Monday, November 10, 2008

The USCCB's meeting...

Baltimore, Nov 9, 2008 / 11:08 pm (CNA).- Since the election of Barack Obama as the next President of the United States, several Catholic commentators have speculated on how the original agenda of the annual Fall General Assembly of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will change.

According to bishops involved in the organization of the three-day meeting, which starts this Monday, the agenda, including a public discussion of abortion and politics, is fully on track.

Speculation that the agenda might change came late last week when several prominent Catholic commentators argued that the bishops had "lost authority" by speaking out strongly against Catholics voting for pro-abortion politicians, like Sen. Barack Obama and other mostly Democratic candidates, who were elected to office last Tuesday.

On Friday, Religion News Service reported that the USCCB “has scuttled plans to discuss abortion and politics next week in Baltimore,” citing the bishops' spokeswoman, Sister Mary Ann Walsh. RNS also quoted Sister Walsh saying that the agenda had yet to be finalized.

Moreover, according to the National Catholic Reporter's John Allen Jr., “some analysts, especially those of a more liberal bent, are spinning the election of Barak Obama as a ‘repudiation’ of what they see as an overly strident and partisan tone from the bishops, especially on abortion. A few ardently pro-life Catholics, meanwhile, actually believe that what they call ‘silence and treachery’ from the bishops on abortion helped pave the way for Obama’s success.”

On Friday, Peter Steinfels argued in his regular New York Times column that "anyone constructing a list of the big losers on Tuesday would probably include the nation’s Roman Catholic bishops."

Steinfels served as editor of “Commonweal” magazine before landing a job at The New York Times in 1988 and still frequently contributes to the magazine that he and his wife, former editor Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, have helped shape since 1964.

During the election season, Commonweal's blog openly wooed Catholics to vote for Obama and harshly criticized bishops who took a strong stand on life and family issues.

Steinfels supported his assertion that the bishops were “defeated” on the grounds that nominal Catholics voted 52 percent to 45 percent for Obama.

“Will that fact be candidly addressed when the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops meets next week in Baltimore?,” he asked, suggesting that the bishops should “change strategy.”

A similar suggestion was made by Fr. Thomas Reese S.J. of Georgetown University in an article published by the Dallas Morning News on Sunday... (Continued here at the Catholic News Agency)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I believe the Catholic bishops should ask themselves the question, "Have I done enough to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, including the Gospel of Life as taught by Pope John Paul II." I find an appalling lack of knowledge of the Catholic Church's teachings even among daily Mass going Catholics, who also voted for the most pro-abortion candidate in American history. God bless you. Susan Fox