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Amended Release: At Annual Fall Assembly in Baltimore, U.S. Bishops Approve Action Items on Their Agenda
Posted on 11/13/2019 23:36 PM (USCCB News Releases)
The following press release has been amended to include the correct names of the CRS Board. The error in the initial release was an oversight of the public affairs team.
BALTIMORE— The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) meeting this week for their Fall General Assembly in Baltimore have voted on nine action items.
The bishops voted to approve the 6th edition of the Program of Priestly Formation for use in the dioceses of the United States with 226 votes in favor, 4 against, and 3 abstentions. The vote required affirmation by two-thirds of the Conference membership and is subject to recognitio by the Vatican Congregation for Clergy.
The Latin Church members of the USCCB voted to approve two translations by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL). The first vote on a translation of the Order of Christian Initiation of Adults as the base text for a future edition of this rite in the dioceses of the United States was approved with 217 votes in favor, 3 against, and 3 abstentions. The vote required affirmation by two-thirds of the Latin Church members and is subject to confirmatio and recognitio by the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. The second vote on a translation of the Hymns of the Liturgy of the Hours for use in the dioceses of the United States was approved with 205 votes in favor, 5 against, and 2 abstentions. The vote required affirmation by two-thirds of the Latin Church members and is subject to confirmatio by the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.
In other items the bishops approved:
• A short letter and five short video scripts to supplement Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, the bishops’ teaching document for the faithful on the political responsibility of Catholics. The short letter was approved 207-24 with 5 abstentions; the vote on the video scripts was 227-5 in favor with 4 abstentions.
• In a vote of 220 to 7 with 2 abstentions, the body of bishops voted to approve the Conference’s Subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs to lead the process of developing a new comprehensive vision for Hispanic/Latino ministry in response to the V Encuentro process.
• The bishops voted with 211 in favor, 11 against and 1 abstention of approval of the 2020 proposed budget, presented by the Committee on Budget and Finance.
• The results of the vote by diocesan and eparchial bishops for a three percent increase in the diocesan assessment for 2021, was 111 to 55, which fell short of the necessary majority. Ballots will be mailed to bishops not present in order to have a conclusive vote.
• The full body of bishops also approved the Revised Strategic Priorities for the 2021-24 USCCB Strategic Plan by a vote of 214 to 4 with 2 abstentions.
• By a voice vote of the majority of members present and voting, the bishops also approved to support the request of Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon asking the Holy Father to name Saint Irenaeus a Doctor of the Church.
• The bishops also elected the following members to the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Board of Directors: Bishop Frank J. Caggiano of Bridgeport, Bishop Mark J. Seitz of El Paso, and Bishop Anthony B. Taylor of Little Rock.
Keywords: USCCB, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Fall General Assembly, November meeting, Baltimore, Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, CCLV, Program of Priestly Formation, Divine Workshop, ICEL Gray Book, #USCCB19, Catholic Relief Services, Strategic Plan, Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, Saint Irenaeus.
U.S. Bishops Vote for Conference Secretary, Chairman and Chairmen-elect of Six Committees at Fall General Assembly in Baltimore
Posted on 11/12/2019 07:50 AM (USCCB News Releases)
BALTIMORE—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) have elected a new secretary for the Conference, as well as a chairman of the Committee for Religious Liberty, and chairman-elect of five additional standing committees at their Fall General Assembly in Baltimore.
During their morning session, the bishops elected Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles as president of the conference and Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron of Detroit as vice president. Both the new president and vice president begin their terms at the conclusion of this year’s General Assembly. Archbishop Vigneron has served as the Conference secretary since 2018 and will vacate that office upon assuming the vice presidency. In order to accommodate this leadership change, the bishops voted for a new Conference secretary in the afternoon session. Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the Military Services, USA was elected secretary of Conference in a 112-87 vote over Bishop Daniel E. Thomas of Toledo.
Bishop George V. Murry, SJ of Youngstown was elected as chairman of the Committee for Religious Liberty in a 121-121 vote over Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami and fills the vacancy created earlier this year after the committee chairman stepped down due to health reasons. The tie vote resulted in deference to Bishop Murray by nature of age seniority; he assumes his post at the end of this year’s Fall General Assembly and will serve through November 2021 at which time he will be eligible for re-election.
The remaining five will serve for one year as chairmen-elect before beginning a three-year term at the conclusion of the bishops’ 2020 Fall General Assembly. The bishops elected as chairmen-elect are:
Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki of Milwaukee, as chairman-elect of the Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance in a 144 to 97 vote over Bishop Mark L. Bartchak of Altoona-Johnstown.
Bishop David P. Talley of Memphis, as chairman-elect of the Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs in a 123 to 114 vote over Bishop Steven J. Lopes of The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter.
Bishop Andrew H. Cozzens, auxiliary bishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis, as chairman-elect of the Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis in a 151 to 88 vote over Bishop Thomas A. Daly of Spokane.
Bishop David J. Malloy of Rockford, as chairman-elect of the Committee on International Justice and Peace in a 140 to 101 vote over Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento.
Bishop James V. Johnston, Jr. of Kansas City-St. Joseph, as chairman-elect of the Committee on Protection of Children and Young People in a 167-77 vote over Bishop W. Shawn McKnight of Jefferson City.
Keywords: USCCB, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Fall General Assembly, November meeting, Baltimore, elections, president, vice president, ballot, vote, majority vote, committee, CRS, Catholic Relief Services, #USCCB19.
Posted on 11/12/2019 04:00 AM (USCCB News Releases)
BALTIMORE—Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles was elected president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) during the Fall General Assembly in Baltimore. Archbishop Gomez has served as vice president of the Conference since 2016. Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron of Detroit was elected as USCCB vice president. Both the new president and vice president terms begin at the conclusion of this year’s General Assembly.
Archbishop Gomez was elected president on the first ballot with 176 votes. Archbishop Vigneron was elected vice president on the third ballot by 151 to 90 in a runoff vote against Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the Military Services, USA. The president and vice president are elected by a simple majority from a slate of 10 nominees. If no president or vice president is chosen after the second round of voting, a third ballot is a run-off between the two bishops who received the most votes on the second ballot. Archbishop Vigneron has served as the Conference secretary since 2018, a position that he will vacate upon assuming the vice presidency. Therefore, the bishops will vote in their afternoon session for a Conference secretary to fill the vacancy left as Archbishop Vigneron assumes the vice presidency.
Keywords: USCCB, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Fall General Assembly, November meeting, Baltimore, elections, president, vice president, ballot, vote, majority vote, committee, Archbishop Gomez, Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Archbishop Vignernon, Archdiocese of Detroit, #USCCB19.
USCCB Chairmen Issue Statement on Supreme Court Cases Upholding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program
Posted on 11/12/2019 02:37 AM (USCCB News Releases)
WASHINGTON— Bishop Joe S. Vásquez, of Austin and Chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Migration, commented on three cases argued before the Supreme Court today – Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of University of California; McAleenan, Secretary of Homeland Security v. Vidal; Trump, President of U.S. v. NAACP. These cases challenge whether decisions in the lower court to repeal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) were lawful.
On October 4, the USCCB, with other Catholic and evangelical partners, filed an amicus curiae brief in the cases. The brief argues that rescinding DACA without considering crucial facts underlying the program irreparably harms hundreds of thousands of families by placing them at imminent risk of separation, which violates the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), and is thus unlawful.
Bishop Joe S. Vásquez offered the following statement on the hearing:
“DACA youth are leaders in our parishes and significant contributors to our economy and communities. They are hard-working young people who know the United States as their only home. We continue to urge Congress and the President to work together to find a permanent legislative solution to the plight of all DREAMers, including DACA beneficiaries. In the meantime, ending DACA would disrupt DACA recipients’ continued contributions and integration to our country and could needlessly separate them from their families. Not allowing these young people to continue to utilize DACA to reach their God-given potential is against the common good and our nation’s history of welcoming the immigrant.”
USCCB’s amicus curiae brief in these consolidated cases is available at: http://www.usccb.org/about/general-counsel/amicus-briefs/upload/2019-10-04-FINAL-DACA-brief.pdf.
Keywords: USCCB, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, DACA, Dreamers, President Trump, Department of Homeland Security.
Pro Life Committee Chairman Invites Bishops to Join Initiative Serving Pregnant and Parenting Mothers in Need
Posted on 11/11/2019 09:30 AM (USCCB News Releases)
BALTIMORE - Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, of Kansas City in Kansas, and Chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, addressed the body of bishops at the annual November plenary meeting of bishops about the need for improved pastoral responses to women facing unexpected or challenging pregnancies.
“The challenges can be immense for women in difficult or unplanned pregnancies. 75% of women who choose abortion are low income,” said Archbishop Naumann. “Pregnant and parenting moms in need are in our parishes and our neighborhoods. Women facing challenging pregnancies should see the Church as a place where they can find help, especially with its myriad of social services and organizations dedicated to meeting the needs of people in crisis,” he continued.
In his invitation to the bishops, Archbishop Naumann shared that well over 150,000 low-income mothers deliver their babies at Catholic hospitals each year, and many tens of thousands of pregnant and parenting moms are helped each year through Catholic Charities programs and other help agencies. In addition, thousands of pregnancy care centers staffed by many Catholic volunteers.
Nevertheless, the archbishop noted that there are “gaps,” and “while many pregnancy help resources are appropriately coordinated at the diocesan or regional level, moms in need are best reached at the local level.”
“We have well over 17,000 parishes in the United States. Each parish is best able to identify the local pregnancy help resources that are currently available and to identify potential gaps that need to be addressed. The parish community is uniquely positioned to encourage a collaboration of resources at the local level and to increase awareness of help available to mothers and families in need,” Archbishop Naumann explained.
To this end, Archbishop Naumann asked the bishops present to invite their parishes to join a nationwide effort from March 25, 2020 to March 25, 2021 entitled: “Walking with Moms in Need: A Year of Service.”
This Year of Service will coincide with the 25th anniversary of Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life), a landmark encyclical by Pope John Paul II. The Pro-Life Committee is developing educational, pastoral, and action-oriented resources for parish use, including reflections on the teachings of Evangelium Vitae, Evangelii Gaudium, and Laudato Si; prayers for building a culture of life; tools for documenting an inventory of local resources for pregnant mothers in need; and ideas and support for improving parish responses.
More information about the initiative can be found at www.usccb.org/moms-in-need
Keywords: Pro-Life, Secretariat of Pro-Life, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Archbishop Joseph Naumann, Walking with Moms in Need
Posted on 11/11/2019 04:06 AM (USCCB News Releases)
BALTIMORE - The Catholic bishops of the United States convened their Fall General Assembly in Baltimore this morning. The meeting began with remarks by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States. Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops delivered his last address as president of the Conference.
The bishops meet November 11-13 for their annual plenary in Baltimore. Public sessions of general assembly discussions and votes will be available via livestream at: http://www.usccb.org/live.
News updates, vote totals, texts of addresses and presentations and other materials will be posted to www.usccb.org/meetings as soon as possible.
Those wishing to follow the meeting on social media can use the hashtag #USCCB19 and follow on Twitter (@USCCB) as well as on Facebook (www.facebook.com/usccb) and Instagram (https://instagram.com/usccb).
Live stream and satellite feed will run Monday, November 11, Tuesday, November 12, and Wednesday, November 13, while the assembly is in session.
Broadcast media outlets interested in taking the meeting's satellite feed should contact the public affairs office to request coordinates.
Keywords: USCCB, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Fall General Assembly, November meeting, Baltimore, #USCCB19.
Posted on 11/7/2019 08:45 AM (USCCB News Releases)
WASHINGTON - James Rogers, Chief Communications Officer for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued the following statement today in response to Wounded Shepherd.
“Austen Ivereigh’s new book, Wounded Shepherd, perpetuates an unfortunate and inaccurate myth that the Holy Father finds resistance among the leadership and staff of the U.S. Bishops Conference. The author disparages the General Secretary and a consultant to the Committee on Canonical Affairs particularly by suggesting they drew up documents in October that were then deliberately excluded from Rome. This is false and misleading.
In August, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo began convening bishops for consultations on measures to strengthen the already effective protection program enacted through the Dallas Charter. By early September, those consultations had crystalized in the form of drafts emerging under the direction of the Executive Committee and with the collaboration of the Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, the Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance, and the Committee on Child and Youth Protection, supported by the Secretariat of Doctrine and the Office of General Counsel.
It was intended that the proposals stop short of where the authority of the Holy See began. For example, like the Charter before it, the lay commission was based on the voluntary participation of bishops, compiling substantial reports of abuse to be delivered directly to the Apostolic Nuncio in the United States with due regard to civilly mandated reporting laws. While informal consultations with the Holy See took place in October, it was envisioned that the Holy See would have an opportunity to review and offer adjustments only on those drafts benefiting from the input of the full body of U.S. bishops, recognizing that substantial amendments could yet take place.
Cardinal DiNardo’s decision to delay the vote on these proposals in November of 2018 is a clear sign of his and his brother bishops’ collaboration with and obedience to the Holy Father. When Pope Francis announced the new universal Church law establishing a worldwide program of protection, Cardinal DiNardo strongly supported the measures and moved quickly to ensure the Conference’s proposals would be both ready for votes in June of this year and would be complementary to the Holy Father’s own program. The June agenda moved forward without the objection of the Holy See. Because of the decisive actions of Pope Francis and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Church is a safer place for children and adults in vulnerable situations.”
Posted on 11/7/2019 07:42 AM (USCCB News Releases)
WASHINGTON— The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) is the anti-poverty program of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Each year, CCHD honors an individual between the age of 18 and 40 who demonstrates leadership in fighting poverty and injustice in the United States through community-based solutions with the Cardinal Bernardin New Leadership Award.
Ana Chavarin has been named as the recipient of the 2019 Cardinal Bernardin New Leadership Award; she will be honored at a reception Monday, November 11, during the bishops’ annual General Assembly in Baltimore. Ana is a young immigrant mother who experienced a deepening of faith and discovery of her leadership abilities to help transform her community through work with CCHD-funded group Pima County Interfaith. Now interim lead organizer with that same group, she has spent the last several years mobilizing migrant families and faith communities to impact the issues that affect them. Ana played a lead role in a campaign to increase community safety and address drug abuse. Recently, Ana led numerous sessions with immigration attorneys on the issue of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), rights of the undocumented, and how to become a citizen. She has helped hundreds of undocumented immigrants obtain power of attorney letters to protect their children and property in case they are detained or deported.
“Ana's Catholic faith motivates and inspires her role as a parent, faith community member, and leader in the wide range of social outreach initiatives in which she participates,” said Sister Leonette Kochan, OSF, the former director of the Office of Human Life and Dignity in the Diocese of Tucson. “Her courageous determination and the support of others found expression in her life of service to others, especially in programs that empower the lives of others. As a person who faces economic struggles as a single parent of four children, Ana also leads by example in balancing family life with work, while pursuing a college degree.”
The award, bestowed annually, is named for the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, who served as archbishop of Chicago from 1982 till his death in 1996. Cardinal Bernardin served as the first general secretary of the U.S. bishops’ conference from 1968-1972, and as the conference’s third president from 1974-1977. More information about the award is available online: www.usccb.org/about/catholic-campaign-for-human-development/cardinal-bernardin-new-leadership-award.cfm.
Ana’s remarks will be available at www.togoforth.org on November 11, following the award reception.
Keywords: USCCB, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Bernardin New Leadership Award, 2019 General Assembly, Baltimore, Catholic Campaign for Human Development, CCHD
Posted on 11/4/2019 07:27 AM (USCCB News Releases)
WASHINGTON— For nearly 50 years, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) has been the official domestic anti-poverty program of the Catholic bishops in the United States. Raising public awareness about poverty, its causes, and working to break the cycle in the U.S., the annual collection is coordinated nationally by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to be held in parishes the weekend of November 23-24.
More than 38 million people live in poverty in the United States. This collection assists community leaders who work to expand access to affordable housing, health care, and education. The collection also supports the development of worker-owned businesses, and advocates for changes to structures that keep people in poverty.
In his statement for this year’s commemoration of the World Day of the Poor, Pope Francis said, “The situation of the poor obliges us not to keep our distance from the body of the Lord, who suffers in them. Instead, we are called to touch his flesh and to be personally committed in offering a service that is an authentic form of evangelization.”
“The Catholic Campaign for Human Development draws us close to our brothers and sisters in Christ and works to address the root causes of poverty in the United States,” said Bishop David P. Talley of Memphis and chairman of the CCHD Subcommittee of the USCCB’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development. “In doing so, we uphold the dignity of those who live in poverty and empower them through dialogue and solidarity.”
This national collection is the primary source of funding for CCHD’s community and economic development grants, as well as its education programs aimed at raising awareness of poverty and fostering hope in communities across the nation. Twenty-five percent of funds collected remain in each diocese to support local anti-poverty projects. Facts about poverty and success stories from groups supported through the annual CCHD collection may be found by visiting: https://povertyusa.org.
CCHD’s annual report provides a presentation of the use of collection funds and the scope of its reach and impact along with the CCHD newsletter “Helping People Help Themselves”. Parish resources for the collection may be accessed on the CCHD’s resource webpage.
Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Catholic Campaign for Human Development, CCHD, Bishop David P. Talley, Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, poverty
Bishop Chairmen Commend Administration Action to Prevent Government Discrimination Against Faith-based Adoption, Foster Care, and Social Service Providers
Posted on 11/1/2019 07:49 AM (USCCB News Releases)
WASHINGTON—Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Bishop James D. Conley of Lincoln, Chairman of the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, and Bishop Robert J. McManus of Worcester, Chairman of the Committee for Religious Liberty, have issued a statement commending a proposed rule change that will help ensure faith-based social service providers will not be excluded from certain federally-funded programs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Their joint statement follows:
“We commend the Administration for acting to change a 2016 regulation that threatened to shut out faith-based social service providers, namely adoption and foster care agencies that respect a child’s right to a mother and a father. To restrict faith-based organizations’ work by infringing on religious freedom – as the 2016 rule threatened to do - is unfair and serves no one, especially the children in need of these services. We are alarmed and saddened that state and local government agencies in multiple jurisdictions have already succeeded in shutting down Catholic adoption and foster care agencies as a result of their Catholic beliefs. At a time when over 400,000 children are in foster care, we need to take steps to increase – not decrease – their opportunities to be placed with safe and loving families. We welcome today’s proposed rule modifications and look forward to reviewing and commenting on them further.”
Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Frank J. Dewane, Bishop James D. Conley, Bishop Robert J. McManus, Department of Health and Human Services, Trump Administration, civil rights laws, White House, discrimination, convictions, religious liberty, marriage, adoption, foster care