Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Day Two Winds Down

As this long day dragged on and -- in a development not seen since the Dallas summit in 2002 (and never before that) -- the floor session lasted past sunset, a friend slipped into the Press Room to offer his assessment of things: "The consensus is minimal."

Not, of course, on the gravity of the evil that's loomed over this November Meeting... just on how to approach the fight against it in public life.

And then, all of a sudden, the wi-fi went minimal, too.

We won't see the statement of the conference president (reflecting the mind of the body) until, at earliest, the morning; after today's debate, the letter's starting points will spend tonight in rewrites before rolling out, going through one last edit from the bishops (and their sign off) before it's formally in the can.

In other news, on its second try the Proper of Seasons passed on a vote of 189-30... and all -- well, most -- breathed a sigh of relief.

Still, all told, it's far from done -- 12 parts in sum and two of them now approved by the US bishops, the bench's Committee for Divine Worship is aiming to present four more chunks of the newly-rendered Roman Missal at next June's summer meeting. Having it all approved and ready for implementation by 2012 remains the optimistic goal.

And let's not forget -- the "Blessing of the Child in the Womb" passed with all of one dissenting vote. Both in English and Spanish, the text now goes to the Holy See for recognitio.

On-demand press conference video's up and more of whatever else as it comes... but the bottom line is that, with today in the books, this November Meeting's public business is closed -- the bishops will sit in executive session tomorrow, closing with a Holy Hour presided over by the body's next host, Archbishop Jose Gomez of San Antonio, whose historic see will host the June plenary.

PHOTO: AP/Phelan M. Ebenhack