Pope Francis has declared himself a "sinner" and says the Catholic Church will “fall like a house of cards” unless it is able to focus more on the “essentials” of preaching the Gospel and less on politics and bureaucracy.But the...
US bishops open assembly by voting to stay the course
Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl sings during the opening prayer of the annual spring meeting Wednesday of the U .S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in New Orleans. (CNS/Bob Roller)
| National Catholic Reporter
"The nation's Catholic bishops during their annual summer assembly voted to stay the course they have set for themselves over the last several years, focusing on issues of religious liberty, same-sex marriage, and participation in the U.S. political sphere.
In one of only three public deliberations at the event, the prelates voted to renew their efforts in addressing concerns over religious liberty, granting another three-year term to a special bishops' committee organized on the issue.
The bishops are gathered in New Orleans until Friday for their spring meeting, one of two annual plenary assemblies of the U.S. bishops' conference.
Going into the event, many analysts and even some bishops had asked if the prelates would be reorienting their work around the new emphases of Francis' first year as pope, particularly his apostolic exhortation, ("The Joy of the Gospel"), and his pastoral tone.
Yet in three and a half hours of open discussion on 17 topics Wednesday, the bishops focused more on old business than new -- hearing updates from the lay group that advises them on preventing sexual abuse of minors, Catholic Relief Services, and the bishops' Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage."
[Brian Roewe is an staff writer