US Bishops gather for General Assembly

2012-11-12 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops begins its annual Fall Meeting in Baltimore on Monday. The Bishops of the country gather twice each year to discuss issues of national importance, and to discuss how to best spread the message of the Gospel.

“This is when the leadership of the Catholic in the United States gets together to collaborate and consult on national level issues that affect the Church.” Don Clemmer, Assistant Director for Media Relations for the USCCB, gives Christopher Wells a preview of this year’s gathering.

“The Bishops will be discussing and voting on some documents, some statements, that deal with both the internal life of the church and issues out in the world.” Clemmer gives as examples the renewed emphasis on preaching and on the Sacrament of Reconciliation, as well as proposed statements on poverty and the economy.

The main focus, he said, is on the Year of Faith: “With this meeting, I think it really is about the Year of Faith. You have again the Confession action item and other agenda items that are tied in to helping Catholics celebrate the Year of Faith, helping them strengthen their religious practice in such a way that they have that personal encounter with Christ, that Pope Benedict has spoken of as being central to the New Evangelisation.”

The Year of Faith and the New Evangelization, he said, are the main focus of the Assembly: “So I think you will see a real push toward that. The bishops will be voting on their priority plan for the next several years, and that is built around the around the Year of Faith and the New Evangelization. That would probably be the central message of this particular General Assembly.”

Listen to Don Clemmer speaking with Christopher Wells: