Vatican City — While other U.S. bishops are preparing for their general meeting in Baltimore Nov. 11-13, the bishops of New York state are packing their bags for Rome.
The bishops of Albany, Brooklyn, Buffalo, New York, Ogdensburg, Rochester, Rockville Centre and Syracuse are scheduled to make their visits "ad limina apostolorum" — to the threshold of the apostles — Nov. 11-16.
It has been eight years since the bishops made the pilgrimage to Rome to pray at the tombs of Sts. Peter and Paul, make the rounds of offices of the Roman Curia and have a private meeting with the pope.
But their brother bishops in Baltimore will be voting for new officers for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and new committee chairs and conducting other important business.
So, after a morning of Curia meetings in Rome Nov. 12 and before celebrating Mass at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, the New Yorkers will gather at the Pontifical North American College to watch the livestream of the USCCB meeting and cast their ballots. Paper ballots.
"The conference has made a special accommodation for the 2019 November plenary assembly to allow the bishops who are in Rome for their ad limina visits to vote," said Chieko Noguchi, USCCB director of public affairs.
"Two tellers will be chosen from the bishops in Rome who are voting members of the conference, and they will tally the paper ballots and call the results in to Baltimore," she said. The Rome-cast votes will be added to the Baltimore tally before the results are announced to the assembly.
In addition to Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, the eight New York dioceses have a total of 21 active bishops and auxiliary bishops.