USCCB elections present clear choices

Four 'Francis bishops' are running for committee chairs
Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond of New Orleans, center, and other prelates listens to a speaker during the 2014 annual fall general assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore. At this year's Nov. 16-19 assembly, the bishops, among other things, will address USCCB priorities and a statement on political responsibility. (CNS/Bob Roller)

Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond of New Orleans, center, and other prelates listens to a speaker during the 2014 annual fall general assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore. At this year’s Nov. 16-19 assembly, the bishops, among other things, will address USCCB priorities and a statement on political responsibility. (CNS/Bob Roller)

The following comes from a November 5 National Catholic Reporter article by Fr. Thomas Reese:

The upcoming election of committee chairs by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will present the American bishops with clear choices that will indicate the direction of the conference for the next few years.

The elections will take place at the bishops’ annual fall meeting in Baltimore, November 16-19.

Four of the candidates are clearly “Francis bishops,” because they were chosen by him for their dioceses or for a special assignment.

First, Bishop Frank J. Caggiano, appointed to Bridgeport, Connecticut, by Francis, is running for chair of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth against Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap., of Philadelphia, who was “very disturbed” by the debate over church teachings on gays and remarried Catholics at the 2014 synod on the family, saying it sent a confusing message, and “confusion is of the devil.”

In another election, Robert W. McElroy, appointed bishop of San Diego by Francis, is running for chair of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development against Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Fla., where in 2014 a group of 10 priests accused Dewane of ignoring canon law, abandoning consultative processes and ruling by intimidation and fear.

Dewane has supported farmworkers in his state, opposed the death penalty, and fought human trafficking. Dewane ran for this chair in 2009 and lost. He also lost the race for secretary in 2011.

McElroy has a doctorate in political science from Stanford University and another in moral theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University. He has written extensively on Catholic social teaching, including an article in America magazine on how Francis’ teaching is calling Catholics to care for the economically impoverished.

In a third election, John C. Wester, appointed archbishop of Santa Fe, N.M., by Pope Francis is running for chair of the Committee on Migration against Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, who is himself an immigrant from Mexico.

Wester became well known to the media as chair of the bishops’ communication committee. He is also a member of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, which involves him in migrant issues on the international level.

Both bishops have been chair of this committee in the past, and both support comprehensive immigration reform.

In a fourth race, Bishop George V. Murry, S.J., of Youngstown, Ohio, who was appointed by Francis to the recently concluded synod on the family, is running for chair of the Committee on Catholic Education against Archbishop Robert J. Carlson of St. Louis, who is a canon lawyer.

Whatever the outcome, this will certainly be one of the most interesting USCCB elections in years. For each chair, there is a real choice.

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  1. When I saw the obvious attempt to influence the elections, I looked at the source of this article – NC REPORTER. The ‘National Catholic REPORTER’ is a heretical and evil paper that should NEVER be quoted.
    In 1968 they were formally condemned by their Diocese Bishop Helmsing, and told not to use the name “Catholic”. http://greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=00Cofv
    The condemnation has never been lifted, and reaffirmed by the Diocese Bishop in 2013. http://catholickey.org/2013/01/25/the-bishops-role-in-fostering-the-mission-of-the-catholic-media/

  2. The formally condemned ‘NC REPORTER’ does NOT like Bishop Dewane who is orthodox, and SLANDERS good Bishops whenever they get a chance.
    In 2014 they made a big deal about some anonymous Priests who wrote a letter, after the Bishop got rid of a Priest who was having an affair with a 17 year old girl and fathered a child.
    Read this article – by the Catholic League for the truth of the matter.

    ” DISSIDENTS TARGET BISHOP DEWANE ” – http://www.catholicleague.org/dissidents-target-dewane/

  3. It is just like Thomas Reese (author of article) to FALSELY pretend one set of Bishops is hand picked by Pope Francis. Such silliness.
    In most cases the Pope does not know them. Those to be made Bishops or part of a Commission from the USA are recommended by Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the only American on the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops. This is how Chicago got stuck with Blasé Cupich.
    Both Wuerl and Cupich believe in Desecrating the Body and Blood of Our Lord by giving Holy Communion to those who choose to continue living in Mortal Sin.

    • SACRED SCRIPTURE:
      Jesus regarding Profaning the Holy – Mt 7:6
      1 Cor 11:27-30 – Condemnation for Receiving Unworthily
      DOCTRINE of the FAITH:
      CCC # 1415, 1451, 1355.

      Any Cardinal or Bishop who violates Sacred Scripture and the Doctrine of the Faith should be removed from Office.
      He gives Grave SCANDAL causing the loss of Souls.

  4. Read Bp. McElroys views in articles he has written in America magazine. His views are those that Reese support…

  5. Based on the “Official Titles/Offices”, it sounds like these characters could be running for political office in our federal government!

    To much of their focus and time seems to be spent on living the good life here on earth, as opposed to salvation of souls and living a holy life to enter paradise called Heaven!

  6. Stop citing NCR or preface it with a strong red label **warning** that it can be hazardous to your faith.

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