DAILY CATHOLIC    MONDAY     November 22, 1999     vol. 10, no. 221

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

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US BISHOPS ADDRESS WELFARE, ARCHITECTURE, NEW OFFICERS

        WASHINGTON, DC (CWNews.com) - The National Conference of Catholic Bishops continued their biennial meeting on Thursday, addressing the role of government in social welfare, church architecture, and the election of new officers.

        The day after overwhelmingly approving guidelines for US Catholic colleges and universities, the bishops unanimously approved a pastoral letter on charity which included a statement on the government's responsibility in welfare. The document said a lesson of the Great Depression was that only government can "ensure regular income support for aged, disabled or otherwise needy families."

        The bishops also noted that "those principles have come under attack during the latter part of the 20th century as a negative attitude developed with regard to the responsibility of government."

        The bishops also debated an upcoming document on church architecture, noting in particular the effect of the design and decoration of church buildings on the beliefs of individual Catholics. Bishop Sean O'Malley of Fall River, Massachusetts, commented: "You hear comments: This place does not look like a church," referring to the trend as the "suburbanization of the heavenly Jerusalem." Among the recommendations of many bishops was that the tabernacle must be central and visible to all and that images of the Virgin Mary and saints should be brought into the main body of the church again.

        The bishops also streamlined their episcopal conference, dissolving the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, which deals with church matters, and the separate US Catholic Conference, which deals with civil matters, and forming one body to be called the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston was elected chairman of the committee on foreign policy issues and Bishop Donald Trautman of Erie, Pennsylvania, was elected chairman of the doctrine committee.


Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

November 22, 1999       volume 10, no. 221
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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