U.S. bishops choose new secretary-elect, committee chairmen-elect

A bishop casts a vote Nov. 11 during the annual fall general assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

The U.S. bishops on Nov. 11 chose a new secretary-elect and chairmen-elect for several committees, all of whom will begin their service in November 2015.

The bishops also selected from among their number to serve on the boards of Catholic Relief Services, the bishops' international aid and development agency, and the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, known as CLINIC.


Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond of New Orleans won the secretary-elect job, defeating Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the Archdiocese of the Military Services, 100-94.

Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, who was president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops from 2010 to 2013, was voted in as chairman-elect of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities, over Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles, 127-102.

In other committee elections:

-- Communications: Auxiliary Bishop Christopher J. Coyne of Indianapolis defeated Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, 114-102. Bishop Coyne was a late replacement candidate for Bishop William F. Murphy of Rockville Centre, New York.

Bishop Murphy had said he expects to retire before the end of the three-year chairmanship term in 2018. Msgr. Ronny Jenkins, general secretary of the USCCB, said a recent Vatican "rescript" clarifies that a bishop who retires also must retire from any committee chairmanship. Bishop Murphy turns 75 in May 2015, the age at which canon law requires a bishop to turn in his resignation.

-- Cultural Diversity in the Church: Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller of San Antonio defeated Bishop Joseph J. Tyson of Yakima, Washington, 160-60.

-- Doctrine: Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron of Detroit defeated Bishop Robert J. McManus of Worcester, Massachusetts, 149-66.

-- National Collections: Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi of Mobile, Alabama, defeated Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento, California, 134-71.

The secretary-elect and the chairmen-elect will serve one year in that capacity and then begin a three-year term. The current USCCB secretary, Archbishop J. Peter Sartain, finishes his three-year term next November.

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, USCCB president, and Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, USCCB vice president, were elected to three-terms in November 2013.

For the CLINIC board election Nov. 11, bishops chose Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha of Fall River, Massachusetts, and Auxiliary Bishop Martin D. Holley of Washington.

Bishop Da Cunha was automatically elected with 100 votes, but Bishop Holley and Bishop Anthony B. Taylor of Little Rock, Arkansas, were tied for second with 95 votes. In a runoff election, Bishop Holley defeated Bishop Taylor 116-97. Other candidates were Bishop Joseph A. Pepe of Las Vegas, with 72 votes, and Bishop Armando X. Ochoa of Fresno, California, with 58 votes.

Bishops also chose five members for the CRS board. Archbishop George J. Lucas of Omaha, Nebraska, an incumbent, was the top vote-getter with 155 votes. He was followed by Bishop Edward J. Burns of Juneau, Alaska, with 125 votes; Bishop Felipe J. Estevez of St. Augustine, Florida,118; Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana, 117; and Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami, 109.

The candidates who lost were Bishop Michael C. Barber of Oakland, California, and Archbishop Robert J. Carlson of St. Louis, each with 107 votes; Bishop David A. Zubik of Pittsburgh, 104; and Archbishop Michael O. Jackels of Dubuque, Iowa, 76.

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