U.S. Bishops Gather for Their Fall General Assembly

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The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) met for their 2021 Fall General Assembly in Baltimore this week. This was the first in-person meeting of the bishops since November 2019, as the COVID pandemic resulted in the cancellation of the June 2020 meeting and the November 2020 and June 2021 meetings being held in a virtual format. In addition to approving the USCCB’s 2022 budget, the bishops voted on more than a dozen actions, including the following:

  • The bishops discussed the draft of the statement, The Mystery of the Eucharist in the Life of the Church. The statement is “meant to be a reflection on the transformative beauty of the Eucharist that invites each of us into a deeper relationship with Christ.” 

  • The bishops received an update on the Eucharistic revival initiative and voted on moving forward with a National Eucharistic Congress in the summer of 2024 in Indianapolis, Indiana. 

  • The bishops affirmed their support for the advancement of the causes of beatification and canonization for three lay individuals at the diocesan level: Charlene Marie Richards, Auguste Robert Pelafigue, and Joseph Dutton.  

  • The bishops approved a proposal to inscribe Saint Teresa of Calcutta as an optional memorial in the Liturgical Calendar on September 5.

  • The bishops authorized the Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People to begin a review of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young Adults in advance of the June 2025 mandated review date.

While some in the media had speculated that there would be sharp disagreement between the bishops over the draft statement on the Eucharist, the document was overwhelmingly approved with 222 votes in favor, 8 against, and 3 abstentions. The document, in line with previous statements from the bishops charged with writing the draft, did not reference President Biden or Communion for pro-choice politicians. Rather, the statement was meant to be a teaching document on the Eucharist

November 19, 2021 - 2:35pm
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