WASHINGTON (June 3, 2004) -- The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will gather in a special assembly June 14-19, 2004, in Englewood, Colorado.
Every five years, instead of a spring business meeting, the U.S. Catholic bishops hold a special assembly that allows them an extended period of time for prayer and reflection. These special assemblies are prepared for by ad hoc committees appointed several years in advance to develop the program.
The June meeting will not be attended by the observers usually present at the USCCB business meetings. Also there will be no credentialing of media, since, as with previous special assemblies, there will not be any coverage of its sessions by the media, no press briefings or news conferences outside the sessions, and no interview opportunities provided with individual bishops.
As with previous special assemblies, time has been set aside for a limited number of timely items of business. Some specific steps related to the "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People" and the annual report on its implementation by dioceses will be discussed. The Task Force on Catholics in Public Life, set to report at the November general meeting of the USCCB, will make a progress report.
Any further news or information that develops on these items during the special assembly will be posted on the USCCB web site.
Belleville Bishop Wilton D. Gregory, president of the USCCB, requests the prayers of all Catholics of the United States for the bishops during this time of retreat.
Saying that "the last two years have been trying and tumultuous, a time for us bishops to examine our hearts and souls with exceptional care," Bishop Gregory noted that the bishops' "long planned special assembly seems a providential opportunity for us to imitate the apostles who, at the Lord's urging, sometimes left their immediate obligations to reflect prayerfully in His presence."
The USCCB's special assembly begins on Monday, June 14, and concludes on Saturday, June 19. It is being held at the Inverness Hotel.
Inquiries about the special assembly should be addressed to the USSCB Department of Communications (202/541-3200).