Voting Begins on Proposed Document on Pastoral Duties of Bishops

Coadjutor Archbishop Pierre Veuillot of Paris presented a report on the first chapter of the ecumenical council’s schema on the pastoral duties of bishops to the council Fathers before they began voting on amendments to it.

Archbishop Veuillot pointed out that although the vast majority of articles in the schema had been approved by the Fathers, many amendments had been submitted with the intention of improving the text.

All amendments, he said, were examined by a special subcommission of the council Commission on Bishops and the Government of Dioceses. The subcommission was composed of the relators, the secretary of the commission and the secretaries of the five subcommissions of the commission. The proposals which this subcommission approved were then submitted to the judgment of the full commission which took the final decision.

Some of the amendments presented were rejected, the archbishop reported, because they were out of harmony with the dogmatic Constitution on the Church. Others were accepted because they helped to put this doctrine in a clearer light.

The more important points contained in the proposals which have been accepted for inclusion in the text have been formulated in new terms and are now before the Fathers for approval, Archbishop Veuillot said. A certain number of modifications were of minor importance and dealt only with points of Latin, he noted.

The commission wished to go on record as stating that, as far as was humanly possible, the commission gave careful consideration to every amendment submitted by the Fathers. It now trusts that the council will confirm its work through unanimous approval, Archbishop Veuillot concluded.

Following are the results of the votes on amendments dealing with the introduction and chapter I of the decree on the pastoral duties of bishops:

Vote one — proposing a new text on collegiality and clarifying the status of titular bishops — yes, 2,160; no, 22.

Vote two — insertion of a special article dealing with the synod of bishops — yes, 2,171; no, 8; null, 3.

Vote three — an article dealing with the extent of the powers of bishops in their own dioceses — yes, 2,144; no, 18.

Vote four — an article rephrasing the power of bishops to dispense from general laws of the Church in special circumstances — yes, 2,137; no, 22.

Vote five — an article formulating the desire for the reorganization of the Roman curia, including apostolic nunciatures and delegations — yes, 2,070; no, 51; null 1.

Vote six — an article formulating the desire for the internationalization of the Roman curia and the papal diplomatic service — yes, 2,041; no, 54; null, 2.

Vote seven — general approval of the handling of the other amendments dealing with the introduction and chapter I — yes, 1,999; no, 15.


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