WASHINGTON (July 15, 2003) -- The Catholic Bishops of the United States have approved two major documents with considerable importance to the ministry of the Church in this country. They are the revised National Directory for Catechesis and the revised National Directory for Formation, Ministry and Life of Permanent Deacons in the United States.
The National Directory for Catechesis presents theological principles and practical guidelines for the catechesis of adults, the elderly, young adults, adolescents, young children, and persons with disabilities.
The National Directory for the Formation, Ministry and Life of Permanent Deacons in the United States treats the human, spiritual, academic, and pastoral formation of the nearly 14,000 permanent deacons in this country who, together with bishops and priests, comprise the Church's ordained ministry.
Both directories were voted on at the Spring Meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), June 19-21, in St. Louis. Passage requires two-thirds membership (187 bishops), with subsequent approval of the Holy See. The vote, which was held on the final day of the meeting, was inconclusive and had to be completed by mail-in ballots.
The bishops were informed of the results in a July 9 memorandum from the USCCB General Secretary, Monsignor William Fay.
The vote for the National Directory for Catechesis was 217 in favor, 6 opposed, no abstentions.
The vote for the National Directory for Formation, Ministry and Life of Permanent Deacons in the United States was 235 in favor, 2 opposed, 3 abstentions.
Both directories will now be sent to the Holy See for its recognitio, or formal approval.