Watching USCCB meeting (even on your iPhone!) – general discussion

I have been watching the USCCB meeting on my desktop via the USCCB site.  USCCB didn’t provide a stream for iPhone.  But EWTN does!  Here.  (There are other options there as well.)

It is nice to see that the bishops meeting is back on EWTN.


New Media!

Observations about the meeting?  General discussion to follow.


I particularly enjoyed the shot covering a couple tables of bishops in which one of them was pretty focused on his iPad2, propped up in its cover.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. EWTN covered it last year, but as was announced this morning, they were covering it “C-span” style, without commentary.

    There was some interesting commentary out of EWTN two years ago, if you recall, and I suspect that didn’t go over very well with the USCCB.

    EWTN offers that mobile feed for iPhone and other op systems all the time. I have used it to watch/listen to papal events when not at home and other programming. I recommend it for those who have not used it yet.

  2. ReginaMarie says:

    I watched His Beatitude, Patriarch Sviatoslav Shevchuk, Major Archbishop of the Worldwide Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church address the USCCB this afternoon (thanks to EWTN online live streaming video). At 41 years old, I believe His Beatitude is the youngest Archbishop in the world. It was fascinating to hear him relate how, in the Byzantine Catholic Churches of Eastern Europe, vocations are booming. On average, there are 3 seminarians for each one spot available in most seminaries, & the average age of parish priests is 35 years old. It has been been just over 20 years since the Eastern Catholic Churches have been able to come out from severe persecution (which meant martyrdom for many of the faithful & their shepherds) under Communism. His Beatitude expressed that, while many in Eastern Europe do not self-identify with a particular church, there is a great hunger for God among the people. He encouraged his brother bishops to take this opportunity to evangelize, to remain steadfast in the Faith, & to stand up against the coming persecutions against religious freedom (here in the U.S. & worldwide). May God bless His Beatitude, Patriarch Shevchuk!

  3. tcreek says:

    For the last 30 years now, as a traditional Catholic, I cannot decide if it is a tragedy or a blessing that the USCCB has marginalized itself.

  4. Alan Aversa says:

    I wonder who the two bishops were who voted “against” Pope John Paul II?

  5. It was fascinating to hear him relate how, in the Byzantine Catholic Churches of Eastern Europe, vocations are booming… He encouraged his brother bishops to take this opportunity to evangelize, to remain steadfast in the Faith, & to stand up against the coming persecutions against religious freedom…

    Patriarch Shevchuk’s advice is good and timely, no doubt, but it seems to me that the disparity in the high number of vocations in the Byzantine Churches vs. the sparseness in the Latin Rite has less to do with weathering persecution and much more to do with the comparative state of our liturgies. As I read your recap of his speech, ReginaMarie, I was hoping that was exactly where he was headed.

  6. The agenda seems to be clicking along like a train on the tracks.

  7. “It is nice to see that the bishops meeting is back on EWTN.”


    I’ve long since found it so depressing to view the deliberations of our convened appointed shepherds that I know longer do so. The USCCB seems to me to be an example of a whole that’s a great deal less than the sum of its parts.

  8. GregH says:

    C’mon Henry! Beauracracy at its finest! What a cure for insomnia!!! They should spend that time in front of the Blessed Sacrament instead.

  9. ReginaMarie says:

    @Louie Verrecchio: [That “@” isn’t necessary around here. Thanks!] As a cradle Roman Catholic who (along with my husband & children) petitioned to transfer canonical status to the Byzantine Catholic Church soon after discovering the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, I agree with your comment on the state of the liturgy. Word has it that His Beatitude may visit the Eparchy of Parma, OH in 2012…that is a Divine Liturgy we’d love to attend!

  10. Henry: ???

    As opposed to how it was being broadcast the last couple times.

    However, I want to add additional comments. First, there isn’t any commentary on EWTN during the breaks. Too bad.

    Also, it is interesting to keep an eye on and ear on the conference. When you are a wonk, you have to do that.

  11. frjim4321 says:

    Does anyone know if the Byzantine Church in Easter Europe ordains married men?

    I agree with Fr. Z. that there should be commentary, but it should be offered from the entire spectrum of Catholic thinkers, not just the ideological extreme of EWTN (a.k.a. RNC-Catholic Division).

  12. ReginaMarie says:

    @frjim4321: In the Eastern Catholic Churches, married men may be ordained to the priesthood, but priests may not get married. Additionally, Bishops must be celibate priests or monks.

  13. catholicmidwest says:

    I stopped watching this a few years ago (with the exception of the wonderful piece about a year ago where they approved the Roman Missal). I was disgusted with the business-as-usual tone of the whole thing, and all the foot-dragging. But now I’ll tell you: I’m watching the Church in fascination as the she seems to “right herself” like a giant ship, and the bishops aren’t looking so much like a bunch of bureaucratic time-wasters to me these days. I’m happier than I’ve been in ages about the way things seem to be going. We were in the doldrums before, and now, instead of going backwards, we are sailing right into the future. It’s a good thing and I’m more open to listening now.

  14. frjim4321 says:

    Okay, just reflecting on some possible reasons for the high ordination rates.

  15. ReginaMarie says:

    @frjim4221@ [This is not Twitter. Let’s all, pleasem have a bit more decorum, even when these loathsome impersonal “handles” are being used?] My take is that the growth in vocations is due to the beauty & truth of the Divine Liturgy.

  16. Father Z said First, there isn’t any commentary on EWTN during the breaks. Too bad.</i

    I suspect that for EWTN to carry the feed, they had to agree to go with the so-called, "C-SPAN" style. Doug Keck explained at 9:00 this morning before they began showing it that this is the style that would be in use. They did the same thing last year. In 2009, EWTN was shunned at the 11th hour and we were stuck with that Telecare feed that couldn't handle the online traffic. It was in 2008 that we had such colorful commentary by the tag teams of Arroyo and Fr. Neuhaus, who didn't hold anything back and I believe that what happened in 2009 was a bit of hardball by the USCCB to end the commentaries and provide just the feed.

    Doug Keck says that there will be hi-lights on Thursday, I believe on World Over Live.

    Also, keep in mind that it was the "liturgy wars" which made past sessions of such great interest.

    Personally, I was encouraged by the level of concern the bishops have over the threat to religious liberty. I don't know if it has been posted yet but Bishop Lori gave an excellent address on this.

    The only copy I've seen of +Dolan's opening address is here:

    The USCCB knows that people will want to see the individual addresses. They know the schedule in advance. I don't know why they don't anticipate this and plan to upload those addresses within an hour or so of their being delivered. I don't understand why a blogger would have a copy of that address before it is offered on the USCCB website, though I'm glad he uploaded it if he had it.

  17. Oops. I see the italics did not go off. I messed up. Only the first line was a quote by Fr. Z

  18. frjim4321 says:

    Agree with Fr. Z. on the handles but must admit I don’t fully understand how they work.

  19. ReginaMarie says:

    My apologies, Fr. Z. I haven’t a clue how Twitter works and, having seen others reply here at WDTPRS with “@”, I assumed it was the proper/preferred way to reply…? Again, my apologies. [No need. Enjoy commenting. Around here we usually make the very first word the name/handle of the person you are addressing, so that it is clear that you are addressing a particular person. o{]:¬) ]

  20. TNCath says:

    I thought Archbishop Dolan’s opening remarks were excellent. He is a hands-on, down-in-trenches archbishop and conference president who isn’t afraid to answer a question directly! What a refreshing change from circumlocutions and temporizing of the past!

  21. Joan A. says:

    Re: high ordination numbers in the Eastern rites – I concur that the “beauty and truth of the liturgy” is quite palpable. I only went once to a Byzantine Mass a few years ago. If there were one near my home, I would switch over in an instant. And of course this liturgy reflects, I imagine, priests who are devout and do things properly and don’t water down the meaning with their own egotistical antics. The music and chanting was also authentic and beautiful. Of course I am comparing based on only one Mass. But if the liturgy is true and the priests are holy, naturally you are going to attract seminarians.

    As an aside, another thing I noticed at the Byzantine Liturgy is maybe similar to what you sometimes see in the congregation at a TLM. Families; tight-knit families with both a mother and a father. Also, the people very gracious and yet quite serious and attentive.

  22. Lori Pieper says:

    I agree. Real slam-bang opener by Abp. Dolan. I’m proud he’s my bishop.

    Here’s an interesting sound bite:

    ‘Our urgent task to reclaim “love of Jesus and His Church as the passion of our lives” summons us not into ourselves but to Our Lord. Jesus prefers prophets, not programs; saints, not solutions; conversion of hearts, not calls to action; prayer, not protests: Verbum Dei rather than our verbage.’

    Calls to Action. Ooooh! Wonder who he was referring to?

  23. Does anyone know when Cardinal Wuerl will give the update of the status of the forthcoming American Anglican Ordinariate?

  24. Sissy says:

    Hieromonk: I have been told by a bishop whose parish has voted to enter the Ordinariate that Cardinal Wuerl is scheduled to address the status of the Anglican Ordinariate around 3:25 pm this afternoon.

  25. ddoyle1220 says:

    Hiermonk Gregory, He will be giving it sometime this afternoon. On the agenda, his will be right before the 4:00 PM coffee break, but there is no specific time attached to his update. Now, this isn’t much, especially considering that yesterday, they not only finished an hour early, but they took all scheduled breaks and went off on random tangents.

  26. frjim4321, you wrote:

    “Does anyone know if the Byzantine Church in Easter Europe ordains married men?”

    Yes, both the Ruthenians and the Ukrainians ordain married men to the priesthood. In fact, they never stopped. We recently had a group of seminarians from Presov visit our little Byzantine church ( to regale us with a collection of Slavonic hymns. Their priest told us that if we wanted them to come to the States, they would have to clear it with their girlfriends.

    That would raise a few eyebrows elsewhere, I suspect. But not with this crowd, even though the practice (at least for the Ruthenians in the USA) is being implemented on a case-by-case basis. Same for the Melkites. Ukrainians have had it in the States for a while now (mostly through immigration from Eastern Europe or Canada), as have the Romanians.

  27. cregduff says:

    I too saw the iPad being used by one of the Bishops. I immediately emailed a friend who is the Dir. of Communications with a diocese and told him about the sighting and how I thought we should make sure that our Bishop had one too, and that I would help make that happen. I think it’s a good idea to arm our Bishops who are able, by age or proclivity, to use the tools of social communication. I know he uses a blackberry now. And I don’t limit the use of the iPad to social communications only, mind you; it’s a wonderful tool for email and following long, complex documents such as pdf’s.
    I urge my fellow readers to help their Bishops as well.

  28. Speravi says:

    I rather enjoyed the “deer in headlights” looks I saw when (as I recall) someone asked if there was a REASON for adding Blessed John Paul II to the local calendar.

  29. JuliB says:

    It was reported in yesterday’s USA Today that the conference was going to discuss hiring a lobbyist. I found this very disconcerting!

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