USCCB

Archbishop calls for bishops' racism statement given election tension

Atlanta Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory, center, and other prelates applauded Nov. 14 after an address by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States, during the annual fall general assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore.

BALTIMORE -- Earlier this year, as communities faced tensions, protests and violence, following a spate of shooting and killings of black men by police, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, of Louisville, Ky., as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, asked dioceses across the country to observe a day of prayer for peace.

He also wanted the bishops to look for ways they could help the suffering communities, as well as police affected by the incidents.

Archbishop Gregory to chair USCCB task force on race

Atlanta Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory, center, listens to a speaker Nov. 16 during the opening of the 2015 fall general assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore.

WASHINGTON — Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory of Atlanta has been appointed as chair of a new task force of the U.S. bishops to deal with racial issues brought into public consciousness following a series of summertime shootings that left both citizens and police officers among those dead.

Some key points from USCCB General Assembly statement on racism

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, released a statement Sept. 9, 2014, on the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act addressing the importance of working against racism. Some of the points he makes are:

• We honor the many civic, business, and religious leaders, students, laborers, educators and all others of good will who courageously stood up for racial justice against bigotry, violence, ignorance, and fear. We are especially grateful for the vital contributions of the faith community during this period.

Bishop disturbed by calls to end resettlement of Syrian refugees in U.S.

Syrian refugees waited on the Syrian side of the border near Sanliurfa, Turkey, June 10. Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration, says the United States should welcome Syrian refugees and work for peace.

BALTIMORE -- The head of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Migration said he was disturbed by calls from federal and state officials for an end to the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the United States.

"These refugees are fleeing terror themselves -- violence like we have witnessed in Paris," said Seattle Auxiliary Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, chairman of the migration committee. "They are extremely vulnerable families, women, and children who are fleeing for their lives. We cannot and should not blame them for the actions of a terrorist organization."

At USCCB General Assembly, pornography, politics statements take center stage

Bishops laughed while watching a video presentation about World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland, at the 2015 fall general assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore Nov. 17.

BALTIMORE -- The U.S. bishops approved a formal statement on pornography and additions to their quadrennial statement on political responsibility at their Nov. 16-19 fall general meeting in Baltimore.

The votes were made during the public portion of the meeting, which ran Nov. 16-17. The bishops met in executive session Nov. 18-19.

Bishops, in draft statement, call pornography 'mortal sin'

Bishop Shelton J. Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux, La., listened to a speaker Nov. 16 during the opening of the 2015 fall general assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore.

WASHINGTON -- A draft statement on pornography to be considered for approval by the U.S. bishops at their Nov. 16-19 fall general meeting in Baltimore calls pornography "mortal sin" and urges Catholics to turn away from it.

"Producing or using pornography is a mortal sin that needs to be confessed in order for the person to receive God's forgiveness," says the draft version of "Create in Me a Clean Heart: A Pastoral Response to Pornography." "Those who produce and distribute pornography harm the common good by encouraging and even causing others to sin," it says.

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