Bishop clarifies USCCB vote on eucharistic document
"Every newscast I saw got it wrong."
From the June 24, 2021 edition of The Lumen:
The June 16-18 United States Conference of Catholic Bishops virtual spring assembly drew much media attention due to the vote regarding the draft of a formal statement on the meaning of the Eucharist in the life of the church. As pro-abortion Catholic politicians are currently the subject of national news outlets, questioning their worthiness to receive Communion, many assumed the document will be in response to the politicians’ actions
Eucharistic revival coming in June 2023
Bishop Nickless noted because discussion on the document was n the meeting agenda, the approval of the agenda took 45 minutes instead of the traditional 40 seconds. He described the discussion as “vigorous,” but every bishop who wanted to speak was able to present to the assembly.
Eucharistic revival planned
In addition to the eucharistic teaching document, the bishops also continued their discussion from the fall of 2020 on a three-year eucharistic revival. The initiative was presented by Bishop Andrew Cozzens, auxiliary for the Archdiocese of Minneapolis-St. Paul and chair of the bishops’ evangelization committee.
All U.S. dioceses, including the Diocese of Sioux City, will begin planning their regional activities for the revival to be completed by July 2022. Bishop Nickless explained a diocesan-wide celebration will be planned to take place June 2023.
“Then we move from there to the parishes and ask each parish to do the same as each diocese with eucharistic activities,” he said, explaining there would be print and video resources available to assist parishes including online training for group leaders.
A eucharistic congress for Catholics of all ages will be held in June 2024 with a national revival in December 2024. The bishop said one of the goals is to promote “hours of adoration coast-to-coast” and to have 100,000 eucharistic missionary (laity and clergy) sent out to the dioceses and parishes to teachon the importance of the Eucharist and reignite the faithful in their appreciation of the Eucharist.
With the end of the pandemic nearing, Bishop Nickless said he felt it was important to talk about the Eucharist when so many of the faithful have become lax in the practice of the faith, especially the obligation to attend Sunday Mass.
“We want to do everything we can to emphasize the importance of the Eucharist and reclaim it, especially since we realize not a lot have returned to Mass after the pandemic. And a lot have become very comfortable with not going to Sunday Mass and claiming to be Catholic,” he explained.
The U.S. bishops are concerned because Pope Francis has called for a world-wide Synod on Synodality for all dioceses at the same time as the revival, noted Bishop Nickless. The work involved in planning and executing both projects.
The opening of the synod will take place in the Vatican and in every diocese. The pope will inaugurate the project Oct. 9 and 10 at the Vatican. Each diocese will open with the same celebration on Oct. 17. More information on the synod will be forwarded to the dioceses and parishes in the near future.
“It’s going to take a lot of work and effort for both issues,” the bishop said.
Following the 2018 synod on young people, faith and vocational discernment and the pope’s exhortation, Christus Vivit, the bishops voted to draft a national pastoral framework for youth and young adults. This document would be a plan to implement Christus Vivit.
Bishop Nickless said Bishop Cozzens said faithful young Catholics serve as the best missionaries and model their love of the Eucharist and the church to their peers, and that each diocese should reach out to encourage these young adults.
A national pastoral framework for marriage and family life in the United States: Called to the Joy of Love was approved. It is in response to the pope’s Amoris Laetitia, with pastoral guidelines for married couples and families in every phase of life.
The bishops will develop a formal statement for the Native American and Alaska Native Ministry.
The bishops approved a section of retranslation of the Liturgy of the Hours, which is an ongoing project.
The bishops expressed support for the advancement of the causes of beatification and canonization of Father Joseph Verbis Lafleur (from the Diocese of Lafayette) and Brother Marinus La Rue, O.S.B., (from the Diocese of Patterson).