WASHINGTON—TheU.S. bishops will vote on a document encouraging Catholics to see Lent 2013 asan opportunity to return to regular celebration of the Sacrament of Penance andReconciliation. The vote will occur during the annual Fall General Assembly ofthe U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), November 12-15, in Baltimore.
Thebishops developed the document to highlight the connection drawn by PopeBenedict XVI between confession and the New Evangelization during the Year ofFaith. "The New Evangelization, thus, also begins in the confessional!" PopeBenedict said in March.
Thedocument is "an invitation from the bishops of the United States to allCatholics—bishops, clergy and laity—to participate in the sacrament," saidBishop David Ricken of Green Bay, Wisconsin, chairman of the USCCB Committee onEvangelization and Catechesis. In the proposed text, the bishops write thatthey are eager to help people experiencing difficulty, hesitation oruncertainty about receiving the sacrament. They also express readiness towelcome those who have not gone to confession in a long time.
"Thebrevity of the statement is intended to help foster a wide disseminationthrough parish bulletins, print publications and social media," Bishop Rickenadded.
Accordingto Bishop Ricken, the Evangelization and Catechesis Committee will prepareother teaching resources for parishes and dioceses, and the USCCB statementshould be seen as supplementing the voice of a local bishop on this matter.
Coverageof the bishops' meeting is open to credentialed media. Sessions open to mediawill be Monday, November 12, and Tuesday, November 13. Media conferences willfollow open sessions of the meeting. Reporters seeking to cover the meeting candownload a credential application form at www.usccb.org/about/media-relations/upload/application-news-media-credentials.pdf and submit it by November 1 viaemail to USCCB Media Relations, fax to (202) 541-3173, or mailto:NovemberMeeting CredentialsOfficeof Media Relations3211 4thSt. NEWashington,DC 20017-1194
Keywords:U.S. bishops: USCCB, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Baltimore, Novembermeeting, Fall General Assembly, Bishop David Ricken, confession, Lent, Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation
# # # # #MEDIA CONTACT ONLY:Don ClemmerO: 202-541-3206Email
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