More time will be dedicated to prayer and fellowship at this year’s general assembly in an apparent acknowledgment of the challenges and stresses involved in the job. Discussion may turn to The Catholic Project’s recent survey that found signs of “burnout” among young priests and diocesan priests, and a decline in trust that priests have in their bishops.
7. Ukraine War
The bishops will get an update on the war in Ukraine from Archbishop Borys Gudziak, the archeparch of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia. We can expect the bishops to renew a commitment to the Ukrainian people (Archbishop William Lori traveled to Poland and Ukraine with the Knights of Columbus in October to help distribute aid to those affected by the war). It is unlikely that they would get ahead of the Vatican on the issue of the war and push for an end to U.S. funding of Ukraine’s military.
8. Synod on Synodality
The bishops will discuss the Synod on Synodality and the preliminary findings from the Church’s listening sessions. With the September release of the “National Synthesis,” the bishops are moving from the diocesan phase of the listening process to the continental phase, and it will be interesting to see what findings they choose to highlight. Pope Francis announced on Oct. 16 his decision to extend the synod through October 2024.
The bishops will vote on whether to advance the causes for sainthood for three American women: Cora Evans, Michelle Duppong, and Mother Margaret Mary Healy Murphy.
10. And the rest …
The Baltimore meeting will kick off Tuesday with an address from the papal nuncio, Archbishop Christoph Pierre. The bishops also will discuss a new catechumenate model of marriage preparation, World Youth Day 2023, migration, new translations of liturgical rituals, and reflect on the 20th anniversary of the Dallas Charter and where things stand since the Church put into place procedures to address the sexual abuse of minors by clergy.
In addition, the bishops will elect chairmen of several committees. Of some interest will be the election for chairman of the Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis, as whoever succeeds Bishop Andrew Cozzens will be taking on the high-profile job of quarterbacking the Eucharistic Revival initiative.
Editors note: This article incorrectly stated that Bishop Andrew Cozzens' term as chairman of the Committee on Evangelization at Catechesis would end at the end of the general assembly. His term ends at the conclusion of the bishops' fall general assembly in 2023, and the article has been corrected to reflect that.
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