WASHINGTON - The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will vote on a new introductory note and limited revisions to the 2007 version of "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship," the USCCB's quadrennial statement on political responsibility, at the bishops' annual Fall General Assembly in Baltimore, November 16-18. The document, which is issued about a year before each U.S. presidential election, will feature proposed new language around issues of public concern for Catholics.
The revisions are the result of a working group led by USCCB's vice president, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston. The working group consisted of the chairmen of a broad cross-section of USCCB committees whose work encompasses the issues raised in "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship." The working group sought to update language in keeping with policy developments since the 2007 version, and to include the later teachings of Benedict XVI, as well as the teachings of Pope Francis, including his recent encyclical Laudato Si'.
"We are convinced that these documents exemplify what Pope Francis has asked of us as bishops in his recent address at St. Matthew's Cathedral in Washington: reinforcing strong unity among us, based on uncompromising commitment to the whole of Church teaching, expressed in language appropriate to our role as pastors," said Cardinal DiNardo.
The bishops voted to move forward with a process of "limited revision" of the 2007 document, along with a new introductory note, at their 2014 Spring General Assembly in New Orleans.