There was very little that was newsworthy at this year's meeting of the U.S. bishops. But it demonstrated the sclerotic condition the U.S. hierarchy has created for itself, says NCR columnist Michael Sean Winters.
The U.S. Catholic bishops decided on Nov. 15 at their general assembly that "the threat of abortion" will remain the "preeminent priority" for their political guidance to Catholic voters in the year leading up to the 2024 presidential election.
The solution to the divisions within the hierarchy will not be found primarily through internal discussions. The bishops must find the answers outside the sacristy — or the hotel ballroom where they are meeting.
On the first day of their plenary, the bishops are all huddled in small group sessions. This is frustrating for us in the press, but we can hope this more synodal approach helps the bishops find a way to come together.
A little more than two weeks after Pope Francis wrapped up the first of two major Rome summits on the future of the Catholic Church, the U.S. bishops will meet for their fall assembly in Baltimore Nov. 13-16.
The election choices the bishops make when the USCCB gathers Nov. 13-16 in Baltimore will be a good indication of the direction in which the body of bishops wish to go. NCR columnist Michael Sean Winters shares his predictions.
When the U.S. bishops gather for their fall plenary assembly Nov. 13-16 in Baltimore, they will elect a new secretary and chairmen for six standing committees for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.