Bishop Jaime Soto and Auxiliary Bishop Myron J. Cotta are attending the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) fall general assembly Nov. 13-14 in t in Baltimore.
Witnessing to the Gospel is the simple but fundamental call for people of faith who live in trying times, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo said in his keynote address to the U.S. bishops on Nov. 13. This year's assembly marks the centenary of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which was founded in 1917 as the National Catholic War Council. Not unlike today, Cardinal DiNardo noted, the U.S. bishops 100 years ago were dealing with trying times, including a massive overseas migrant crisis.
“The bishops back then knew that such challenges could only be met through a unified marshaling of all the Church’s resources,” said Cardinal DiNardo, who is president of the conference. “Not surprisingly, we are living in a time of similar challenge,” he said, and bishops today are leading “a diverse flock. People look, talk, and even think differently from each other.” Amidst such diversity, it can be easy to be tempted to division and fear, seeing strangers as a threat rather than as people to be welcomed, the cardinal said.
As the conclusion of a lengthy discussion on migration, the bishops decided Nov. 13 to draft a statement from their president expressing the need for humane and just immigration reform.
The Nov. 13 proposal was first floated by Archbishop Michael Sheehan, Archbishop Emeritus of Santa Fe. After debating how to go about preparing a statement, it was agreed by oral assent that Cardinal DiNardo would issue a statement with the assistance of the Committee on Migration, chaired by Bishop Joe Vasquez of Austin, assisted by Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles.
The discussion followed brief presentations from Archbishop Gomez and Bishop Vasquez. The Los Angeles archbishop outlined the principles which guide the US bishops' work on migration, which come from "Strangers No Longer," a 2003 pastoral letter issued jointly by the US and Mexican bishops' conferences.
The fall general assembly will be live streamed on the Internet Nov. 13-14. The live stream, text of addresses by the papal nuncio to the U.S. and other speakers are available at: http://www.usccb.org/about/leadership/usccb-general-assembly/index.cfm
News updates, vote totals, text of addresses and presentations and other materials will be posted to www.usccb.org/meetings.