WASHINGTON, July 31, 2002 ( – Eight American bishops have penned a confidential letter calling for a Plenary Council to be called as soon as possible to discuss the “root causes” of—and possible solutions to—the current crisis in the Church.  Crisis magazine editor Deal Hudson, who has obtained a copy of the letter, explains that a Plenary Council would be a meeting of all US bishops which would focus on “those issues that were swept under the rug at the June bishops’ meeting.”  Hudson quotes the letter saying the council would address: “What things need to be going on so that in this cultural milieu priests and bishops will preserve their celibate chastity along with all the other virtues that constitute the life of holiness proper to pastors?”  Pastors must, says the letter, “foster the acts of virtue required of pastors and the means needed to achieve those virtues, especially celibate chastity (e.g., daily celebration of the Mass, frequent Confession, daily meditation, regular acts of asceticism, obedient submission to Church teaching and discipline, simplicity of life).”  The letter notes the need for strengthening the “teaching of the Gospel, especially in regard to sexual morality.”  See the full coverage by Hudson from CatholicCity at:


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