Analysis: After drawing a line in the sand on health care, a growing number of bishops are pushing back, arguing that hard-line rhetoric puts them in an untenable position.
Fall bishops' meeting 2013
Has anything changed with the U.S. Catholic bishops? It is far too early to tell, but there were a few interesting things that occurred last week in Baltimore. First of all, the bishops returned to their normal process for selecting their president by elevating the current vice president to the presidency.
USCCB meeting: St. Petersburg, Fla., Bishop Robert Lynch said the bishops "didn't do a lot to advance the kingdom of God on earth -- at least publicly."
The bishops on Wednesday said in a statement that "the government is refusing to uphold its obligation to respect the rights of religious believers."
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.
NCR Today: In the debate about whether or not the bishops spend adequate time talking about justice issues, both sides make legitimate points.
My friends who range themselves amidst the Catholic Left need to learn a bit about the culture of a bishops' conference meeting. I have noticed this before, but this year it was particularly evident.
Today, the bishops go into executive session and I head back to Washington. The annual "homecoming," which is what a USCCB meeting always feels like, comes to a close for us scribes even if the bishops must now attend to their most pressing issues behind closed doors.
NCR Today: Cardinal Daniel DiNardo's election as vice president of the USCCB makes him a key player in the appointment of bishops in the U.S.