Bishops’ Meeting Highlights
At their November 2007 meeting, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops:
- issued a long awaited election guide “Faithful Citizenship” that avoided single issue politics and called for informed voting on the part of the entire Catholic community: “As Catholics we are not single-issue voters. A candidate’s position on a single issue is not sufficient to guarantee a voter's support.”
- approved a $147.7 million budget for 2008, which included a 16% reduction in assessments from each diocese to fund the conference;
- established a permanent subcommittee on Hispanic liturgy;
- issued A Call for Bipartisan Cooperation on Responsible Transition in Iraq. The document identifies the importance of moral issues in any transitioning of U.S. forces, including minimizing the loss of human life, the care of refugees and the protection of human rights, including freedom of religious expression;
- established new liturgical guidelines for music, Lenten readings and weekday communion services;
- as expected, elected former vice president Cardinal Francis E. George of Chicago as their president.
- elected Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas of Tucson, Ariz., as their vice president. Kicanus is well known for shepherding the document Co-Workers in the Vineyard through the Conference. The document explains the theological basis for lay ecclesial ministry in the Church.
- approved a curriculum framework for catechetical instruction of high school students to be given to publishing companies after the meeting.
(Visit www.usccb.org for full text of individual statements.)