Bishops to Vote on Proposal to Revise ‘Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services’ at November Meeting

October 27, 2014 By Public Affairs Office
WASHINGTON—The U.S. bishops will vote about whether to pursue a revision of the section of the “Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services” dealing with forming partnerships at their November 10-13 Fall General Assembly in Baltimore. Part Six of the directives, “Forming New Partnerships with Health Care Organizations and Providers,” would be revised to incorporate guidance the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) received from the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith this past February.

The bishops last revised Part Six of the directives in 2001.

The Vatican provided principles outlining how “to ensure that Catholic health care institutions neither cooperate immorally with the unacceptable procedures conducted in other health care entities with which they may be connected nor cause scandal as a result of their collaboration with such other entities.” The principles address matters such as decisions of hospital administrators regarding possible cooperative arrangements with non-Catholic entities; distinctions between formal and material cooperation with evil; and moral decision-making as it applies to joint actions with partners, boards and other bodies.

If a majority of the bishops present and voting at the meeting approve the proposal, the USCCB Committee on Doctrine will draft a revision to the directives for the full body of bishops to consider at a later general meeting.

More information on the November meeting agenda is available online:

Coverage of the meeting is open to credentialed media. Sessions open to the media are Monday, November 10, and Tuesday, November 11. Media conferences will follow the close of each open session. Media seeking to cover the meeting can download the credential application at: and submit it by November 1 via email to USCCB Media Relations, fax to (202) 541-3173 or mail to:

November Meeting Credentials
Office of Media Relations
3211 4th St. NE
Washington, DC 20017-1194
Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, November meeting, Fall General Assembly, Baltimore, Committee on Doctrine, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, partnerships
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Don Clemmer
O: 202-541-3206