Voices Online Edition -- Vol. XXI No. 4
Christmas 2006 - Epiphany 2007
USCCB November Meeting
A restructuring plan that would consolidate and eliminate some conference committees was a major topic of discussion at the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ semi-annual meeting, held in Baltimore November 13-16. Only the first two days of the meeting were open to the press. Susan Benofy attended as press representative for WFF and Adoremus.
The bishops approved two liturgy “action items”: a directory for approving music for the liturgy, and the first sections of a revised Lectionary for Mass (Advent readings). Both require approval by the Holy See. For a detailed report by Susan Benofy on the liturgy action items, see the Dec/Jan Adoremus Bulletin: www.adoremus.org/ 1206BishopsMeeting.html.
The bishops also approved a document from the Pro-Life Committee, “Married Life and the Gift of Life”. It is directed primarily to married and engaged couples and offers “pastoral guidance on the Church’s teaching concerning contraception, linked with a culture of life”. The vote was 220 to 11 with 1 abstention, and it can be downloaded from the USCCB web site at www.usccb.org/laity/marriage/MarriedLove.pdf. (broken link)
Two documents presented by the Doctrine Committee were also approved. The first was “Ministry to Persons with a Homosexual Inclination: Guidelines for Pastoral Care”. The document is in response to “questions raised about the suitability of some ministries to persons with a homosexual inclination” and is to provide guidance for bishops and those who minister to homosexuals. The project had encouragement from the Holy See. It passed by a vote of 194 to 37 with 1 abstention. It can be found on the USCCB web site: http://www.usccb.org/about/doctrine/publications/homosexual-inclination-guidelines-table-of-contents.cfm.
The second document from the Doctrine Committee was “Happy Are Those Who Are Called to His Supper: On Preparing to Receive Christ Worthily in the Eucharist”. The document is “addressed to all the faithful and is designed to aid them in personally preparing for reception of Holy Communion”. It may be used by individuals or by parish study groups.
This document passed by a vote of 201 to 24 with 2 abstentions. Link on USCCB web site: http://old.usccb.org/doctrine/Eucharist.pdf. All three documents required 2/3 approval to be issued as statements of the USCCB.
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