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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Some Updates From The National Catholic Bioethics Center - Bishops' Workshop 2013

A Message From The NCBC's President, Dr. John M. Haas

February was a busy month for the National Catholic Bioethics Center, and many key events took place in just the past few weeks. Please take few moments and have a look at some things we've been up to.

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Now please enjoy these updates from The NCBC!

John M. Haas, Ph.D
The National Catholic Bioethics Center

Twenty-Fourth Bishops' Workshop

The National Catholic Bioethics Center hosted its twenty-fourth Workshop For Bishops this year in Dallas, Texas. The seminar, which always occurs the first week of February, is a biennial event that provides an opportunity for Bishops from the U.S. and all of North America, Central America, and the Caribbean to gather and consider the myriad ethical issues relating to The Church's involvement in health care. After the government, The Catholic Church is the largest provider of healthcare in The United States. The medical field is an changing environment which works with cutting-edge sciences that carry numerous ethical implications. The NCBC's Workshop allows the Bishops to keep abreast of contemporary scientific advances and the moral ways these advances can be used to help better our society.

The workshops are structured to address a specific topic or cluster of topics connected by a central titular theme. This year's Workshop was titled: Bioethics Through the Eyes of Faith:Serving Christ in the Sick and Vulnerable in light of Benedict XVI's declaration that this be the Year of FaithSimultaneous interpretation was provided for Spanish-speaking Bishops and three sessions, entirely in Spanish, were provided for them.
The proceedings are published in book form and are available from The National Catholic Bioethics Center and through our online store, hereThe 2013 edition will be available soon!

Beyond functioning as a forum for our Catholic Leaders to consider bioethical issues, the Workshop is a wonderful gathering of so many of America's Episcopate:

Fellow Bishops meet. From the left: Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano,
Papal Nuncio to the United States; Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore,
Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans, Chairman of The NCBC Board;
Cardinal William Levada, former Prefect of the Congregation of for the Doctrine of the Faith;
and Cardinal Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, D.C.

The NCBC's President, Dr. Haas with Bishop James Conley of Lincoln, Nebraska.

The NCBC's Visiting Scholar from the University of Santa Croce,
Father Pau Agulles, with the Papal Nuncio.

The NCBC's Executive Vice President, Deacon John Hunter,
with the Papal Nuncio

Approximately 140 Bishops were in attendance this year and they were addressed by the Papal Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Vigano, who read a personal letter to the Bishops from His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. The Papal Nuncio also preached at the opening Mass. The bishops in attendance indicated that the Workshop was very instructive and useful for their pastoral ministry.
Please feel free to read Archbishop Vigano's introduction to Benedict's letter here, and the Letter from Benedict himself here.

Departure of a Colleague and Friend

A sad event occurred after the end of the Bishops' Workshop: The departure of our visiting scholar, Father Pau Agulles. We said our farewells as he prepared to return to his teaching position in Rome. He has been named the Chief Assistant Professor for Bioethics at the University of Santa Croce and, as a result, he has undertaken teaching four bioethics classes in a row this semester! Apart from his enormous help in preparing for, and presenting at, the Bishops Workshop, Father Pau was a delight to have at the office. He brought his dry sense of humor and his sharp wit to every conversation. He is a good man and a good priest; he will be missed dearly.
The week before he left, we had some time to serve a goodbye potluck luncheon for Father Pau:

Father Pau anticipates his feast with Julie Kelley and Tara Capizzi!

Father Pau Cuts his cake while Dr. Marie Hilliard looks on.

Farewell Father! 

Those of you who live in the area will be proud to know that Father Pau's final meal before leaving the country was, of course, a Philly Cheesesteak!
Good luck to you Father, may God bless you in all your endeavors.

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