Friday, November 07, 2008

Off the Agenda

Well, folks, it's over... before it could even begin.

Religion News Service's Dan Burke reports that next week's much-awaited public discussion among the bishops on political support for abortion was struck from the agenda this afternoon:

[USCCB Director of Media Relations Sr Mary Ann] Walsh said the bishops' discussion has been removed from the agenda as of late Friday. The agenda will not be finalized until Saturday afternoon, Walsh added.

"I think this is something that has evolved since September," Walsh said. "Many bishops have already addressed the issue (of pro-abortion rights politicians) through pastoral letters, so there's not the same need they saw in September."...

It's possible that the bishops will discuss the matter in closed-door sessions, but it's rare for the bishops, or any religious body, to issue a press release about private discussions.

A report on "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship," moral guidelines for Catholic voters the bishops produced in 2007, will likely be issued at the bishops' Baltimore meeting, Walsh said.

The public sessions of the November Meeting end Tuesday afternoon. Keeping with the conference's standard practice since 2002, all other business through its Thursday noontime close will be conducted in executive session.