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US bishops’ fall meeting begins today; 2 key liturgical votes

November 10, 2008

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The annual fall meeting of the United States Conference Catholic Bishops begins today at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel. The agenda items during the portion of the meeting that is open to media include

  • an address by Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop of Chicago and president of the bishops’ conference
  • the election of the USCCB secretary
  • the election of chairmen-elect for five committees (the Committees on National Collections, Cultural Diversity, Doctrine, Pro-Life Activities and Communications)
  • a vote on whether the Revised Grail Psalter should replace the 1970 New American Bible translation at Mass and the 1963 Grail Psalter in the Liturgy of the Hours as the nation’s official liturgical Psalter
  • a vote to accept the International Committee for English in the Liturgy’s translation of the Proper of Seasons-- a translation rejected in June
  • a vote on an Order for the Blessing of the Child in the Womb

As discussed in earlier CWN coverage, the Revised Grail Psalter has been prepared in accord with Liturgiam authenticam,the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments’ 2001 document that called for more accurate liturgical translations, according to the Bishops' Committee on Divine Worship, now chaired by Bishop Arthur Serratelli of Paterson, NJ. The translation of the Proper of Seasons also arises from efforts that take root after Liturgiam authenticam to develop translations that more faithfully manifest the meaning, eloquence, and sacral language the Latin liturgical texts.

The sessions open to the media are taking place today and tomorrow from 9:00 until mid-afternoon. During closed sessions, the bishops will vote upon whether to adopt nine goals proposed by five task forces chaired by various bishops. A bishop told Catholic News Agency that despite a media report to the contrary, the bishops’ conference will also discuss the implications of political support for abortion-- an issue more prominent than ever following the election of Sen. Joe Biden as the nation’s first Catholic vice president.


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