WASHINGTON—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops were scheduled to gather for their Spring General Assembly in Detroit, June 10-12. Given the current situation with the Coronavirus that has been classified by the World Health Organization as a pandemic, the Administrative Committee of the USCCB voted earlier this week to cancel the June assembly.
In announcing the decision, Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the USCCB said, “The Administrative Committee made this very difficult decision with consideration of multiple factors, but most importantly the health, well-being and safety of the hundreds of bishops, staff, observers, guests, affiliates, volunteers, contractors and media involved with the general meetings. Additionally, even if the numerous temporary restrictions on public gatherings resulting from conditions associated with COVID-19 are lessened by June, the priority for the physical and pastoral presence of the bishop in his See will be acute to tend to the faithful.”
This marks the first cancellation of a plenary assembly in the Conference’s history. The bylaws of the Conference state that a plenary assembly is to be convened at least once a year. As such, the November general assembly meeting in Baltimore, scheduled for Nov. 16-19, would fulfill this requirement.