Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

11/12/2013 (8 months ago)

Catholic Online (

I pray for another surprise of the Holy Spirit as the bishops select the successor to cardinal Dolan to head this conference - like the one which occurred at the papal conclave in March

The Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Carlo Maria ViganÚ, gave an amazing address to the Bishops on Monday. He opened  up the richly pastoral, prophetic and evangelistic vision Pope Francis has for the Bishops of the whole Catholic Church in this new missionary age.The outgoing President of the Conference, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, gave a powerful message on the rising tide of threats to religious freedom and the growing persecution against Christians around the world. The Cardinal Archbishop from New York has been an extraordinary leader of the Bishops Conference for the last three years.

US Bishops begin their important deliberations with Holy Mass

US Bishops begin their important deliberations with Holy Mass


By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (

11/12/2013 (8 months ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: USCCB, United States catholic Bishops, Baltimore, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, Deacon Keith Fournier

BALTIMORE.MD (Catholic Online) - On Monday, November 11, 2013, Veterans Day in the United States, the United States Catholic Bishops gathered in Baltimore Maryland for what is shaping up to be an historic Fall Plenary Session. The gathering began with the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the Basilica of the Assumption in Baltimore, Maryland.

As is now routinely the case, the finest reporting on these important meetings is coming from Rocco Palmo, the Church Whisperer, on his outstanding and always insightful blog, Whispers in the Loggia. Rocco is offering the LIVE feeds throughout the gathering, accompanied by real time text updates.  I encourage our readers to regularly visit Whispers throughout the day and pray as these important meetings continue.

The Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Carlo Maria ViganÚ, gave an amazing address to the Bishops on Monday. He opened  up the richly pastoral, prophetic and evangelistic vision Pope Francis has for the Bishops of the whole Catholic Church in this new missionary age. The entire address can - and should - be read right here.

The outgoing President of the Conference, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, gave a powerful message on the rising tide of threats to religious freedom and the growing persecution against Christians around the world. The Cardinal Archbishop from New York has been an extraordinary leader of the Bishops Conference for the last three years.

His closing address as President was another example of what a gift he truly is to the Church in the United States, and beyond. I ask our readers to pray that in his next assignment, in the Lord and for His Church, he will continue to bear the fruit which has been borne over his years of faithful service throughout his service as Priest and Bishop. This is a great man at a time when we need great men.

Cardinal Dolan told his brother bishops: We are living in what must be recognized as, in the words of Blessed John Paul II, "a new age of martyrs." One expert calculates that half of all Christian martyrs were killed in the twentieth century alone. The twenty-first century has already seen one million people killed around the world because of their belief in Jesus Christ - - one million already in this young century.

And the threat to religious believers is growing. The Pew Research Center reports that 75 percent of the world's population "lives in countries where governments, social groups, or individuals restrict people's ability to freely practice their faith." Pew lays out the details of this "rising tide of restrictions on religion," but we don't need a report to tell us something we sadly see on the news every day.

His address was warmly received by the Bishops. He set forth a global vision of how we are all called to not only know about the suffering of our brethren around the world but stand in solidarity with them. He insisted that such a posture is not only integral to our Christian mission, it should call forth focused prayer and action. Further, that it must inform our public policy as a Nation.

Cardinal Dolan said:  Protecting religious freedom will be a central social and political concern of our time, and we American bishops already have made very important contributions to carrying it forward. Now we are being beckoned - - by history, by Pope Francis, by the force of our own logic and the ecclesiology of communion - - to extend those efforts to the dramatic front lines of this battle, where Christians are paying for their fidelity with their lives. As the Council reminded us, we are bishops not only for our dioceses, not only for our nation, but for the Church universal.

The leadership of the Catholic Church in the United States which has been given by Cardinal Dolan during his term of service, as well as the serious and sobering content of his stirring analysis of the growing persecution against the Church around the world, underscore the importance of the election of his successor. We need a strong man of faith and deep prayer with a humble and happy heart and a gift of communication to continue this important work in this historic moment. 

We ask our readers around the world to pray that the Holy Spirit guide the Bishops in this vital decision.  The handicapping which accompanies these selections has produced a flurry of articles speculating who among the ten candidates on the ballot will be selected.  The president and vice president of the conference will be selected from the slate of 10 candidates who have been nominated by the Bishops:

-  Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond of New Orleans
-  Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap., of Philadelphia
-  Bishop Blase J. Cupich of Spokane, Washington
-  Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston
-  Archbishop Josť H. Gomez of Los Angeles
-  Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky
-  Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore
-  Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr of Cincinnati
-  Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron of Detroit
-  Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami

The president and vice president are elected to three-year terms. Those terms begin as soon as the meetings in Baltimore end. Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York and Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, complete their terms as president and vice president at that time. As explained on the website of the USCCB:

USCCB by-laws provide that the election of the president will take place first from among the list of 10 candidates. Following the election of the president by a simple majority vote, the vice president is elected from the remaining nine candidates. In either election, if a candidate does not receive more than half of the votes cast on the first ballot, a second vote is taken. If a third round of voting is necessary, that ballot is a run-off between the top two vote getters from the second ballot.

I pray for another surprise of the Holy Spirit as the bishops select the President and Vice President to lead this conference - like the one which occurred at the papal conclave in March.  


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2014
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.


More U.S.

Deacon Keith Fournier: The Courage of the Catholic Bishops, Religious Liberty, Hobby Lobby and ENDA Watch

Image of Deacon Keith Fournier is Founder and Chairman of Common Good Foundation and Common Good Alliance. A married Roman Catholic Deacon of the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia, he and his wife Laurine have five grown children and six grandchildren, He serves as the Director of Adult Faith Formation at St. Stephen, Martyr Parish in Chesapeake, VA. He is also a human rights lawyer and public policy advocate. Deacon Fournier is a graduate of the Franciscan University of Steubenville (Theology and Philosophy, BA), the John Paul II Institute of the Lateran University (Theology of Marriage and Family, MTS), and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law (JD). He has completed requirements for the PhD in Moral Theology at the Catholic University of America and is writing the PhD dissertation on the teaching of St. John Paul II.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The Catholic Bishops are doing an excellent job standing up for Religious liberty as a fundamental human right. One of my growing concerns is that many Catholics do not even read what they are saying. Sadly, in a propagandized media where sound bites substitute ... continue reading

Thousands of Christians Flee Under Death Threat From Tyrannical Caliph and ISIS Jihadists Watch

Image of (Pictured: Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, or Caliph Ibrahim) At first, Christians were ordered to gather in a central place to receive the directive from the self appointed Caliph. Understandably, given the track record of this maniacal tyrant, few did. So, the text of the statement was issued as a formal declaration to all Christians - We offer them three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract - involving payment of Jizya; if they refuse this they will have nothing but the sword.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

By now, everyone who is in anyway concerned about what is happening to Christians in Iraq has heard the horrific news. The madman who claims to be a descendant of Mohammed, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi - who in his delusion and grandiosity has taken to calling himself ... continue reading

PLAGUE OF BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS: Mayflies descend on Wisconsin Watch

Image of When summer arrives, Mayflies take flight and proceed to mate before immediately going back to the water to lay eggs and die.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's a plague of Biblical proportions. Ugly mayflies have descended on the state of Wisconsin, covering up exterior services like so much black, metallic dust. Photos coming out of Wisconsin is sure to send viewers itching - so beware of some of the sights in ... continue reading

Catholic Bishops Decry Obama's LGBT executive order as imprudent act of religious discrimination Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The chairmen of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty and Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth have been strong in their condemnation of President Obama's legislation on LGBT employees. "Today's ... continue reading

A Tribute to Protestant Bishop Tony Palmer, Friend of Francis and Champion of Christian Unity Watch

Image of The late Bishop Tony Palmer with Pope Francis- He was catapulted into prominence in the broader Christian community when, while meeting with his friend the Pope in January, he was given a recorded message from Francis to deliver to a large group of charismatic, evangelical protestant leaders who gathered in the United States. The video went viral. It moved millions to sincere prayer for the healing of the divisions in the broken Body of Christ and is prompting a renewed commitment to common apostolic action between Christians.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

I never personally met Bishop Tony Palmer. However, I look forward to spending an eternity in the full communion of God's love with him. I appreciated his Christian courage and felt that his efforts were prophetic. He wrote his life - and lived his ministry - ... continue reading

Exclusive: Tribute to Bishop Tony Palmer, A Life Dedicated to Unity Watch

Image of (Pictured: Left to Right - Dirk West, Matteo Callisi, Bishop Tony Palmer, and Deacon Darrell Wentworth) - Faith to Bishop Tony Palmer was a dynamic, lived experience and, as a result, his life built up the whole Body of Christ and tore down the walls some have built to separate us from each other! What a legacy! A true example of living Jesus' prayer in John 17! (Deacon Darrell Wentworth)

By Deacon Darrell Wentworth

Monday, July 21, 2014, was supposed to be like most Mondays - the start of a work week. But Deacon Keith Fournier sent me a text informing me that my friend, Bishop Tony Palmer, had died. Shock went through my body as I processed that news; then disbelief as I ... continue reading

Anarchy in Chicago! Weekend of crime tears city apart Watch

Image of The weekend of July 18 saw the death of five people and the wounding of 47 in Chicago.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There were 47 shooting victims in Chicago this weekend, five of which ended up being fatal, statistics from the Chicago Police Department report. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Chicago officials met on July 21 to discuss the city's recent surge in gun ... continue reading

The Contraceptive New York Nanny, Bill Donohue and the Catholic League Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The idea that the government is now in the business of arm-twisting women not to have more children - immediately after childbirth - is morally obnoxious and socially disturbing. It is so apt that this is happening in a city where its mayor lusts for abortion ... continue reading

Building a culture of life: Colorado clinic takes brave stand Watch

Image of Inspired to bring their mission home to Colorado, they decided to start a natural women's health clinic that would uphold the dignity of women and give them the care they deserve.


A Colorado women's health clinic seeking to offer natural care that respects human dignity has drawn praise for helping to build up a culture of life. (CNA/EWTN News) - Authentic women's care "is essential to the pro-life movement," said Mother Agnes Mary Donovan, ... continue reading

When more than 80 percent of California faces extreme drought -- the spigots remain open Watch

Image of At the headquarters of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, fountains are still operating. The one change is that they turn off at mid-morning, and haven't been running full-time since the spring.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Extremely dry conditions in the state of California has 80 percent of the so-called Golden State in extreme drought conditions. Many couldn't tell the difference in many urban areas: Sprinklers go full blast on many lawns, and lots of waters goes wasted by ... continue reading

All U.S. News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Second Corinthians 4:7-15
7 But we hold this treasure in pots of earthenware, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 126:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6
1 [Song of Ascents] When Yahweh brought back Zion's ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 20:20-28
20 Then the mother of Zebedee's sons came with her ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 25th, 2014 Image

St. James the Greater
July 25: For James there was no indication that this was the day that his ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook

Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter