Source: www.usccb.org

Latest News Releases from USCCB
  1. Pope Francis Accepts Resignation of Bishop Richard Pates, Appoints Rev. William Joensen as Bishop Elect of Diocese of Des Moines

    WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of the Most Revered Richard Pates from the pastoral governance of the Diocese of Des Moines. The Pope has appointed as Bishop-Elect of the same see the Rev. William Joensen of the Archdiocese of Dubuque. The appointment was publicized in Washington, DC, on July 18, 2019 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States.

    Father Joensen was born on July 8, 1960 In Waterloo, Iowa. He attended seminary at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio and received a degree in Theology. He was ordained as a priest of the Archdiocese of Dubuque on June 24, 1989. Father Joensen also holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the Catholic University of America in 2001.

    Past assignments include: Associate Pastor of Sacred Heart Parish (1989-1992), Faculty of Columbus High School (1989-1992), Associate Pastor, Church of the Resurrection (1992-1995), and Chaplain of Clarke College (2003-2010). He currently serves as Dean of Spiritual Life at Loras College and Spiritual Director of St. Pius X Seminary in Dubuque.

    Bishop Richard Pates was born on February 12, 1943 in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He studied at the Pontifical North America College, and was ordained to the priesthood on December 20, 1968. On December 22, 2000, Pope John Paul II appointed Bishop Pates as Auxiliary Bishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis. In 2008, Pope Benedict XVI named Bishop Pates the ninth bishop of the Diocese of De Moines. Bishop Pates served as Chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace. Bishop Richard Pates submitted his letter of resiganation to Pope Francis in February 2018.

    The Diocese of Des Moines is comprised of 12,446 square miles and has a total population of 837,773 of which 103,430 or 12.3 percent, are Catholic.  

    ---

    Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Pope Francis, Bishop Richard Pates, Rev. William Joensen, Diocese of Des Moines, Archdiocese of Dubuque, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio.

    ###

    Media Contact:

    Miguel Guilarte
    202-541-3200

     

  2. USCCB Purchases Translation of Psalms and Canticles from Conception Abbey

    WASHINGTON--On July 1, 2019 the USCCB purchased the copyrights to the Revised Grail Psalter and the Old and New Testament Canticles translated by the monks of Conception Abbey in Missouri. The two texts will now together be titled Abbey Psalms and Canticles and will gradually be incorporated into the Church’s official liturgical books. These sacred texts play an important role in the public prayer of the Church, especially in the Liturgy of the Hours and in the readings for Mass.

    For over two decades, the bishops have sought a translation of the psalms and canticles that would be more accurate and more conducive to singing and recitation. Since at least 1998 the monks of Conception Abbey have been working to prepare translations that would meet these goals. The USCCB first approved the monks’ translation of the psalter in 2008, and the Holy See then approved that text in 2010. In June 2015 the USCCB approved Conception Abbey’s translation of the canticles, hymn-like passages from the Bible that are used on certain occasions in the liturgy. The bishops subsequently approved a revised version of the psalter in 2016. In May 2018 the Holy See approved both the psalter and the canticles in what should now be their definitive form.

    Abbot Gregory Polan, the Abbot Primate of the Benedictine Confederation, was Abbot of Conception Abbey for nearly twenty years and coordinated the preparation of the Abbey Psalms and Canticles. “It is my sincere hope,” he commented, “that this translation of the Psalms and Biblical Canticles will be a source of spiritual nourishment for the liturgy and the private prayer of all who use them.” The USCCB is grateful for the exceptional service that the monks of Conception Abbey have provided to the Church by their work.

    Since 2010 many composers have prepared their own settings of these Psalms for use in the liturgy, and some of the more recently-published liturgical books have already begun incorporating material from the new translations. The Abbey Psalms and Canticles will begin to see a wider dissemination in the coming years, especially when new editions of the Lectionary for Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours are completed.

    In purchasing these copyrights, the bishops are following the guidelines of the Holy See’s Instruction Liturgiam authenticam, which requires that a Conference of Bishops possess all the rights necessary to promote and safeguard the accurate and appropriate use of the texts of the Sacred Liturgy.
    ---
    Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Divine Worship, liturgy, psalms, Conception Abbey, Liturgy of the Hours, Abbot Gregory Polan

    ###
     
    MEDIA CONTACT:
    Miguel Guilarte
    202-541-3200

     

  3. USCCB President Condemns Threat of Widespread Enforcement Actions and New Rule Drastically Limiting Asylum

    WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, made the following statement in response to the climate of fear created by the Department of Homeland Security’s announced immigration enforcement actions and the Administration’s new Interim Final Rule to drastically limit asylum, which was published today:

    “Enforcement actions like those anticipated this week by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency separate families, cause the unacceptable suffering of thousands of children and their parents, and create widespread panic in our communities. I condemn such an approach, which has created a climate of fear in our parishes and communities across the country. I recently wrote the President asking him to reconsider this action.

    A stated intent of these actions is to deter Central Americans fleeing for their lives from seeking refuge in the United States. This is both misguided and untenable. It is contrary to American and Christian values to attempt to prevent people from migrating here when they are fleeing to save their lives and to find safety for their families.

    And, in addition to this climate of fear, we have seen the Administration today take further unacceptable action to undermine the ability of individuals and families to seek protection in the United States. The Administration’s new rule on asylum eligibility presents a similar enforcement-only immigration approach. The rule adds further barriers to asylum-seekers’ ability to access life-saving protection, shirks our moral duty, and will prevent the United States from taking its usual leading role in the international community as a provider of asylum protection. Further, while still reviewing the rule, initial analysis raises serious questions about its legality.

    I urge the President to reconsider these actions, the new rule, and its enforcement-only approach. I ask that persons fleeing for their lives be permitted to seek refuge in the U.S. and all those facing removal proceedings be afforded due process. All who are at or within our borders should be treated with compassion and dignity. Beyond that, a just solution to this humanitarian crisis should focus on addressing the root causes that compel families to flee and enacting a humane reform of our immigration system.

    Pope Francis, in his message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2019, reminds us that ‘the presence of migrants and refugees – and of vulnerable people in general – is an invitation to recover some of those essential dimensions of our Christian existence and our humanity that risk being overlooked in a prosperous society.’”

    ---

    Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, President Trump, Pope Francis, ICE, DHS, Justice for Immigrants, Enforcement, immigration,

     

    ###

    Media Contact:

    Mark Priceman

    202-541-3064

  4. Chairman of U.S. Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, applauds the convening of the Second Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom

    WASHINGTON— This week marks the Second Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom hosted by the U.S. Department of State with 1,000 religious and civil society leaders and foreign ministers from 115 countries. The Ministerial reaffirms international commitments to promote religious freedom and develop durable, positive ways to combat religious persecution and unjust discrimination.

    The Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, Archbishop for the Military Services, USA and Chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, issued the following statement:

    “Our faith reminds us that religious freedom is the cornerstone of a just society which is increasingly under threat. 77% of world’s population, 5.5 billion, live in 83 countries with high or very high restrictions on the practice of religion. We are witnessing entire communities around the world pay with their lives to exercise freedom of conscience and faith. I am pleased to participate in this Ministerial, and support our government’s efforts to promote freedom of conscience and religion for all.”

    ---

    Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Second Ministerial, Religious Freedom, U.S. Department of State, Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio, Military Services, Committee on International Justice and Peace

    ###

    Media Contact:

    Judy Keane

    202-541-3200

    Miguel Guilarte

    202-541-3202

  5. Confraternity of Christian Doctrine Awarded Grants to Promote Catholic Biblical Literacy and Interpretation

    WASHINGTON--This spring, the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) awarded grants in the amount of $68,266.50 for five projects that support the goals of the CCD to promote Catholic biblical literacy and Catholic biblical interpretation.

    The CCD works with the Catholic Biblical Association (CBA) to offer these grants, accepting applications only from the CBA, including the organization itself, its designees, and its full and associate members. In fidelity to Dei Verbum, the CBA's purpose is to promote scholarly study in Scripture and related fields by meetings of the association, publications, and support to those engaged in such studies.

    Bishop Shelton J. Fabre, Bishop of Houma-Thibodaux and Member of the CCD-CBA Liaison Committee, commented, "We are pleased to have received so many strong proposals from the members of the Catholic Biblical Association. These projects will advance biblical scholarship and support biblical literacy in parishes and classrooms."

    Funding for these grants comes from the royalties received from the publication of the New American Bible and its derivative works which the CCD develops, publishes, promotes, and distributes.
    The five projects sponsored by the CCD are as follows:

    •  $20,766.50 to Michael G. Azar for residency in Jerusalem to study the Bible in Eastern Christian-Jewish Relations.
    •  $15,000 to Jeffrey L. Cooley, David Vanderhooft, and Michael Simone, SJ, to support a conference on “The Spirit of Scholarship: Biblical and Mesopotamian Studies in the Roman Catholic Academy.”
    •  $25,000 to Andrew Glicksman to develop a manuscript on the relationship between Wisdom and Spirit in the biblical and patristic tradition.
    •  $5,000 to Christopher Seeman for a series of videos addressing the representation of Jews and Judaism in Catholic exegesis, homiletics, and catechesis.
    •  $2,500 to Kelley Coblentz Bautch for participation in the Qumran residency to study the presentation of Salome Alexandra in the Dead Sea Scrolls.

    ---
    Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, CCD, Catholic Biblical Association, CBA, Bishop Shelton J. Fabre, Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, CCD-CBA Liaison Committee, Dei Verbum, New American Bible, biblical scholarship, pastoral programs, biblical literacy, biblical interpretation, grants

    ###
    Media Contact:
    Miguel Guilarte
    202-541-3200