other health care entities with which they may be connected nor cause scandal as a result of their collaboration with such other entities.” The principles address matters such as decisions of hospital administrators regarding possible cooperative arrangements with non-Catholic entities; distinctions between formal and material cooperation with evil; and moral decision-making as it applies to joint actions with partners, boards and other bodies.

If a majority of the bishops present and voting at the meeting approve the proposal, the USCCB Committee on Doctrine will draft a revision to the directives for the full body of bishops to consider at a later general meeting. >

This article has false statements.

< Pope Francis rocked Catholics worldwide by suggesting the church should welcome the “gifts and qualities” of gay Catholics and calling on pastors to “avoid any language or behavior” that could be seen as discriminatory against divorced Catholics. >

The pope did not suggest these things,they were suggested by the writer of the mid-term report of the extraordinary synod and Cardinal Kaspar.

< Lori said bishops who attended the synod will report their experiences this week, but he described the hot-button issues in family-values terms.

“All of us are concerned about building up families, assisting the ones in difficulty. … While there was a certain amount of controversy [at the synod], those are very important concerns for all of us,” he said.

Such language didn’t surprise Mathew N. Schmalz, a professor of religious studies at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass.

American bishops, he said, have generally spent the last decade or so establishing their bona fides as conservative cultural warriors, and they’ve long been known to favor “unity, coherence and message” at the fall conference. >

The U.S. bishops have not established themselves as “conservative cultural warriors”. Many of them have not spoken much about Catholic moral doctrine regarding sexuality,and have not spoken out much against abortion,homosexuality and contraception.*

Whatever issues they tackle, they need to do their homework.

Don’t worry about it. :thumbsup:

The bishops voted on the following five liturgical items presented by the Committee on Divine Worship:

• A revised English translation of the ritual book, “Order of the Dedication of a Church and an Altar” was approved with 168 votes in favor, 6 against and 2 abstaining.

• The first official English translation of the ritual book, “Exorcisms and Related Supplications” was approved in a 179-5-2 vote.

• The bishops also **voted 167-34-2 to approve ** modifications to the “Revised Grail Psalter” including improving the translation to facilitate easier proclamation and singing.

• An English translation of the “Supplement to the Liturgy of the Hours” that includes prayers used for the feast days of saints who have been added to the General Calendar since 1984, was approved in a 210-2-0 vote.

These items, passed by two thirds of the Latin-rite bishops, will be sent to Rome for approval.

• The bishops also approved by a 207-1-1 vote, to begin the work on updates and revisions to the 1995 document “Guidelines for the Celebration of the Sacraments with Persons with Disabilities.”

The bishops also voted 213-2-1 in favor of pursuing a revision of Part Six of the “Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health care Services” to incorporate guidance the USCCB received from the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith last February. This action item was presented by the USCCB Committee on Doctrine.

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