Preparing for a Meeting

“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” James 1:22

This time next week I will be in Baltimore at the annual meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. These meetings are the annual occasion for the bishops to make important decisions that will impact the life of the Church in every diocese in the nation. This year will be different because of recent attention on bishops’ failures to effectively deal with the clergy sexual abuse crisis as well as abuse perpetrated by bishops themselves. I am deeply aware of how painful this failure is to our Church family, and how urgent this matter is.

I am currently joining the other bishops who will be attending next week’s meeting in a commitment of prayer and reparation leading up to the bishops’ general assembly, where we will be making critical decisions in response to the clergy sexual abuse crisis. With my brother bishops across the nation, I will additionally be dedicating myself to seven days of intensified prayer and fasting, specifically from Monday, November 5, through Sunday, November 11. The intentions of each bishop for this period of prayer and sacrifice are three-fold:

• For the healing and support of all victims of clergy sexual abuse.

• For the conversion and just punishment of the perpetrators and concealers of sexual abuse.

• For the strength of the bishops to be holy shepherds in protecting and leading God’s flock from all harm.

If you feel called to do so, you are welcome to join me in praying for these intentions. I would also be grateful for any prayers for me and my brother bishops during our general assembly, that we may follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit in responding to the tragedy of clergy sexual abuse in the Church.

Please be assured of my prayers for you, as well. o


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October 26, 2020
The Diocese of Kansas City ~ St. Joseph