USCCB General Assembly: Abp. Kurtz calls for 'pastor's presence,' fight for freedoms

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, gave his address Nov. 16 during the bishops 2015 fall general assembly in Baltimore.

BALTIMORE -- In the face of "the heartbreaking crises and challenges in our world," Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., called on his fellow bishops Nov. 16 to imitate the "pastor's presence" exhibited by Pope Francis during his recent U.S. visit, "touching the hearts of the most influential, the forgotten and all of us in between."

The talk by the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops opened the annual USCCB fall general assembly in Baltimore, which was to include discussion of political responsibility, religious freedom, pornography and other topics.

Archbishop Cordileone: Responding to same-sex marriage must be done with “truth and compassion”

As the institution of marriage faces unprecedented challenges, the Catholic Church continues to promote and defend marriage as being between one man and one woman, said Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone.

As chairman of the bishops' Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, Archbishop Cordileone gave bishops at the Spring General Assembly an update prior to the U.S. Supreme Court's decision on same-sex marriage.

Bishops say care for poor must be top concern following pope's example

ST. LOUIS  -- After a presentation about future priorities for the U.S. bishops at their spring general assembly in St. Louis, several bishops stepped up to microphone emphasizing that care for the poor has to be a top concern.

"Don't forget the poor," Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington, D.C., urged the bishops June 11. "If we do all these wonderful things, and don't obviously remember the poor, we're losing the star moment of this extraordinary Holy Father," he said.

Bishops urged to help Catholics understand upcoming encyclical

 Bishop Oscar Cantu gave a presentation discussing themes associated with the upcoming papal encyclical on human ecology and the environment. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) gathered for their annual Spring General Assembly, June 10-12, in St. Louis.

ST. LOUIS -- A week before the anticipated release of Pope Francis' encyclical on human ecology and the environment, the U.S. bishops were urged to help Catholics hear and understand it.

Pope Francis will challenge the assumptions of "both the left and the right" with the document, said Bishop Oscar Cantu of Las Cruces, New Mexico, chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on International Justice and Peace.

He made the comments June 10 on the first day of the bishops' spring general assembly in St. Louis.

Bishops discuss upcoming encyclical, pope's visit, uses of social media

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) gathered for their annual Spring General Assembly, June 10-12, in St. Louis. They gathered for Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, celebrated by Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, president of the USCCB.

ST. LOUIS-- The U.S. bishops gathered in St. Louis for their spring general assembly heard presentations on the pope's upcoming encyclical on the environment, the U.S. Church's ongoing work in promoting traditional marriage and the need to remain vigilant in protecting children from abuse.

On the first day of their meeting June 10, there also were reports on the bishops' efforts to advocate for comprehensive immigration reform and help rebuilding work in Haiti, which is still recovering from the 2010 earthquake.

U.S. bishops assembly in St. Louis opens with rapid start to communications


A few hours before the U.S. bishops' Spring General Assembly opened June 10 in St. Louis, the meeting already had begun.

Tweets were trickling out from bishops, media and observers, using the hashtag #usccb15. Among their first items to share: a link to the live stream of the proceedings, bishops making their presence known and media types encouraging followers to watch their live coverage.

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