The public portion of the annual November meeting of the US Bishops has just concluded.

It was certainly an eventful — and at times dramatic — three days. The week began with the news that the Vatican, through the Congregation of Bishops, requested that the US bishops delay their vote on accountability measures for US Bishops involved in the sex abuse scandal until after the February meeting of the global bishops’ conference leaders in Rome.

While many reacted with consternation and shock, there were a number of reasonable explanations for this delay. For analysis from America, click here.

Obviously, much of the discussion focused on ex-Cardinal McCarrick and how he rose to power in the Church despite many in the hierarchy being aware of some of his predatory behavior. CNS created a video of some of the comments made by bishops during the discussion.

Finally, the body of bishops approved a statement entitled, “Open Wide our Hearts,” which addresses the evils of racism in our society.

The statement concludes with the following prayer to the Blessed Mother:

Mary, friend and mother to all,
through your Son, God has found a way
to unite himself to every human being,
called to be one people,
sisters and brothers to each other.

We ask for your help in calling on your Son,
seeking forgiveness for the times when
we have failed to love and respect one another.

We ask for your help in obtaining from your Son
the grace we need to overcome the evil of racism
and to build a just society.

We ask for your help in following your Son,
so that prejudice and animosity
will no longer infect our minds or hearts
but will be replaced with a love that respects
the dignity of each person.

Mother of the Church,
the Spirit of your Son Jesus
warms our hearts:
pray for us.


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Mike Lewis is a writer and graphic designer from Maryland, having worked for many years in Catholic publishing. He's a husband, father of four, and a lifelong Catholic. He's active in his parish and community. He is the founding managing editor for Where Peter Is.

USCCB Fall Meeting highlights: abuse crisis, McCarrick, racism
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