U.S. Bishops Meeting Round Up
For the first time, half of the November meeting of the U.S.
Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) was closed to the media.
Topics discussed behind closed doors included clergy sex abuse,
Catholic politicians supporting abortion rights and an effort to
narrow down the conference agenda. Here are some decisions made
in open session:
1. Passed a deficit budget of $131.2 million for 2006 that could
lead to $1.8 million in deficit spending. For the third time in
four years the bishops refused to increase diocesan assessments
to support conference expenses.
2. Voted to accept a revised Lectionary for Masses With Children.
The text must be approved by the Vatican before it will replace
the experimental children's Lectionary that has been in use since
3. By a nearly unanimous vote, passed “A Culture of Life
and the Penalty of Death,” that calls on society to “reject
the tragic illusion that we can demonstrate respect for life by
taking life.” (Statement available at http://www.usccb.org/sdwp/national/deathpenalty/ )
4. Approved guidelines for Lay Ministers “Co-workers in the
Vineyard.” The document required 2/3 majority or 182 votes
and passed by a vote of 190-49 with five abstentions. (available
at http://www.usccb.org/news/index.shtml) (see related article
5. Elected Msgr. David J. Malloy is currently an associate general
secretary and will succeed Msgr. William P. Fay, 56, who has
been general secretary since 2001.
6. Discussed but could not agree about a new English translation
of the Roman Missal.