The U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops announced it will draft of a formal statement on pornography to be issued from the entire body of bishops during the bishops’ annual fall General Assembly Tuesday. The bishops voted 226-5 in favor of addressing the hot topic following a presentation by Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo, New York, chair-elect of the USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth.
In his report, Malone said “As pastors, we’re aware that many people are consuming or are exploited by pornography, and many also are struggling with pornography addiction. The number of men, women, and children who have been harmed by pornography use is not negligible, and we have an opportunity to offer healing and hope to those who have been wounded.”
The statement will be pastoral in nature and will emphasize the effects of pornography on marriages and families, while attending to all those harmed by pornography use and addiction. The Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth will lead the drafting process, and the statement will come before the body of bishops for approval. The tentative timeline is to have a finalized statement by the end of 2015.
The bishops also elected a new president. Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky was elected to succeed Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. He was elected president on the first ballot with 125 votes.
Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston was elected to succeed Kurtz as USCCB vice president. Both Archbishop Kurtz and Cardinal DiNardo are elected to three-year terms. Their new terms begin at the conclusion of the General Assembly, November 14.