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President of U.S. Bishops’ Conference Issues Statement on Pope Francis’s Motu Proprio Ordering Worldwide Response to the Evil of Sexual Abuse - Q&A Included

WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has issued the following statement regarding the release of Pope Francis’s Motu Proprio earlier today. The Motu Proprio, Vos estis lux mundi (“You are the light of the world”), is a worldwide order to the Church from the Pope, in response to the evil of sexual abuse. The new law comes after a meeting in Rome that brought together all episcopal conference presidents from across the globe to discuss the Church sex abuse crisis.

Cardinal DiNardo’s full statement follows:

“Today, Pope Francis ordered a worldwide response to the evil of sexual abuse. It calls for the establishment of easily accessible reporting systems, clear standards for the pastoral support of victims and their families, timeliness and thoroughness of investigations, whistleblower protection for those making allegations, and active involvement of the laity. It also leaves latitude for national bishops’ conferences, such as the USCCB, to specify still more to account for their local circumstances. We receive the Motu Proprio Vos estis lux mundi (‘You are the light of the world’) as a blessing that will empower the Church everywhere to bring predators to justice, no matter what rank they hold in the Church. It also permits the Church the time and opportunity to bring spiritual healing.

The Holy Father said a ‘continuous and profound conversion of hearts is needed, attested by concrete and effective actions that involve everyone in the Church.’ Pope Francis was clear that this responsibility ‘falls, above all, on the successors of the Apostles.’ As part of this responsibility, bishops also will be held accountable under the authority of this Motu Proprio, which covers sexual abuse of minors or vulnerable persons, sexual acts compelled through the abuse of authority, and any coverup of such crimes.

In publishing this new law, which is applicable to the Church throughout the world, Pope Francis has made clear that protection and healing must reach all of God’s children. Following on the meeting just two months ago of all episcopal conference presidents, the Motu Proprio shows Pope Francis expects swift and comprehensive progress. For the Church in the United States, the task before us now is to establish whatever is necessary to ensure the effective implementation of the Motu Proprio. Our committees have already begun the work of preparing implementation measures for deliberation at the USCCB Plenary Assembly in June.

I am grateful for the opportunity to build upon the excellent foundation of the USCCB’s Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, the Essential Norms for Diocesan/Eparchial Policies Dealing with Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests or Deacons, and the Statement of Episcopal Commitment, all of which date back to 2002. The existing framework in the United States including victim outreach, zero tolerance, reporting allegations to civil authorities, and lay expertise on review boards, among other measures - positions us readily to bring the Holy Father’s instructions to action. By embracing the painful experience of survivors and working on these new protections, let us pray we continue to grow into a stronger Church.”

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Keywords: Pope Francis, Motu Proprio, Vos estis lux mundi (You are the light of the world), Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, clergy sex abuse, worldwide response, successors of the Apostles, minors, vulnerable persons, USCCB Plenary Assembly, Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, Essential Norms for Diocesan/Eparchial Policies Dealing with Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests or Deacons, Statement of Episcopal Commitment

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200

Questions & Answers Regarding Pope Francis’s Motu Proprio

Vos estis lux mundi

 

What does the new Motu Proprio do?

The new Motu Proprio Vos estis lux mundi is a significant move forward for the universal Church, one that echoes many of the practices established in the U.S. Bishops’ Essential Norms and the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People that have been in force in the United States since 2002. For example, it affirms the existing:

    Commitment to provide for the spiritual and emotional well-being of victims/ survivors and their families;
    Duty to comply with all applicable civil laws with respect to the reporting of allegations of sexual abuse of minors to civil authorities;
    Right of any person to report such crimes;
    Guarantee of a prompt and objective investigation;
    Assurance of lay involvement

The Motu Proprio also continues to focus on victims by significantly building upon existing local practices, for example by expanding:

The scope of cases to include:

    The sexual abuse of a new classification of “vulnerable persons,”
    The use of violence or other abuse of power to perform or submit to sexual acts,
    Any cover up of such conduct by other;
    Those who are to be reported for such cases, namely, cardinals, bishops, other clerics, religious superiors, and other members of institutes of consecrated life or societies of apostolic life;
    Reporting obligations to include mandatory, internal reporting;
    Safeguards against retaliation or discrimination by mandating “whistle-blower” protections

When do these norms take effect?

    They will take effect on June 1, 2019;
    They will be reviewed by the Holy See after three years and adjusted as needed;
    Every diocese and eparchy (either individually or collectively) is to have a publicly accessible means for people to report cases covered under the Motu Proprio by June 1, 2020. In the United States, while this has already been accomplished for cases involving the sexual abuse of minors by priests and deacons, reporting mechanisms will have to be modified to serve the broader categories of the Motu Proprio.

What about cases of sexual misconduct that do not fall under this Motu Proprio?

    These are generally already covered by existing diocesan or eparchial codes of conduct. With the help of lay and legal experts, bishops are working on ways to ensure that coverage and enhance awareness and reporting mechanisms for such cases. 

How are transparency and confidentiality promoted in this new Motu Proprio?

    The Motu Proprio increases transparency by establishing clear procedures that must be followed, reaffirming the obligation to report to civil authorities, providing for lay involvement in internal investigations, protecting from possible conflicts of interest, and ensuring that those who report complaints to the Church are also free to report the same information to others and are protected from retaliation. At the same time, because the Motu Proprio involves the investigation of a complaint, it carefully balances the rights of those involved. Confidentiality is needed for the effectiveness of the investigation. It protects victims and witnesses, as well as the presumption of innocence and the seal of the confessional. 

Does this new Motu Proprio interfere or hinder civil law, such as mandatory reporting requirements and civil investigations?

    In no way. The Motu Proprio establishes the canonical (Church law) procedures that are to be followed. Included in these procedures, however, is the obligation to comply with all applicable civil laws.

Zero tolerance is not mentioned. Is that no longer the policy of the Catholic Church?

    In the United States, zero tolerance has been the policy since 2002, which comes from the Charter and the Essential Norms. The Motu Proprio does not undo this policy. Other episcopal conferences around the world have or will be developing policies appropriate to their legal and cultural situations. The good news here is that what was first thought of as an “American problem” or a “Western problem” is now on everyone’s radar.

Why does the Motu Proprio focus on the role of the Metropolitan?

    The Motu Proprio uses the Metropolitan because it is a position in the Church that is grounded in tradition and the teaching of Vatican II and is governed by existing canon law.
    This also allows investigations to be carried out on the local level, where the Metropolitan will have more direct access to information, documents, and lay experts to help investigate, and can collaborate with civil authorities. The Metropolitan, being local, can also take measures to preserve and secure evidence.
    Recent investigations of misconduct by a bishop, such as in West Virginia, have successfully followed this practice.

What does this mean for the proposals the U.S. bishops considered last November?

    The work of our committees that has already taken place will be examined and adapted to work within the framework of the new Motu Proprio and will be the basis for deliberation over its implementation at the USCCB Plenary Assembly in June.

Source: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

DOMESTIC JUSTICE CHAIRMAN ISSUES STATEMENT FOLLOWING SHOOTING AT STEM SCHOOL HIGHLANDS RANCH IN COLORADO

WASHINGTON—Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, issued the following statement in response to yesterday’s tragic shooting at the STEM School Highlands Ranch near Denver, Colorado.

The full statement follows:

“Yesterday, tragically just seven miles from Columbine High School, a shooting took place at the STEM School Highlands Ranch. There are reports of multiple critical injuries including at present, one fatality. This shooting comes just after the community marked the 20th anniversary of the tragic shooting at Columbine. This shooting reminds us yet again that something is fundamentally broken in our society when places of learning can become scenes of violence and disregard for human life. As Americans we must deeply examine why these horrific occurrences of gun violence continue to take place in our communities. Action is needed to attempt to reduce the frequency of these heinous acts. I call on Catholics around the country to pray for the dead, injured and for the loved ones left behind and for healing in the community.
May Jesus who came that we might all have life in abundance, bring consolation and healing at this time of great sadness.”
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Keywords: United States Conference of catholic Bishops, USCCB, STEM School Highlands Ranch, Bishop Frank Dewane, Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Columbine
 
Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 

Mr. Richard Coll Named as Director of the Office of Domestic Social Development for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

WASHINGTON— Mr. Richard Coll has been appointed as Director of the Office of Domestic Social Development for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), based in Washington, D.C.
The appointment will take effect on June 17, 2019. Monsignor Brian Bransfield, USCCB General Secretary, made the appointment.
Mr. Coll has been employed by the USCCB since 2011, first as a Foreign Policy Advisor for the Office of International Justice and Peace, and most recently as the Director for the Subcommittee on Catholic Home Missions. A graduate of Harvard College and Law School, Mr. Coll came to the Conference after a distinguished career in law in both Washington D.C., and New York, where he worked in banking and international economic policy.                                                                                                                                “Mr. Coll brings the kind of knowledge and managerial acumen necessary for a position of such breadth,” said Msgr. Bransfield. “In addition to his love for the Church and his extensive knowledge of the Church’s teaching, he will play a key role in advancing the Church’s mission in the world."
He is fluent in Spanish and French and brings added expertise in various policy areas, as well as his many years of experience with the Conference. He is a parishioner at Holy Trinity Church in Washington, D.C., and a member of its Parish Pastoral Council.  
To lean more about the Office of Domestic Social Development please visit: http://www.usccb.org/about/domestic-social-development/

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Mr. Richard Coll, Office of Domestic Social Development, Msgr. Brian Bransfield
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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 

Ordination Class of 2019 Report Indicates Accompaniment is Key for Vocational Discernment

WASHINGTON – According to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate’s (CARA) survey of the Ordination Class of 2019, encouragement and accompaniment are key to fostering priestly vocations. Of all responding ordinands, 92% reported being encouraged to consider the priesthood by someone in their life, giving credit to an average of four individuals for influencing their vocation. A majority of respondents (69%) stated that their parish priest was a key figure in their discernment process. Support from friends (43%) and fellow parishioners (39%) also had considerable impact. The ordinands also cited parents, other family members, teachers/catechists, school chaplains and campus/youth ministers as having contributed to their discernment of a priestly vocation.

Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, Chairman of the Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations reiterated the importance of individual accompaniment in vocational discernment. “As Pope Francis stated in his exhortation, Christus Vivit, sensitive and patient listening is key when helping young people discern. Priests, consecrated men and women, and the laity can all echo the voice of Jesus who calls men to serve in the holy priesthood as good and faithful shepherds.”

CARA is retained each year by the Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations to conduct a survey of the men scheduled to be ordained to the priesthood in the coming spring. This year, CARA identified and contacted a total of 481 men to be ordained to the priesthood in 2019. Of that number, 379 responded for an overall response rate of 79%. Of those respondents, 284 (75%) were ordinands to the diocesan priesthood and 95 (25%) were ordinands to the religious priesthood. Some of the major findings of the study are:
o   The average age of responding ordinands was 33, slightly younger than the previous two ordination classes. By comparison, respondents of the Ordination Class of 2018 were an average of 35 years old and respondents of the Ordination Class of 2017 were an average of 34 years old.
o   A majority of responding ordinands (75%) were born in the United States. Of the remaining 25% who were foreign-born, the most common countries of origin were Mexico (5%), Nigeria (3%), and Columbia and Vietnam, each representing 2% of the foreign-born ordinands.
o   More than half (55%) of the respondents completed their undergraduate education before entering the seminary and 68% reported having worked full-time, with education being the most common work experience (11%).
o   A total of 89% of respondents were baptized Catholic as an infant. Of those who became Catholic later in life, the average age of conversion was 18.
o   Eucharistic Adoration (75%) and the Rosary (73%) were the most popular and influential prayer practices that respondents regularly engaged in before entering the seminary.
o   Regarding their activity in parish ministry, 78% of respondents served as altar servers, 53% served as lectors, and 44% served as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion.
o   Vocation programs also demonstrated significant impact upon the respondents’ discernment with 68% having participated in at least one vocation program before entering the seminary. Of these programs, “Come and See” weekends were the most popular (52%) followed by Quo Vadis/Discernment Retreats (15%).
o   Among the ordinands who had access to a Spirituality Year, Pastoral Year or other programs outside of the seminary, 80% reported that the Spirituality Year, Pastoral Year Internship, and Thirty Day Retreat contributed to their discernment at least “somewhat.” Notably, 73% of respondents indicated that the Spirituality Year contributed “very much” to their vocational discernment.

The entire CARA survey as well as profiles of the Ordination Class of 2019 can be accessed at:
http://cms.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/vocations/ordination-class/ordination-class-of-2019.cfm
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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, ordination, ordinands, class of 2019, Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, priesthood, Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA), Pope Francis, vocations, discernment, religious life, diocesan priesthood, Christus Vivit
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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 

Chairmen of U.S. Bishops’ Conference Commend Administration on New Regulations Protecting Rights of Conscience in Health Care

WASHINGTON—Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities and Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Chairman of the bishops’ Committee for Religious Liberty, have issued a statement commending today’s adoption of new regulations that ensure existing laws protecting conscience rights in healthcare are enforced and followed.

Their joint statement follows:  

“We strongly commend the Department of Health and Human Services for adopting important new regulations to ensure that existing laws protecting the rights of conscience in health care are known, followed and enforced.

Though these laws were passed on a bipartisan basis and have been policy for years, the previous administration did not fully enforce them, and now they are increasingly being violated. Health care providers like New York nurse Cathy DeCarlo and medical trainees have been coerced into participating in the brutal act of abortion against their core beliefs, while churches and others who oppose abortion are being compelled by states like California to cover elective abortion—including late-term abortion—in their health plans. We are grateful that this Administration is taking seriously its duty to enforce these fundamental civil rights laws, and we look forward to swift action by HHS to remedy current violations in several states.

Conscience protection should not fluctuate as administrations change. It is essential that Congress provide permanent legislative relief through passage of the Conscience Protection Act in order to give victims of discrimination the ability to defend their rights in court. No one should be forced to violate their deeply held convictions about the sanctity of human life.”
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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, Committee on Pro-Life Activities, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, Committee for Religious Liberty, Department of Health and Human Services, conscience rights, health care providers, Cathy DeCarlo, RN, medical trainees, abortion, California, elective abortion, late-term abortion, Trump Administration, U.S. Congress, civil rights laws, conscience protection, White House, discrimination, convictions, sanctity of human life

Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 

National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for Mariners and People of the Sea, May 22

WASHINGTON—The US Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration annually honors the hardworking men and women in “Maritime Service to America” with the National Maritime Day Observance and Wreath-Laying ceremony. In conjunction with National Maritime Day in the United States of America, the day honors those who serve as merchant mariners, seafarers, fishers, their families, port personnel and all who work or travel on the high seas.  

Most Reverend Brendan Cahill, Bishop of the Diocese of Victoria, Texas and Promoter of the Apostleship of the Sea (AOS) encourages parish and diocesan observances through the celebration of Mass and other activities. The faithful can support and participate in prayer services and remembrance ceremonies at their local ports and maritime communities. When Mass is celebrated on May 22, the text for the Votive Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Star of the Sea, may be used. All dioceses can celebrate the “National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for Mariners” to express gratitude to seafarers, fishers, their families, port personnel and all who work or travel on seas.

Bishop Cahill will celebrate a Mass in observance of Maritime Day on Saturday, May 18 at 12:10 p.m. in the Crypt Church at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC. AOS and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church sponsor this prayerful observance.
 
In over 50 ports, there are more than 100 AOS chaplains, maritime deacons and lay ecclesial ministers who participate in the mission of Christ by sharing the gift of love. They welcome, network and reach out to seafarers, fisher men and women, their families, and all who work or travel on the seas. Through the celebration of the Eucharist and the Word of God, the chaplaincy team helps seafarers discover the loving presence of God in an often challenging world. Their continued presence for pastoral ministry is a clear evidence of their dedication and joy for the ministry.

More information is available at: http://www.usccb.org/aos.
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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Apostleship of the Sea, AOS, Bishop Brendan J. Cahill, seafarers, fishers, port personnel, people of the sea, merchant mariner, fisherman, maritime personnel, ministry, National Maritime Day
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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 

Pope Francis Exhorts Young People to Be Courageous; Encounter Christ on the 56th Annual World Day of Prayer for Vocations

WASHINGTON--The 56th annual World Day of Prayer for Vocations will be celebrated by the Catholic Church on the Fourth Sunday of Easter, May 12, 2019, a day which is also commonly referred to as Good Shepherd Sunday. Inspired by the Lord’s instruction in the Gospels of Matthew 9:38 and Luke 10:2, in which Jesus exhorts the people to “ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest,” World Day of Prayer for Vocations unites the faithful together in praying for the fostering of all vocations, particularly those of ordained ministry and consecrated life.  

In his Message for the 2019 World Day of Vocations, Pope Francis reflected on the reality that all men are made “bearers of a promise” and are asked to have the “courage to take a risk” with Jesus and for Jesus. The Holy Father emphasized that just as the Lord beckoned Simon and Andrew to leave their nets and follow him, he also asks the same of us. He encounters each of us personally and uniquely, and it is in the midst of this encounter with Christ that Pope Francis says we are granted “the promise of a joy capable of bringing fulfillment to our lives.” The Holy Father also urged those discerning to remember that “the Lord’s call is not an intrusion of God in our freedom; it is not a “cage” or a burden to be borne. On the contrary, it is the loving initiative whereby God encounters us and invites us to be part of a great undertaking.”  

Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., Chairman of the Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, stated that it is precisely because of this encounter with Christ that we are given the courage to leave the security of our daily routines and decisively embark on the path the Lord has for us. “To have courage does not mean that we suddenly have no fear or uncertainty,” Cardinal Tobin said. To be courageous means to know with confidence that Jesus is walking with us and in challenging us to take a risk, intends only our greatest joy.”  

Closing his Message for the 2019 World Day of Vocations, Pope Francis beseeched young people to realize that following Jesus is always worth the risk. “Do not be deaf to the Lord’s call,” he urged. “If he calls you to follow this path, do not pull your oars into the boat, but trust him. Do not yield to fear, which paralyzes us before the great heights to which the Lord points us. Always remember that to those who leave their nets and boats behind, and follow him, the Lord promises the joy of a new life that can fill our hearts and enliven our journey.

More information on the World Day of Prayer for Vocations and resources for its celebration, including Pope Francis’ full message, Prayers of the Faithful, a bulletin quote, and prayer card, can be accessed online at: http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/vocations/world-day-of-prayer-for-vocations.cfm

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, Pope Francis, vocations, discernment, World Day of Prayer for Vocations, World Day of Vocations, Good Shepherd Sunday, Gospels

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 

Chairman of U.S. Bishops’ Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Island Affairs Supports Marian Pilgrimage Taking Place at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception

WASHINGTON— Bishop Oscar A. Solis, of Salt Lake City, and Chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Island Affairs has issued a statement in support of the 17th Annual Marian Pilgrimage that will take place Saturday, May 4 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in the nation’s capital.  
About a thousand Asian and Pacific American Catholics in the East Coast are expected to attend the Marian Pilgrimage.

Bishop Solis’ full statement follows:

“The annual Marian Pilgrimage has a long-standing tradition for the past years of providing a spiritual venue for all Asian and Pacific American Catholics to gather together and celebrate our devotion to our Blessed Mother. The celebration highlights one of the common threads that binds all Catholics as members of our Church here in America. This joyful and colorful spiritual celebration offers a special occasion for the different Asian and Pacific American Catholics in the United States to share their unique cultural gifts of piety and devotion that help enrich the faith life of our parish communities. Having played a part of the Marian Pilgrimage as Main Celebrant in the Holy Mass on two occasions in the past, I can truly say that this gathering is a significant contribution of the Asian and Pacific Catholics in building unity among the diverse communities that constitute the Church in America. The USCCB Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Island Affairs strongly supports and commends the leaders of the Asian Pacific Catholic Network for organizing the Annual Pilgrimage.”

The celebration will begin at 1 p.m. with a procession of many banners and Marian images venerated throughout Asia and the Pacific. Following will be the crowning of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the recitation of the rosary at 2 p.m., with each mystery lead by a different Asian or Pacific Island community.
A Mass at 2:30 p.m., with Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States as celebrant, will cap the pilgrimage.
“Everyone is welcome to join us in this one-day celebration of faith and culture,” said Fred Semendy, Asian Pacific Catholic Network (APCN) executive chairman and co-sponsor. “We hope pilgrims will encounter Christ through Mary.”  

Participating communities include Bangla, Burmese, Cambodian, Chamorro, Chinese, Filipino, Lebanese, Indonesian, Indian (Latin, Syro-Malabar and Syro-Malankara rites), Japanese, Korean, Laotian, Montagnard, Pakistani, Samoan, Sri Lankan, Thai and Vietnamese Catholics.

The pilgrimage is sponsored by the APCN, in collaboration with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church.
The APCN is committed to sharing the Catholic faith, as expressed in the cultures and languages of Asian and Pacific Island Americans.

The Secretariat of Cultural Diversity works to encourage the inclusion and fuller participation of all God's People in the life and ministry of the Church by building up their Catholic identity in a spirit of unity and diversity. The USCCB recently published a new document, Encountering Christ in Harmony: A Pastoral Response to Our Asian and Pacific Island Brothers and Sisters. This pastoral response will guide the Catholic Church in the United States in addressing the pastoral needs of Asian and Pacific Island communities and provide a framework for dioceses and parishes for creating their pastoral plans or actions specific to their circumstances.

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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Oscar A. Solis, Asian and Pacific Island Affairs, Marian Pilgrimage, National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Asian Pacific Catholic Network, Fred Semendy, Cultural Diversity

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 

Bishop Oscar Cantú Will Assume Pastoral Governance of the Diocese of San Jose; Pope Francis Accepts Resignation of Bishop Patrick McGrath from Same See

WASHINGTON— Bishop Oscar Cantú, up until now Coadjutor Bishop of San Jose, will assume the pastoral governance of the Diocese upon Pope Francis accepting the resignation of Bishop Patrick J. McGrath of the same See.

The appointment and resignation were publicized in Washington, May 1, 2019, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States.

Bishop Oscar Cantú was named by Pope Francis as Coadjutor Bishop of San Jose, on July 11, 2018. He was transferred to the Diocese of San Jose after serving as Bishop of Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Most Reverend Cantú was born in Houston on December 5, 1966. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Dallas, and received his Masters in Divinity and Masters in Theological Studies from the University of St. Thomas, also in Houston. He also attended the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, where he earned his Licentiate in Sacred Theology (S.T.L.) as well as his Doctorate in Sacred Theology (S.T.D.). Bishop Cantú was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Houston in 1994.

Bishop Cantú was appointed and then ordained Auxiliary Bishop of San Antonio and Titular Bishop of Dardano in 2008. In 2013, he was appointed as Bishop of the Diocese of Las Cruces, NM. He was installed as bishop on February 28, 2013.

Bihsop Cantú is the former Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on International Justice and Peace. He is currently a member of the USCCB Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America as well as the Subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs. He was also one of two delegates chosen by the Bishops' Conference to represent the USCCB at Pope Francis' visit to Mexico in 2016.

Bishop Patrick McGrath was born on June 11, 1945, in Dublin, Ireland. He attended St. John’s Seminary in Waterford, Ireland where he was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of San Francisco in 1970. His Excellency McGrath served as the parochial vicar of St. Anne of the Sunset Parish in San Francisco, and in the archdiocesan tribunal. He continued his education in Rome where he earned a doctorate in Canon law from the Pontifical Lateran University in 1977. Bishop McGrath returned to San Francisco and was appointed the Vice-Officialis, then Officialis, of the archdiocesan tribunal and pastor of the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption.

Ordained Auxiliary Bishop of San Francisco on January 25, 1989, he then served the Archdiocese as Vicar for Clergy, Moderator of the Curia and Vicar for Parishes. On June 30, 1998 he was named by Pope John Paul II to be Coadjutor of the Diocese of San Jose and became bishop of the Diocese upon the retirement of Bishop Pierre DuMaine on November 27, 1999.

The Diocese of San Jose is comprised of 1,300 square miles in the state of California and has a total population of 1,938,153 of which 635,000 or 32 percent, are Catholic.

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Pope Francis, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio, Bishop Patrick McGrath, Bishop Oscar Cantú, Diocese of San Jose, Diocese of Las Cruces.

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200

U.S. Bishops to Meet June 11-14 in Baltimore; Assembly to be Live Streamed, Live Tweeted, Carried Via Satellite

WASHINGTON—The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will gather for the 2019 Spring General Assembly in Baltimore, June 11-14.  

Coverage of the meeting is open to credentialed media. Sessions open to the media will be Tuesday, June 11, Wednesday, June 12, and the morning of Thursday, June 13. Press conferences will follow open sessions of the meeting as time allows. Reporters seeking to cover the meeting can download a credential application form available in English and Spanish. Please submit the form by no later than June 5 to media-relations@usccb.org or mail to:

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Office of Public Affairs
June Meeting Credentials
3211 4th St. NE
Washington, DC 20017-1194

There will be no onsite credentialing.

A live stream and satellite feed is expected to run Tuesday, June 11 from 11am-6 pm Eastern, Wednesday, June 12, 9am-6pm Eastern and Thursday, June 13, 9:30am to 11:45pm. The assembly will be live streamed on the Internet and will be available via satellite for broadcasters wishing to air it. Public sessions of the general assembly discussions and votes will be available via livestream at: http://www.usccb.org/live

News updates, vote totals, texts of addresses and presentations and other materials will be posted to this page: www.usccb.org/meetings as soon as possible during the general assembly.

Those wishing to follow the meeting on social media can use the hashtag #USCCB19 and follow on Twitter (https://twitter.com/usccb) as well as on Facebook (www.facebook.com/usccb) and Instagram (https://instagram.com/usccb).

Media outlets interested in taking the meeting's satellite feed may request coordinates by email.
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Keywords: USCCB, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Spring General Assembly, June meeting, Baltimore, #usccb19

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200