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November 22, 1996     The Message
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November 22, 1996

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22, 1996 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 11 Bishops conclude annual meeting, discuss restructuring WASHINGTON (CNS) __At a at the altar -- must be submit- . . . unhurried pace, and always g overshadowed the death of Chicago Cardi- seph L. Bernardin, the took steps toward nistrative that guide their work Debate on proposals to restruc] their twin conferences __ the Conference of Catholic )ps and the U.S. Catholic took up much of lays of the bishops' 14 fall general meeting Ungton. But no votes Nov. 14 because of of a quorum. in the meeting, the a plan for ministry, elected a and more than a mmittee heads, approved of economic and voted on of the gen- proposed for the English- ng plan was p Ala., Bernardin, of the bishops' on Mission and Cardinal died of 14. called 'ar- "latest and Service in conference, in a [eled ser- and with us." restructuring pro- two renam- lee of or USCCB. are to have and more on the ttee, and Lime before and meetings for and dis- sessions. the book ons 's chair and ted to Rome for final approval. The 76-page document on young adult ministry, titled "Sons and Daughters of the Light: A Pastoral Plan for Min- istry With Young Adults," was approved on a voice vote Nov. 12. Developed by the bishops' Committee on the Laity after national and diocesan consulta- tions with young adults, it is designed to address spiritual and pastoral issues young adults face as they enter new stages in education, work, independence, family relationships and their place in society Bishop Tod D. Brown of Boise, Idaho, chairman of the bishops' Committee on the Laity, called the plan "an affirmation of young adults and their gifts." The new NCCB-USCC trea- surer is Bishop Robert J. Banks of Green Bay, Wis., who was cho- sen in a 137-111 vote over Bish- op Daniel F. Walsh of Las Vegas, Nev. The bishops also elected more than a dozen new commit- tee chairmen or chairmen-elect Nov. 12. The statement on economic principles, approved in a unani- mous voice vote, was jointly pro- posed by the bishops' domestic and international policy com- mittees. Just two pages long, "A Catholic Framework for Eco- nomic Life" echoes the much larger 1986 pastoral letter by the bishops, "Economic Justice for All." The new statement empha- sizes making economic decisions based on moral principles that focus on protecting the poor and vulnerable. And it encourages government, business and all of society to consider human con- sequences of economic choices. In other action at the meeting, tile bishops: -- Approved by a voice vote a set of guidelines for televised Masses that "encourage a church setting, live liturgical music, trained liturgical ministers, an the full, active and conscious participation of the faithful." --After lengthy discussion of their ramifications for Orthodox relations, confirmed guidelines that appear in Catholic missalettes for receix4ng Communion at Mass, to bring them into conformity with current canon law and ecumenical directives. --Authorized statements by Bishop Anthony M. Pilla of Cleveland, NCCB-USCC presi- dent, against assisted suicide and expressing outrage at the taping of a sacramental confes- sion of a prisoner in Oregon. -- Heard a report that U.S. ibod and development aid to the poor worldwide is shrinking steadily, and asked Bishop Pilla to write to the U.S. government to urge a reversal of foreign aid cuts. -- Debated and voted on norms for Catholic higher edu- cation, titled "'Ex Corde Ecclesi- ae': An Application to the United States." --Agreed to provide $1 mil- lion to fund their national Office for the Third Millennium from 1997 to 2000. -- Ratified a $43.4 million 1997 budget, about $1.5 million above the 1996 NCCB-USCC budget, as well as priorities and plans for conference activities in 1997. -- Approved proposed adapta- tions in funeral rites when cre- mated remains are present. Bishop Pilla began the meet- ing Nov. 11 with an address on the challenges confronting priests in the 50th anniversary year of Pope John Paul II's ordi- nation. "So many negative images of priests are carelessly, even heartlessly spread around, that today I believe it both a duty and a joy to speak words of affirma- tion and reaffirmation to our priests," said Bishop Pills, who challenged his fellow prelates to be more collaborative with their priests, to "truly empower our priests in their ministry." Bishops' Meeting at a glance By Nancy Frazier O'Brien Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) -- When the U,S. bishops met in Washington Nov. 11-14 for the fall general meeting of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and U.S. Catholic Conference, they: Discussed at length but did not vote on a series of pro- posals to restructure the USCC and NCCB and the commit- tees of the twin conferences. Mourned the death Nov. 14 of Chicago Cardinal Joseph L. Bernardin, who chaired the ad hoc Committee on Mission and Structure, which made the restructuring proposals. Approved on a voice vote the 76-page "Sons and Daugh, ters of the Light: A Pastoral Plan for Ministry with Young Adults," designed to address spiritual and pastoral issues faced by young adults asthey enter into new stages in edu- cation, work, independence and family relationships. -- Gave their OK to the final two segments of the general Sacramentary as proposed for use throughout the English- speaking world. The full Sacramentary, which the bishops have been working on for several years, must be approved by the Vatican. Overwhelmingly approved norms for Catholic higher education, titled "'Ex Corde Ecclesiae': An Application to the i United States." i -- Approved a 10-point statement of economic principles that emphasizes making economic decisions based on moral principles that focus on protecting the poor and vulnerable. -- Ratified by voice vote a set of guidelines for televised Masses which favors the broadcast of live Masses over pre- recorded ones. -- Heard a report on efforts against assisted suicide and partial-birth abortions and authorized a statement by Bish- op Anthony M. Pilla of Cleveland, NCCB-USCC president, affirming the bishops' solidarity with all who are threatened by assisted suicide. Approved by voice vote guidelines that appear in Catholic missalettes for receiving Communion at Mass, in order to bring them into conformity with current canon law and ecumenical directives. Expressed outrage, through a statement by Bishop Pilla, at the taping of a sacramental confession of a prisoner in Ore- gon . ........ , .: Elected Bishop Robert J. BankJ the new NCCB-USCC treasurer and chose new committee heads, as Synod of Bishops on the Americas, ' .... --Agreed to provide $1 million to for the Third Millennium from 1997 to 2000, : -- Ratified a $43.4 million 1997 budget, about $1.5 milliqn above the 1996 NCCB-USCC budget, as well as priorities and plans for conference activities in 1997. --Approved proposed adaptations in funeral rites when cremated remains are present. 00Ops' committee on sexual abuse reports on its work In a ,e U.S. bishops' on Sexual work over years tasks. project under pro- educational on "main- boundaries on the criti- under and condi- -%ts who have sexu- Past may be form treatment. flow sheet" at the end of the report described in detail the basic steps from a first report of sexual}y abusive behavior by a priest to decisions about and procedures for treat- ment. It addressed decision- making about living arrange- ments and care following treatment, including careful assessment of the possibility or impossibility of a return to min- istry and the conditions required for any future ministry. The 37-page bound report was released during the bishops' fall meeting in Washington Nov. 11- 14. It came out as Volume 3 of "Restoring Trust," an ongoing set of committee publications pro- vided to the nation's bishops as resource materials to help them WEST CHAPEL 3033 W. MARYLAND ST. deal with the issue of sexual abuse of minors in the church. "No other moment in the recent history of the Catholic Church in the United States has called into question the effec- tiveness of our leadership, the credibility of our moral vision or our sincerity as the outpouring of claims of clergy sexual abuse against minors," the report said. On the other hand, it said, because of the U.S. bishops' sus- tained efforts to deal with the issues and to develop the needed resources, other religious bodies and bishops' conferences of other countries have looked to the U.S. bishops for assistance on how to deal with the question. The ad hoe Committee on Sex- ual Abuse was formed in June 1993 and Bishop ,John E Kinney of St. Cloud, Minn., was named its chair. From the start until now, Bishop Kinney reported, "we placed a priority on the issues directly related to the sexual abuse of minors as those of most immediate concern; and it is these we have dealt with most thoroughly." The committee has collected and analyzed existing diocesan policies on sexual abuse, provid- ed guidelines on elements that ought to be dealt with in any pol- icy and addressed a wide range of other issues the church con- fronts in trying to prevent such abuse or to respond appropri- ately when it occurs. Bishop Kinney reported that ideas the committee has dis- cussed as possible steps in the "next phase" of its work include: "Keep track of what is hap- pening in the country, be a resource  clearinghouse -- for the bishops and the dioceses, and be able to respond appropri- ately as needed." -- "Encourage others who are working in this field, support them and suggest areas of activ- ity for their consideration." -- "Promote screening of can- didates and ongoing priestly for- mation in ,the area of psychosex- ual development." "Provide information/ resources on the profile of the clergy abuser." "Identify specific areas of research and encourage/facili- tate projects." --"Offer a continuing reflec- tion on post-treatment options based on ongoing research and experience.  "Continue to relate with similar committees in other faith groups and committees of Eng. lish-speaking episcopal confer- ences." -- "Share resources/infornm. tion with other NCCB-USCC committees as indicated and relate these efforts to the natiom al problem of sexual abuse of children coming from many directions, especially from with- in families.  ii ii i i ii CLYDE ROSS PAINTING Henderson, Kentucky Parking kol Stapng SaP Blasting Comrneroal tustria! 502/827-9706 iii i ii i i i i