Members of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) from around the country, including Bishop David Walkowiak and Bishop emeritus Walter Hurley, are meeting Nov. 11-13 in Baltimore for their annual fall general assembly. A priority of their agenda was the election of a new president, vice president, and committee chairs.
U.S. bishops elect new president and vice president at fall general assembly (Nov. 12)
U.S. bishops elect conference secretary, chairmen and chairmen-elect of six committees at fall general assembly (Nov. 12)
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During the meeting, the bishops also:
- Heard from the Papal Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Christophe Pierre as well as from Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston, who gave his final address as USCCB president.
- Received a report from the National Advisory Council, a group created by the USCCB comprised of religious and lay people. The council’s work is to review, discuss and advise the bishops on the agenda items from Administrative Committee meetings which may be coming before the full USCCB for action at the annual fall assembly.
- Voted on the sixth edition of the Program of Priestly Formation, for use in dioceses throughout the United States.
- Voted on whether to approve a letter and five video scripts to supplement “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,” their teaching document on political responsibility of Catholics.
- Latin Church bishops and archbishops voted to approve two translations by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy for use in dioceses of the U.S.: (1) a translation of the Order of Christian Initiation of Adults as the base text for a future edition of this rite, and (2) a translation of the Hymns of the Liturgy of the Hours.
- The Subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs of the Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church will request the authorization of the full body of bishops to lead the process of developing a new formal statement and comprehensive vision for Hispanic/Latino ministry in response to the V Encuentro process. The intention is to finalize the statement and vision for approval by the bishops during the next USCCB strategic planning cycle, 2021-2024.
- Voted on the Revised Strategic Priorities for the USCCB’s 2021-2024 Strategic Plan, as well as the proposed budgets for 2020.
- Voted to elect the new Board of Directors of Catholic Relief Services.
- Heard an update on progress toward establishing a nationwide, third-party reporting system for abuse or misconduct by bishops. This new national reporting system would not replace systems already in place in every diocese for the reporting of abuse by priests.
In June, the USCCB launched a new website highlighting the importance of prevention, protection and accountability in response to the ongoing effort to eradicate clergy sexual abuse. This new site serves as a resource detailing the steps the American bishops are taking to confront this crisis. Visit the website at: usccbprevention.org