Thursday, November 9, 2006

Eliminate the USCCB?

The idea has crossed my mind many times. Besides issuing a pretty poor translation of holy scripture under the name of the New American Bible, the USCCB has become a weak institution that has only added to the poor image of the Catholic Church in America. First of all the USCCB holds no authority whatsoever in the daily lives of Catholics. There is basis for a 'national conference of bishops' anywhere in scripture, tradition, and in the Magisterium. In fact Pope Benedict XVI has said many times there is no legal or canonical reason to have a 'national conference of bishops'. There should be no 'layer' of bureaucracy between the bishops and the Holy See. There wasn't one when Jesus graced us with His presence between Him and the 12 Apostles and there shouldn't be one now. The USCCB is just another bureaucracy that has contributed to many of the social ills affecting American Catholics. It is an easy way for a bishop to hand off difficult decisions to a national body to bury under committees and put off statements that may make a bishop 'uncomfortable' in issuing. Catholic Exchange has a good article on the transition that the USCCB is facing as it meets in Baltimore to commemorate the beautiful Basilica there. For more on this article click here.


Bishops conferences were mandated by Church law so you just can't eliminate them. Though they can certainly be downsized with the amount of bureaucracy that has built up. The latest Crisis

Russell Shaw had a good article on this subject in the latest Crisis.

Unknown said...


That's a major oversight on my part. I've been reading a lot of Pope Benedict XVI's books while he was a Cardinal and I keep coming across his thoughts that the national conferences are not part of the 'overall' structure of the Church.

Anyways, I got carried away with eliminating the USCCB. It does some good, but it acts as a shield for weakspined bishops to dodge the difficult questions. There has got to be a way that these particular bishops need to be held accountable for their actions. I know, I know, in the end they will be judged by the Almighty.

Though it is frustrating.

Quite frustrating indeed. It is rare to see a document released by the conference that really makes you want to cheer.

Matt said...

NCCB's are a part of Church law that is discipline and may be changed by the Supreme Legislator, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI at any time.

It is clear from the US and France at the very least that these are simply organizations to foment dissent against the Church, and to stifle dissent against modernism. Abolish away.

God Bless,


ps. soft on moral teaching, and liberation theology Catholic Charities on that same dung heap please.

humboldt said...

Indeed Bishop Conferences have taken a life of their own not desired by the council. A deep reform of the presente structure of bishop conference is a must, and it would be a good idea to scrap the whole thing altogether because they are a negative force in the Church. AMDG.

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