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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 1993.

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 p....)

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.



Fall 2005



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