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USCCB assembly agenda includes elections, ‘Faithful Citizenship’ discussion, prayer

U.S. bishops will meet Nov. 14-17 in Baltimore

WASHINGTON — The fall general assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will find the bishops voting on a new president and vice president and how to proceed in disseminating their quadrennial document on Catholic participation in public life.

The agenda for the Nov. 14-17 gathering also incorporates more time for prayer and reflection with opportunities for wider engagement and interaction with each other to build fraternity.

Public sessions are scheduled for the afternoon of Nov. 15 and all day Nov. 16.

USCCB leaders will be elected from a slate of 10 candidates nominated by their fellow bishops. In addition, the bishops will vote on chairmen-elect for six standing USCCB committees.

The president and vice president are elected to three-year terms, which begin at the conclusion of this year’s general assembly. At that time, Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles and Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron of Detroit will complete their terms as president and vice president, respectively.

Chairmen-elect will be chosen for the committees on Canonical Affairs, Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, Evangelization and Catechesis, International Justice and Peace, the Protection of Children and Young People and Religious Liberty.

Also on tap is a discussion on “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,” the bishops’ document developed as a guide to help Catholics form their consciences in voting and other areas of public life. The bishops will decide what steps to take regarding to whether to begin a routine update or significantly revise the document.

Archbishop Lori, who chairs the bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, will provide an overview of how the Church can respond following the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 24 ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that overturned Roe v. Wade, returning the issue of abortion to the states.

Archbishop Leonard P. Blair of Hartford, Connecticut, chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship, will present for approval revisions in rites related to the anointing of the sick and lay ministry for the sick as well as liturgical texts for two recently instituted feast days.

Votes will be taken on a revision of the U.S. English-language edition of “The Order of the Anointing of the Sick and of their Pastoral Care” and a new U.S. Spanish language edition of the same text.

The last vote will come on liturgical texts for two optional memorials inscribed by Pope Francis in January 2019. The texts are included in an ICEL document known as a “gray book” issued in May 2021. The memorial for St. Paul VI is observed May 29, while the memorial for Our Lady of Loreto is observed Dec. 10.

Updates on the canonization causes of three American women will also be presented.

The bishops will vote whether to advance the causes of Cora Evans, Michelle Duppong and Mother Margaret Mary Healy Murphy.

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