Bishops Vote on New USCCB/MRS Chairman, Extending Retirement Fund for Religious, Permanent Subcommittee on the Church in Africa, at General Assembly
BALTIMORE—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) votedon a new MRS chairman and approved severalitems, including, establishing a permanent Subcommittee on the Church in Africaand extending the Retirement Fund for Religious Appeal, during their annualFall General Assembly in Baltimore, Novem
BALTIMORE—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) votedon a new MRS chairman and approved severalitems, including, establishing a permanent Subcommittee on the Church in Africaand extending the Retirement Fund for Religious Appeal, during their annualFall General Assembly in Baltimore, November 15.
In November2015, Archbishop Gomez was elected to chair the USCCB Committee on Migrationfor a term beginning this week. Since his election as USCCB vice-presidentprevents him from assuming leadership of the committee, the bishops elected anew chairman. Bishop Joe S. Vasquez of Austin, Texas, was elected chairman ofthe Committee on Migration in a 109-91 vote over Archbishop John C. Wester.
The bishops voted 155 infavor, 8 against and 1 abstaining, to approve a 10-year extension of the Retirement Fund forReligious Appeal. This annual collection was initiated to address the profounddeficit in retirement funding among religious congregations in the UnitedStates. The National Religious Retirement Office (NRRO) coordinates the collectionand distributes the proceeds to religious communities in need.
The bishops also approved establishinga permanent Subcommittee on the Church in Africa. The proposal received a voteof 193-8-4. The USCCB's Subcommittee on the Church in Africa works as part ofthe Committee on National Collections. It administers the voluntary SolidarityFund for the Church in Africa and allocates the revenue received as grants toAfrican episcopal conferences and their regional associations in Africa forprograms that support the growth of the Church, especially in the areas ofleadership training, church administration, evangelization, communications, justiceand peace.
An expanded euchological formulary for the Memorial of SaintKateri Tekakwitha was approved by a 189-1-0 vote. The expanded Mass formularyin honor of St. Kateri consists of entrance and Communion antiphons, a prayerover the offerings and a prayer after Communion. The formulary has beentranslated into Spanish.
The bishops voted 165-6-3 in favor of approval of the 2017proposed budget, presented by the Committee on Budget and Finance.
Diocesan and eparchial bishops also considered arecommendation to adopt the revised diocesan assessment formula to be effectiveJanuary 1, 2018. The USCCB by-laws require a two-thirds majority of all 197eligible members to approve the revised diocesan assessment formula. In theinitial vote, 107 or 65 percent of eligible bishops approved the assessment.The absent eligible members will be canvassed to determine the final vote.
Diocesan and eparchial bishops also considered a threepercent increase in the diocesan assessment for 2018. The USCCB by-laws requirea two-thirds majority of all 197 eligible members to approve a three percentincrease in the diocesan assessment. In the initial vote, 100 or 60 percent of eligiblebishops approved the assessment. The absent eligible members will be canvassedto determine the final vote.
The bishops also voted 211-3-2 to approve the renewal of aresolution on diocesan financial reporting for 2017 through 2021.
Keywords:USCCB, U.S. bishops, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, November meeting,Fall General Assembly, Baltimore, Retirement Fund for Religious Appeal, NRRO, euchological,formulary, Subcommittee on the Church in Africa, National Religious RetirementOffice, Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, Committee on Budget and Finance, diocesan,eparchial
# # #
Norma Montenegro Flynn