EWTN has coverage of the USCCB meeting.

They are practicing voting.

Have you spotted the bishops from Florida?

Have you spotted you own bishop?

I suspect they will not let us watch the really interesting debates, for example, about what to do in regard to politicians who are pro-abortion.


Bp. Serratelli is presenting material from Committee for Divine Worship for a vote!  We like Bp. Serratelli.  This is for approval of a blessing for a child in the womb to be used by the USA’s Latins.


They are talking about electronic media.  hrumpf

The lady giving the presentation is not terribly articulate, and she is speaking to the bishops as producers of a product which consumers might choose or reject, but the presentation is long overdue.  

If found it ironic that as she was speaking about all the things cellphones can do, we saw this image provided by a sardonic cameraman.

And now she is talking about blogs.   Could the bishops have asked bloggers to come and participate in a workshop?


Bishop friends at the meeting.

The new bishop of New Ulm, His Excellency Most Rev. John LeVoir.

Also, a very fine bishop, Most Reverend Alex Sample of Marquette.  He gave a very good intervention during the discussion of the president’s statement about life.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Marianne says:

    Hi Father,

    I just had the greatest ‘chance sighting’ occur! I turned the channel to EWTN at approximately 10:40 am central time. At the podium was a rather large black bishop. I recognized him immediately. He was at the same Papel audience I attended in January, 2006, and I have a nice photo of him talking to the Pope. I remember walking just behind him after the audience.

    Father, if you or anyone else was watching at that time and knows the Bishop’s name and location, please let me know; I would love to send him the photo.


  2. TNCath says:


    I believe the bishop to whom you are referring is Bishop George Murray of Youngstown, Ohio.

  3. Geoffrey says:

    Perhaps that bishop in the picture is reading Fr. Z’s blog via his Black Berry? ;-)

  4. Matt Q says:

    For the most part, it’s business as usual. They talk, they vote, they go back to their dioceses and do nothing more. Hasn’t anyone caught on by now?

    My diocese is a prime example. Nothing has been or will be done with the new translations of the Novus Ordo because the Big M says not as long as he’s around. It has not even been mentioned in the parishes the new translations are out. Further, nothing was said regarding the election of the future occupant of the White House. He was deathly quiet about it. He did make a statement regarding Proposition 8 which bans gay marriage in California and soundly passed. Hurray for that at least.

  5. alexander the mongol says:

    thank God I am Eastern Catholic and I know the money at collection dose not go to down the drain by funding this giant beuacracy and their worthless meetings.

  6. EJ says:

    I’m genuinely curious about how “bishops conferences” came about in the first place. What were they like before Vatican II? What is their REAL purpose and value for existing? When you consider all the red tape and bureaucracy involved, the money that went to ACORN and other scandals – what do they accomplish other than seemingly to usurp the apostolic authority of a local Ordinary in his diocese, and to obstruct very clear directives from the Holy Father and the Curia?

  7. Matt: Nothing has been or will be done with the new translations of the Novus Ordo because the Big M says not as long as he’s around.

    Actually, your “Big M” will reach the magic age of 75 on 27 Feb 2011, and according to the announced USCCB timetable, the accurate and faithful new translation of the OF Missale Romanum (2002) is not scheduled for parish implementation until Advent 2012 (at the earliest I suspect).

    So unless our normally shrewd Holy Father commits the boner of raising the bishops’ retirement to 78 (as one rumor has it) your situation might not be so pessimistic.

  8. QC says:

    Conferences existed before Vatican II. They existed and continue to exist in order to give the bishops in a particular region a unified approach to common problems and a unified voice. The overall theme of Vatican II was to re-inject the Catholic message into public discourse and Bishop’s Conferences seemed like a good tool to do this in each country. Of course, as with any tool, its usefulness depends on who is using it.

    In then Cardinal Ratzinger’s book, “Called to Communion” he discusses true reform as trimming away certain human elements when they no longer serve their purpose. I wonder if that is the case with the conferences. I think what good they do can more easily be accomplished with periodic particular synods (which were also encouraged by Vatican II and later by Pope John Paul II, even though they are never convened anymore).

  9. Kate says:

    On Saturday before the meeting began, the woman who presented on electronic media hosted the “Digital Media Boot Camp” for bishops and Church communication staff. Her 30 minute talk today was a 3 hour presentation and workshop on Saturday, and she skimmed a TON off of what she said this morning. But even then it was a bit hard to equate the Church with a Product and Parishioner with the Consumer. At least the bishops are aware of the change, and they let her present instead of ignoring the growing population of new media users.

  10. magdalene says:

    I recall several years ago when the bihsops’ meeting was televised and the vote came up for the chiairperson of the liturgy committee. None of the ones originally nominated were chosen at that time but rather someone else’s name came forwrd. Suddenly the electronic voting failed where it had been working. So they took another form of vote and too many votes were cast! Imagine that (vote early, vote often). And finally the outside nominee won the post and so our more authentic translations got set back several more years. The, at last, new head of that committee is not the stumbling block the former one was.

  11. David says:

    Alexander the Mongol:
    The Eastern rite Catholics in the USA are also members of the USCCB.
    What makes you think you don’t contribute to the USCCB?

  12. Matt, I have to agree with you, (as I’m in that same archdiocese, though my priests do know about the new translations coming (thank goodness my parish is ran by the Carmelites, and I’ve also informed them of the new translations)

    I’ve yet to figure out the purpose of the USCCB…They, just like any other conference have in essence no authority whatsoever. Thank goodness a few Bishops’ have started putting their own authority in front of the “de facto” law of the USCCB.

  13. Brandon says:

    Father! Why didn’t you mention His Grace Bevard, next to Bishop LeVoir? He’s the new Bishop of St. Thomas, AND was my spiritual director in Seminary… He’s fantastic.

    I bet they made him check his Cassock at the door…

  14. Brandon: Because I don’t know him very well. I met him in Camden last August when he was Bishop-Elect.

  15. Brandon says:

    Ah. Well, Father, you got lucky in that meeting, as did he, I’m sure. Keep your eye on that one… He’s going places…

    Monsignor took over a largely failing black parish in Philly and turned it around into one of the jewels of the diocese… The diocesan nickname for his parish was “Trent with an Afro”. He’s very down to earth, witty, holy and shrewd. Very shrewd.

  16. Alexander the Mongol says:


    “The Eastern rite Catholics in the USA are also members of the USCCB.
    What makes you think you don’t contribute to the USCCB?”

    Can’t give money you don’t have. We can barely pay the heating bill and many other Eastern-rite parishes are in the same boat. Same goes for the Eparchy, it can’t even pay its priests, I know of some whom have not taken a check in months.

  17. Joe says:

    Bishop Serratelli has been known to tell major seminarians that this is an exciting time for the Church, have courage, and be holy, be holy, be holy. I recently read where Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed a complaint against him. He must be fulfilling the courage part (and the holy part to have the courage). Pax Christi

  18. John in E Washington says:

    Looks like the bishop in the first picture is Bishop Skylstad of Spokane, there’s not much chance he’s reading Fr. Z. He is on the record as being extremely opposed to Mass in Latin (either OF or EF). We in his diocese need your prayers.


  19. opey124 says:

    I hope to listen to what the lady said about blogs, media, etc later. I hope you are wrong that we, Catholic bloggers and internet users, are to be viewed as CONSUMERS? Hello?
    I can tell you why we don’t go and read the USCCB’s website, we are looking for the truth in an honest clear way. Doesn’t matter if they use big words or eat strange things, that is what WE are looking for. So maybe she could save them some money and just suggest that.

  20. Marianne says:



  21. Maureen says:

    Well, the business model, the university model, and other models are useful starting points — but only as starting points. The Church has to be different; it isn’t those other things. That’s why it can get so disconcerting when, say, the Church uses copyright not just to protect texts from extra-Church use, but to keep parishes from printing up booklets.

    Possibly it’s better to have the awkward presenter, who keeps using the wrong terms and thus reminds bishops of the Church’s difference, than to have a smooth presenter who uses the right terms and yet is thinking “business” all the time. OTOH, the fact that they didn’t invite any prominent Catholic blogger or lay group of bloggers/podcasters/vidcasters to present… well, it seems like a waste of resources, honestly. (It’s not like there’s not any successful Catholic lay bloggers in DC.) Yet again, the USCCB comes off a bit blind to the obvious (and the gratis!).

    I’m not saying I want my archbishop looking over my shoulder or anything. (I was a bit shocked when a combox commenter once told me that I shouldn’t be podcasting audiobooks without permission from the archbishop. *croggle* Like I’d even know what his address is, or like he’d care. Heck, my own family doesn’t care, and they know all about it. Geez, you don’t even see a bishop when you get confirmed, anymore.) But I think most of us wouldn’t object to being helpful, if asked.

    Anyway, the press conference last night was interesting, but at least one of the bishops didn’t exactly come across as Mr. Transparence. Um, guys… I thought we learned our lesson about that…. Anyway, he was claiming that only 1 local chapter of ACORN was actually problematic, and Raymond Arroyo was being very polite in pointing out that, no, everybody knows the problem is a lot bigger than that. (Which again leaves the impression of bishops not paying attention to what’s going on. Sigh.)

  22. opey124 says:

    One thing I was hoping would be on their list was the discussion of Confirmation and age and homeschoolers. How does one get something on their agenda? Call the local news station?

  23. Tomás López says:

    Speaking of Bishop Le Voir, this is a book well worth reading: Covenant of Love: Pope John Paul II on Sexuality, Marriage, and Family in the Modern World by Richard M. Hogan and John M. Le Voir.

Comments are closed.