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WASHINGTON—U.S. bishops will vote during their Nov. 14-16 annual fall meeting in Baltimore on whether to establish a Subcommittee on Health Care Issues under the Doctrine Committee.
The proposal is offered by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Priorities and Plans, chaired by Bishop George V. Murry, SJ of Youngstown, Ohio, and secretary of the USCCB.
The proposed subcommittee finds roots in a three-year task force on health care issues that held its last meeting June 11, 2011. The mandate of the task force was to coordinate USCCB activities related to health care and to help determine what kind of permanent structure would best serve the needs of the various health care concerns and stakeholders.
The task force recommended that the Priorities and Plans Committee create the permanent subcommittee. It listed issues it had addressed such as guidance in implementing the bishops’ Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, non-Catholic hospitals in Catholic health care systems, for-profit Catholic health care, canonical status of Catholic health care facilities, conscience protection and health care reform.
Members of the new subcommittee are expected to include representatives from the bishops’ committees on doctrine, canon law and church governance, pro-life activities, and domestic justice and human development.
According to the documentation provided to bishops in preparation for the November meeting “members of the subcommittee could include bishops who represent the committees of the Conference that address various aspects of health care as well as consultants from organizations that relate to the health care ministry of the Church.”
Coverage of the bishops’ meeting is open to credentialed media. Sessions open to media will be Monday, November 14, and Tuesday, November 15. Media conferences will follow morning and afternoon open sessions. Reporters seeking to cover the meeting can download a credential application form at www.usccb.org/about/media-relations/upload/application-news-media-credentials.pdf and submit it by November 4 to firstname.lastname@example.org, fax to (202) 541-3173, or mail to:
Keywords: bishops, Catholic, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, health care, hospitals, Religious and Ethical Directives, USCCB, canon law, governance, pro-life, justice, human development
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