Monday, September 27, 2010

Bishop Vasa: Bishops Trump Conference Every Time

By Patrick B. Craine

September 22, 2010 ( - The authority of the Catholic bishop within his own diocese trumps the national bishops’ conference and "no bishop has an obligation" to adopt the conference’s documents, asserted Bishop Robert Vasa of Baker, Oregon in a landmark talk last week.

"Such documents do not become normative for a particular diocese unless the bishop, either explicitly or implicitly, recommends them,” he told the 2010 InsideCatholic Partnership Award Dinner last Thursday.

Catholic bishops who boldly promote life and family in their diocese have often been condemned for acting more strongly than the national conference of bishops (USCCB), for example by refusing Communion to pro-abortion politicians. Similarly, pro-life and pro-family advocates have long complained that conference statements are vague and confusing, even misleading.

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