Bishops approve items on liturgy, ethical and religious directives, cause for canonization at general assembly

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) approved several liturgical items, including revisions to the liturgy of the hours and a revision of guidelines for the celebration of the sacraments with persons with disabilities during their annual Fall General Assembly in Baltimore, November 11. The bishops also approved to pursue a revision of the section of the “Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health care Services” on collaboration with non-Catholic health entities, and advanced a cause for canonization.

The bishops voted on the following five liturgical items presented by the Committee on Divine Worship:

• A revised English translation of the ritual book, “Order of the Dedication of a Church and an Altar” was approved with 168 votes in favor, 6 against and 2 abstaining.

• The first official English translation of the ritual book, “Exorcisms and Related Supplications” was approved in a 179-5-2 vote.

• The bishops also voted 167-34-2 to approve modifications to the “Revised Grail Psalter” including improving the translation to facilitate easier proclamation and singing.

• An English translation of the “Supplement to the Liturgy of the Hours” that includes prayers used for the feast days of saints who have been added to the General Calendar since 1984, was approved in a 210-2-0 vote.

These items, passed by two thirds of the Latin-rite bishops, will be sent to Rome for approval.

• The bishops also approved by a 207-1-1 vote, to begin the work on updates and revisions to the 1995 document “Guidelines for the Celebration of the Sacraments with Persons with Disabilities.”

The bishops also voted 213-2-1 in favor of pursuing a revision of Part Six of the “Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health care Services” to incorporate guidance the USCCB received from the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith last February. This action item was presented by the USCCB Committee on Doctrine.

By a voice vote, the bishops also approved the cause for sainthood of Fr. Paul Wattson. Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, sought this episcopal consultation, which is a step in the Catholic Church’s canonization process.

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