Cardinal Cupich optimistic about outcome of bishop conference, despite delay in vote

BALTIMORE -- The Conference of U.S. Bishops continues in Baltimore this week and comes at a tough time for the Catholic Church.

Several Roman Catholic bishops on Tuesday urged colleagues at their national meeting to take some sort of action on the clergy sex abuse crisis despite a Vatican order to delay voting on key proposals.

The head of the Chicago Archdiocese Cardinal Blase Cupich is leading an important part of the discussions at the conference.

Cardinal Cupich has been deeply involved in the process and is seen as a key papal ally in North America.

Cupich, suggested the bishops could hold a non-binding vote on the proposals while in Baltimore and then convene a special assembly for a formal vote after considering the results of the global meeting in February.

"I realize that another meeting will create logistical challenges for the conference staff and the bishops' schedules, but there is a grave urgency to this matter and we cannot delay," Cupich said.

Thursday is the final day of the conference and while bishops will not be allowed to action as they had hoped, the recommendations they come up with here will ultimately find their way to Vatican City.