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Bishops’ Meeting Round Up

• The bishops allocated one million dollars toward full funding of a special “causes and context study” to discover contributing factors to the US clergy sex abuse crisis. They apparently agreed with Cleveland Bishop Anthony Pilla who said the Bishops “must leave the meeting with the clear message that we continue the concern about the protection of safety of children.”

• A proposed decision to omit the much loved “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again” acclamation was placed on hold until new sacramentary translations become available. These are not expected to be available for two or three years because of vigorous objections by English speaking bishops over “archaic language” in early drafts sticking close to the Latin because of Liturgiam Authenticam guidelines.

• A statement about the value of Catholic schools was approved even as Detroit and other dioceses are closing inner city schools.

• A proposed increase in the budget of the USCCB (the first increase in four years) was voted down, probably because so many dioceses are struggling to deal with the financial fallout from past failures to remove sexually abusive priests.

• The renewed charter and norms for clergy sex abuse kept zero tolerance amidst a somewhat impassioned discussion of low priestly morale.

• A new priestly formation document was approved but omitted any guidelines about homosexual candidates for the priesthood. The bishops wanted to wait until the Vatican issues a statement expected to be released soon.

• Issued a new statement on evangelization but rejected one amendment from Bishop McHugh to use inclusive language, and another amendment from Bishop Sklba to incorporate contemporary biblical scholarship. (sigh).

Summer 2005



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