November 14, 2005

Catholic Bishops Gather for D.C. Meeting

San Francisco Chronicle

By RICHARD N. OSTLING, AP Religion Writer

Sunday, November 13, 2005

(11-13) 09:52 PST WASHINGTON, (AP) --

The nation's Roman Catholic bishops are gathering for a meeting with an unusually light agenda in public, that is.

Church leaders were planning to open the event to media and observers from the first session Monday morning through midday Tuesday. But after that, the bishops will air opinions behind closed doors for another day or two perhaps treating delicate topics such as Catholic politicians, the sex-abuse crisis or the ongoing review of seminaries.

As a result, it promises to be the most secretive November session since the bishops decided to open up their gatherings in 1972. The hierarchy also meets each June, and occasionally those sessions have been entirely private.

The unusual degree of closed-door deliberations this time is not a policy change but rather the product of an unusually short list of items that require formal action, said Monsignor Francis Maniscalco, spokesman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Posted by kshaw at November 14, 2005 02:06 AM