Bishops to elect officers, hear task force report, vote on action plan

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(CNS) — The U.S. bishops will discuss ways to promote peace in U.S. communities
torn apart by violence, vote on ways to implement priority areas for their
conference approved last year and elect new leaders during their Nov. 14-16
fall general assembly in Baltimore.

discussion about restoring peace in the nation will stem from a report to be
presented to the bishops from a task force formed this past summer after shootings
by police and of police took place in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Minneapolis; and

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, who is president of the
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, announced the USCCB Task Force to Promote
Peace in Our Communities, he said there needed to be “ways of nurturing an
open, honest and civil dialogue on issues of race relations, restorative
justice, mental health, economic opportunity and addressing the question of
pervasive gun violence.”

task force is chaired by Atlanta Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory, who told
reporters in September that the U.S. bishops are in beginning stages of developing a
pastoral letter that will examine racism in society and the church and will encourage
dialogue on the issue as well as describe steps Catholics can take to bring
about healing and reconciliation.

part of the USCCB’s 2017-2020 strategic plan, the bishops will discuss and vote
on an action plan to support the five priorities they approved last November: evangelization;
family and marriage; human life and dignity; religious freedom; and vocations
and ongoing formation.

also will be given an update on preparations for the convocation of Catholic
leaders from all across the country taking place next July in Orlando, Florida,
and focusing on “The Joy of the Gospel in America.” It is an initiative of
bishops’ Working Group on the Life and Dignity of the Human Person.

bishops will convene key leaders from dioceses and Catholic organizations from
across the country “to assess the challenges and opportunities of our time,”
particularly in the context of the U.S. Catholic Church, according to the

by Pope Francis’ 2013 apostolic exhortation, “Evangelii Gaudium”
(“The Joy of the Gospel”), the convocation “will form leaders who will be
equipped and re-energized to share the Gospel as missionary disciples,” the
USCCB said.

Kurtz will give his final address as USCCB president; his three year-term ends
at the conclusion of the fall assembly. Also ending his three-term is the
current vice president, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston.

their meeting, the bishops will elect a new president and vice president, whose
three-year terms will begin at the conclusion of the assembly. Each office is
elected from a slate of 10 candidates who have been nominated by their fellow

nominees are: New Orleans Gregory M. Aymond; Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J.
Chaput; Oklahoma City Archbishop Paul S. Coakley; Cardinal DiNardo; Texas Bishop
Daniel E. Flores of Brownsville; Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez;
Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori; Detroit Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron;
Miami Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski and New Mexico Archbishop John C. Wester of
Santa Fe.

bylaws provide that the first election is that of the president by simple
majority vote of members who are present and voting. Following the election of
the president, the vice president is elected from the remaining nine

either election, if a candidate does not receive more than half of the votes
cast on the first ballot, a second vote is taken. If a third round of voting is
necessary, that ballot is a run-off between the two bishops who received the
most votes on the second ballot.

the meeting, the bishops also will vote for new chairmen-elect of the following
five USCCB committees: Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance;
Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs; Committee on Evangelization
and Catechesis; Committee on International Justice and Peace; and Committee on
the Protection of Children and Young People. They serve one year as
chairmen-elect and then over as chairmen at the conclusion of the bishops’ fall
assembly in 2017.

nominees are:

— Canonical Affairs and Church
Governance: Bishops Robert P. Deeley of Portland, Maine, and David M. Malloy of
Rockford, Illinois.

— Ecumenical and Interreligious
Affairs: Bishops Joseph C. Bambera of Scranton, Pennsylvania, and Michael C.
Barber of Oakland, California.

— Evangelization and
Catechesis: Auxiliary Bishop Robert E. Barron of Los Angeles and Bishop Frank
J. Caggiano of Bridgeport, Connecticut.

— International Justice and
Peace: Bishop Robert W. McElroy of San Diego and Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio
of the U.S. Archdiocese of the Military Services.

— Protection of Children and
Young People: Bishops Timothy L. Doherty of Lafayette, Indiana, and Joseph J.
Tyson of Yakima, Washington.

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