U.S. Catholic bishops grapple with adapting their agenda to Pope Francis’ priorities

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Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., left, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Photo by Bob Roller, courtesy of Catholic News Service

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., left, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Photo by Bob Roller, courtesy of Catholic News Service

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BALTIMORE (RNS) Pope Francis' change in focus has unsettled a number of American bishops more used to a hierarchy oriented toward hot-button culture war issues. Adapting to a new agenda is the focus of this week's bishops' meeting.

  • I’m praying that nothing changes with our Church Doctrine, however, this new Pope Francis is inviting everyone to come home and practice our faith with hope and much love. He’s different than Pope John Paul and Pope Benedict, however, it’s the changing of times, maybe the end of times, when we can reach out to all and love each other without always judging. That’s up to one person, Our Lord.

  • Doc Anthony

    “I’m praying that nothing changes with our Church Doctrine”….

    It has already been changed, in fact it has been ERASED on some very important doctrines. Indirect, de-facto erasure is still erasure, not a penny less. The Official Catechism is being REPEALED without removing one copy off the church shelves.

    This is a very hard time for Catholicism. They cannot be destroyed, but they CAN be defeated. And that is precisely

  • Deacon John M. Bresnahan

    Controversy sells newspapers and inflates TV ratings. Thus controversy must be created if there isn’t enough of it. Just take a few things out of context, twist a few other things, and add a bit of fiction and you get a nice byline or feature piece on the so-called news.

  • samuel Johnston

    Fact # 1. The Church is shrinking in power and influence.
    Fact # 2. The Clergy is shrinking in numbers.
    Fact # 3. The Church is finding it increasingly difficult to separate the laity from
    modern secular culture.
    Fact # 4. Modernism has vastly risen in influence since it was condemned by THE OATH AGAINST MODERNISM Given by His Holiness Pope St. Pius X September 1, 1910.
    So what is a Pope to do? His opponents are ready to go down with the ship. I am buying popcorn and watching the show.

  • who have been used to a hierarchy oriented more toward hot-button culture war issues

    Thomas Sowell remarked on this rhetorical game nearly 20 years ago. Something the Anointed favor is ‘a matter of principle’. Something the Benighted favor is ‘an emotional issue’.

  • hmmm/////

  • The clergy loves the process. But it is absolutely terrified of facts.

    Ask a Priest:

    Does Hell exist? “I don’t know”
    Does Heaven exist? “I don’t know”
    Does Jesus intercede to help us? “In his own way”
    How do we know God is real? “we don’t, you must simply tell yourself he does.”
    Why go to church? “To worship God!”
    Why? “He told us he wants it.”
    But why? “He doesn’t say”
    Could you be wrong? “YOU ARE SCARING ME!”

    What a garbage chute.


    But we don’t want to help the poor, We want to tell people what to do in the bedroom!

  • Dave V

    “Atheist Max”????

    Buzz off man. To watch an atheist comment on Christian matters is like watching a spider try to eat a plastic bug.

    You are in the wrong place doing what is to be expected of your kind. Nothing at all worth value. Go away and read your Bart Ehrman or Sam Harris books and feel smug to your hearts content.

  • Dave V

    Hmm, who is it that literally demands to define themslves by their sex acts> And, of course, demand that everyone else does too?

    The L G B of the big four.

  • Let me see if I understand what’s going on here: These guys elected Cardinal Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, to lead them and their Church. But they don’t actually like the fact that he’s in charge of it.


    I’m trying to make sense of that, but it’s just not coming to me. Maybe it’s because I’m a cynical godless agnostic heathen and such important, sacred considerations are somehow beyond my comprehension.

  • Larry

    “who is it that literally demands to define themslves by their sex acts”

    The people who are insisting our civil laws proclaim that marriage is purely for the purpose of religiously sanctioned sexual intercourse and procreation. The ones who reduce a human beings worth in society to what they do privately with consenting adults. The ones who consider a pregnancy punishment for acting outside their bedroom guidelines.

    Christian folk.

  • He can stay.

    We can debate the facts.

    But what I do know is that

    He’s atheist, to the max.

  • You’re a cynical godless agnostic heathen because you take religion too seriously. Don’t worry. There is a cure. 😉

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  • @Dave V,

    RNS is not a Christian site as you claim. Good grief!
    It is a Religious News Site.

    Religion make news every day by sticking its groundless claims
    in somebody else’s face:

    Christian vs. Muslim
    Zionist vs. Muslim
    Protestant vs. Catholic
    Pentecostal vs. Southern Baptist
    Sunni vs. Shia

    Go to
    JESUS-WAS-SLAUGHTERED-TO-SAVE-MY-BABIES-FROM-GOD’S-HELL DOT COM if you want a Christian Site devoted to your personal fantasies.

    Religion makes very mighty claims for itself,
    among them is the instruction to spread its unfounded nonsense to every part of the world over the objections of the recipients!

    Keep your claims to yourself or be ready to have them argued against.

    For Peace, Religious Freedom, Humanity and the Separation of Church and State

  • @PsiCop,

    I love your posts. So clear headed.
    Believers have no idea what they are missing – and I know this because I was a devoted Catholic.

    They have no idea.

  • Celeste

    Would you please elaborate on this?

  • Re: “I love your posts. So clear headed.”

    Ditto, Max. And I particularly loved when “Dave V.” above ordered you off this site because you’re an atheist and can’t be here. Or something like that. It’s so enlightening to watch theists showing their true colors!

  • William

    Max: you left out the biggest mass murdersers: Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro, Pol Pot: all atheists.

  • William

    Who is ‘we’? As far as helping the poor, have you ever heard of Catholic Charities?

  • @William:

    Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro and Pol Pot were AGRARIAN CULTS – they were religions with Gods.

    Atheism is this:
    “Congress shall make no law establishing a religion…or prohibiting the practice thereof”

    US CITIZENS have freedoms thanks to the Establishment Clause – which is an ATHEISTIC document.

    The US Constitution is the only way to prevent Stalin, Mao…etc.

    Lose the Separation of Church and State and you will lose your freedom.

    For Peace, Religious Freedom and the Separation of Church and State

  • Catholic Charities has an important problem.
    They only are charitable in a catholic way!
    Meaning no family planning, no contraceptives, no condoms for AIDS patients , no uterine care…..
    Some charity!

    Non religious groups are far FAR better!

    Doctors Without Borders, The Red Cross, Oxfam, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation…..

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