US Bishops hold first in person General Assembly since start of pandemic
By Vatican News staff reporter
The US Bishops’ General Assembly kicks off Monday with voting and discussions on a wide number of issues.
This will be the first in-person meeting of the bishops since November 2019. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, previous meetings this year and in 2020 were either canceled or held virtually.
The assembly was due to open with an address by the Papal Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Christophe Pierre.
On the agenda is the 2021-2023 Synod of Bishops; the Eucharistic revival initiative, the approval of a national Eucharistic Congress in 2024 and a statement on the Eucharist, The Mystery of the Eucharist in the Life of the Church.
The bishops are expected to look at an update of the “Socially Responsible Investment Guidelines, the Resolution on Diocesan Financial Reporting and the USCCB’s 2022 budget.
Elsewhere on the agenda, there is a focus on the new English and Spanish versions of the Order of Christian Initiation of Adults; a translation of Holy Communion and Worship of the Eucharistic Mystery Outside Mass and the “National Statutes for the Catechumenate” in English and Spanish.
The Bishops will also consider the proposal to add Saint Teresa of Calcutta on the Proper Calendar for the Dioceses of the United States as an optional memorial on September 5;
During the assembly, the bishops will vote for a treasurer-elect for the Conference, as well as chairmen-elect of five Conference committees: Clergy, Consecrated Life, and Vocations; Divine Worship; Domestic Justice and Human Development; Laity, Marriage, Family Life, and Youth; and Migration.
The bishops elected will serve for one year as treasurer-elect or chairman-elect before beginning a three-year term at the conclusion of the 2022 Fall General Assembly. There will also be votes for the election of board members for Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and for the election of a new USCCB general secretary.
Other key issues expected to be covered over the four-day meeting include; a consultation of the bishops on causes of beatification and canonization for Servant of God Charlene Marie Richard and Servant of God Auguste Robert Pelafigue.
Humanitarian issues will also be another key area for discussion and will include a focus on the work of Catholic Relief Services, Catholic Charities USA, and Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC).
Family life will also feature at the meeting with the Bishops focusing their attention on the application and implementation of the Pastoral Framework for Marriage and Family Life Ministry in the United States and the “Walking with Moms in Need” initiative.