At Annual Fall Assembly in Baltimore, U.S. Bishops Approve Action Items on Their Agenda

Posted inNewsUnited States Conference of Catholic Bishops

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) meeting this week for their Fall General Assembly in Baltimore have voted on nine action items. 

The bishops voted to approve the 6th edition of the Program of Priestly Formation for use in the dioceses of the United States with 226 votes in favor, 4 against, and 3 abstentions. The vote required affirmation by two-thirds of the Conference membership and is subject to recognitio by the Vatican Congregation for Clergy.

The Latin Church members of the USCCB voted to approve two translations by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL). The first vote on a translation of the Order of Christian Initiation of Adults as the base text for a future edition of this rite in the dioceses of the United States was approved with 217 votes in favor, 3 against, and 3 abstentions. The vote required affirmation by two-thirds of the Latin Church members and is subject to confirmatio and recognitio by the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. The second vote on a translation of the Hymns of the Liturgy of the Hours for use in the dioceses of the United States was approved with 205 votes in favor, 5 against, and 2 abstentions. The vote required affirmation by two-thirds of the Latin Church members and is subject to confirmatio by the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

In other items the bishops approved:

  • A short letter and five short video scripts to supplement Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, the bishops’ teaching document for the faithful on the political responsibility of Catholics. The short letter was approved 207-24 with 5 abstentions; the vote on the video scripts was 227-5 in favor with 4 abstentions.
  • In a vote of 220 to 7 with 2 abstentions, the body of bishops voted to approve the Conference’s Subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs to lead the process of developing a new comprehensive vision for Hispanic/Latino ministry in response to the V Encuentro process. 
  • The bishops voted with 211 in favor, 11 against and 1 abstention of approval of the 2020 proposed budget, presented by the Committee on Budget and Finance. 
  • The results of the vote by diocesan and eparchial bishops for a three percent increase in the diocesan assessment for 2021, was 111 to 55, which fell short of the necessary majority. Ballots will be mailed to bishops not present in order to have a conclusive vote.
  • The full body of bishops also approved the Revised Strategic Priorities for the 2021-24 USCCB Strategic Plan by a vote of 214 to 4 with 2 abstentions. 
  • By a voice vote of the majority of members present and voting, the bishops also approved to support the request of Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon asking the Holy Father to name Saint Irenaeus a Doctor of the Church.
  • The bishops also elected the following members to the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Board of Directors: Bishop Frank J. Caggiano of Bridgeport, Bishop Eusebio L. Elizondo, MSpS of Seattle, and Bishop Anthony B. Taylor of Little Rock.