November 25, 2015
Several items of significance resulted from the Bishops' annual General Assembly held in Baltimore, November 16-19:
- The bishops approved an official statement on pornography. Create in Me a Clean Heart: A Pastoral Response to Pornography was developed by the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth and was approved by the full body of bishops. Explaining that pornography harms individuals and society, the bishops reiterate the immoral nature of pornography in all its forms, "It is a grave matter by its object. It is a mortal sin if it is committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent." The full text of the statement and other resources on the topic are available here.
- The bishops approved a new introductory note and limited changes to Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, their quadrennial statement on political responsibility. The full, revised document is available to read here.
- Bishop Frank J. Dewane of the Diocese of Venice was named chairman-elect of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development. Bishop Dewane will serve for one year as chairman-elect before succeeding the current chair, Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami. The newly-elected treasurer-elect and chairmen-elect of six committees are identified here.
- Bishop Gregory Parkes of the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee provided a consultation on the canonization cause of Antonio Cuipa and Companions, the Martyrs of La Florida, in which he explained to his brother bishops that the cause includes 86 men and women, including nine children. Of the 86, 61 are Native American. Relating several moving histories, Bishop Parkes referred to the group as "martyrs of evangelization who gave their lives to share and live the Gospel in colonial Florida." His brother bishops voiced their unanimous approval of the cause. To view a video of Bishop Parkes' presentation, click here (begins at 33:51).