General Assembly - November 2020

November 16-17 (Virtual)

General Assembly - Fall 2020

General Assembly - Fall 2020

The bishops held their first-ever virtual General Assembly from November 16-17, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speeches & Presentations

These will be posted at the conclusion of each plenary session.

Election Results

Earlier this year, the bishop-members voted to suspend the bylaws of the Conference to allow for paper, mail-in ballots for the election of the committee chairmen and new general secretary before the November meeting. The bishops voted for a chairman for the Committee on Religious Liberty, and chairmen-elect of seven standing committees. The chairmen-elect will serve for one year as chairmen-elect before beginning a three-year term at the conclusion of the bishops’ 2021 Fall General Assembly.

  • Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA as chairman-elect of the Committee on Priorities and Plans in a 157-83 vote over Bishop Daniel E. Thomas of Toledo.
  • Bishop Thomas A. Daly of Spokane, as chairman-elect of the Committee on Catholic Education in a 139-103 vote over Archbishop Gregory J. Hartmayer, OFM Conv. of Atlanta.
  • Bishop Robert Reed of Boston, as chairman-elect of the Committee on Communications in a 144-97 vote over Bishop Christopher J. Coyne of Burlington.
  • Bishop Arturo Cepeda of Detroit, as chairman-elect of the Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church in a 155-78 vote over Bishop Jorge Rodríguez-Novelo of Denver.
  • Bishop Daniel E. Flores of Brownsville as chairman-elect of the Committee on Doctrine in a 146-91 vote over Bishop Brendan J. Cahill of Victoria.
  • Bishop James S. Wall of Gallup, as chairman-elect of the Committee on National Collections in a 136-104 vote over Bishop W. Shawn McKnight of Jefferson City.
  • Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, as chairman-elect of the Committee on Pro-life Activities in a 139-102 vote over Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila of Denver.
  • Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, as chairman of the Committee for Religious Liberty in a 134-106 vote over Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami.
  • Monsignor Jeffrey Burrill, STL was elected as General Secretary of the USCCB in a vote over Reverend Michael Fuller, STD. The general secretary’s term is five years.

Additionally, seven members of the Board of Directors for Catholic Relief Services were elected from a slate of eleven candidates. They are (alphabetical order): Bishop Brendan J. Cahill of Victoria, Bishop Octavio Cisneros of Brooklyn, Bishop Shelton J. Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux, Bishop Daniel E. Garcia of Austin, Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, and Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, CSsR of Newark, and Bishop Luis R. Zarama of Raleigh.

Action Items

The full body of bishops approved the Revised Strategic Priorities for the 2021-24 USCCB Strategic Plan, “Created Anew by the Body and Blood of Christ: Source of Our Healing and Hope” by a vote of 193 - 3 with two abstentions.

The bishops also voted to approve the renewal of the Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism that focuses on addressing the sin of racism. The committee was established in August 2017, upon the unanimous recommendation of the USCCB’s Executive Committee and in consultation with members of the USCCB's Committee on Priorities and Plans. The vote to renew the Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism was 194 - 3 with one abstention.

The bishops also accepted the recommendations of the Committee on Budget and Finance for approval of the 2021 Proposed Budgets by a vote of 193 - 1 with four abstentions.