Here in Baltimore where the U.S. bishops are holding their annual fall meeting, the talk in the corridors and in the conference rooms understandably focuses much on the recent U.S. election and what it means for the Church. According to exit polls, a majority of Catholics cast their ballot for President-elect Barack Obama despite the fact that his position on basic life issues conflicts with Church teaching. The consensus among bishops is that Catholics voted on the economy, not "values" issues.
But they're left with charting a course ahead. The bishops have gone behind closed doors in regional groups to discuss the question of politics and Church teaching (and other issues) this afternoon, will do so again as a body tomorrow morning, and then will address it in open session tomorrow afternoon.
Today's press conference with Chicago Cardinal Francis George, president of the bishops' conference, Bishop Arthur Seratelli of Patterson, N.J., head of the bishops' liturgy committee, and San Francisco Archbishop George Niederauer, head of the bishops' communications committee, gives a sense of what the bishops' are grappling with. Here's a half-hour videocast of it.