Internal matters top agenda of bishops' fall assembly in Baltimore
Published: October 29, 2012
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Statements on preaching and ways that bishops can respond using new technologies to modern-day challenges to their teaching authority are among the items the U.S. bishops will consider when they gather in Baltimore for their annual fall assembly. Set for Nov. 12-15, the assembly also will consider a statement on work and the economy proposed by the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development as a way to raise the profile of growing poverty and the struggles that unemployed people are experiencing. The document on preaching that the bishops are to consider encourages preachers to connect the Sunday homily with people's daily lives. Titled "Preaching the Mystery of Faith: The Sunday Homily," the document is the bishops' first substantive statement on preaching in 30 years, said Archbishop Robert J. Carlson of St. Louis, chairman of the bishops' Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations. The bishops also will consider a proposed statement on opportunities to use new media -- including blogging and social media -- in exercising their teaching authority. The statement drafted by the Committee on Doctrine, "Contemporary Challenges for the Exercise of the Teaching Ministry of the Diocesan Bishop," has been distributed to the bishops and suggested amendments are being received, said Capuchin Franciscan Father Thomas G. Weinandy, executive director of the bishops' Secretariat for Doctrine. The text, like all of the proposed documents the bishops will consider, has not been made public. The statement complements a 1989 document on local bishops' doctrinal responsibilities setting forth guidelines for a bishop to follow when responding to comments, statements, books or other communication from a theologian that incorrectly portrays Catholic teaching, Father Weinandy told Catholic News Service. The statement on work and the economy, titled "Catholic Reflections on Work, Poverty and a Broken Economy," is expected to advance the bishops' priority of human life and dignity to demonstrate the new evangelization in action, Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, Calif., chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, explained during the bishops' June meeting in Atlanta.
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