Monday, November 03, 2008

Countdown to "High Noon"

A week from right now, it begins.

"It," of course, is the USCCB's November Meeting in Baltimore, whose planned discussion on support for abortion by Catholic politicians sets the stage for the body's most consequential plenary since the 2002 sex-abuse summit in Dallas.

Already immersed in prep, but in the meantime it's important to keep in mind that another key spoke of the four-day gathering will be the approval of mid-range goals and objectives for the conference's five national priority areas: cultural diversity in church life, strengthening marriage, promoting the life and dignity of the human person, encouraging vocations to the priesthood and religious life, and reinforcing faith formation and sacramental practice.

Per custom, next Monday's opening session begins with the traditional addresses from the bench's president, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, and the papal nuncio to the States Archbishop Pietro Sambi, who's conspicuously kept a much, much quieter profile than usual through the campaign's home stretch.

All the background goodies will bubble up as time and energy allow, but for now a draft summary of the priority-plans is in the mix and worth a read. Meanwhile, on a page-keeping note, as whatever's in the "guitar case" keeps your narrator fed, paid up and able to crash somewhere that isn't the loading-dock outside the conference hotel, a ton of thanks to everyone who's kept it in mind; suffice it to say, every bit is an enormous help... and, what's more, it keeps the feed coming your way.

All that said, a Happy Monday and Election Eve to one and all... what a weekend.

PHOTO: AP/Phelan M. Ebenhack