WASHINGTON (CNS) — The U.S. bishops approved by a wide margin a plan to draft a document to examine the "meaning of the Eucharist in the life of the church" following a lengthy debate during their spring general assembly. The action to move forward passed with 168 votes in favor and 55 votes against it. There were six abstentions.
The results, announced June 18, the final day of the virtual spring assembly, allow the bishops' Committee on Doctrine to draft the document and present it for discussion when the bishops reconvene in person in November.
For more than two hours June 17, 43 bishops shared their views on whether such a document was necessary at a time when Catholics are returning to regular Mass attendance as pandemic restrictions ease or if it should even be considered lest it be perceived as fracturing the unity of a church already faced with numerous challenges.
They voted electronically immediately after the second day of the meeting concluded late in the afternoon.
In a prerecorded presentation, Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana, chairman of the doctrine committee, reviewed an outline of the document, which would include three parts, subtitled "The Eucharist, A Mystery to be Believed," "The Eucharist, A Mystery to be Celebrated" and "The Eucharist, A Mystery to be Lived."