At question at several sessions was whether Pope Francis is in line with his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, who some saw as more doctrinally conservative.
Faith & Parish
We say: What were the bishops thinking when they approved the development of a pastoral statement on pornography but never mentioned its dangerous effects on clergy?
Pope Francis has appointed Msgr. Michael Olson, currently rector of Holy Trinity Seminary at the University of Dallas in Irving, Texas, to head the diocese of Fort Worth, Texas.
Olson, 47, is a Fort Worth diocesan priest. He succeeds Bishop Kevin Vann, who was named bishop of the diocese of Orange, Calif., in September 2012.
The appointment was announced Tuesday in Washington by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, apostolic nuncio to the United States.
Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of Ottawa, Ontario, recalled once having a parish that needed a new furnace and was considering hiring a youth pastor. The parishioners raised $90,000 in three weeks for the furnace, but failed to find funds for the youth pastor, figuring there were few young people to serve.
Clergy and lay leaders are skeptical of the newly translated Roman Missal, according to a recent study commissioned by the Diekmann Center for Patristics and Liturgical Studies at St. John's School of Theology.
At Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Durham, N.C.. prayers are offered in six different languages at holiday Masses. Most parishioners are Hispanic. Others come from India, the Philippines and different parts of Africa.
"We are all brothers and sisters in Christ," said Katushka Olave, Spanish pastoral care associate at the Roman Catholic parish. "There is no reason for separation, no reason for there to be differences between us."
The diocese of Gallup, N.M., has formally started the process of bankruptcy, citing the costs incurred by a growing number of sex-abuse claims.
The U.S. bishops, in separate votes Tuesday, approved a budget for the year 2014 and a 3 percent increase in diocesan assessments starting in 2015.
The bishops also approved a proposal to modify that U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' bylaws to allow the chairman of its audit subcommittee to be chosen from among their overall membership rather than restrict the choice to those bishops currently serving on the USCCB Administrative Board, as has currently been the practice.
All three votes took place the second day of the annual USCCB fall general assembly in Baltimore.
The Supreme Court's ruling that rendered the federal Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, and the Senate's passage Nov. 7 of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act put the legal defense of marriage "at a critical point in this country," said the archbishop who heads the U.S. bishops' Subcommittee on the Promotion and Defense of Marriage.
The Supreme Court's DOMA decision is now being used to judicially challenge marriage laws in more than a dozen states that still recognize marriage as the union of one man and one woman," said Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco.
"In view of some of your recent Facebook postings ... and other developments, I have decided against sending you to Merrill," Bishop Liam Carey wrote.