Bishops elect USCCB secretary-elect, chairmen-elect of 6 standing committees

A bishop uses an electronic voting device during a Nov. 14, 2023, session of the fall general assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore. (OSV News photo/Bob Roller)

BALTIMORE (OSV News) — The U.S. bishops Nov. 14 elected Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City as secretary-elect of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

He won with 187 votes over his challenger, Archbishop Alexander K. Sample of Portland, Oregon, who received 55 votes.

Archbishop Coakley was elected secretary last year to complete the term left vacant when Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services, then the secretary, was elected to a three-year term as conference president. The USCCB secretary also serves as chairman of the Committee on Priorities and Plans.

The bishops also voted for chairman-elect of six standing committees. The names of the committees follow, in alphabetical order, with the new chairman-elect and vote tally follow:

— Committee on Catholic Education: Bishop David M. O’Connell of Trenton, New Jersey, 144; Bishop James D. Conley of Lincoln, Nebraska, 101.

— Committee on Communications: Bishop William D. Byrne of Springfield, Massachusetts, 142; Coadjutor Archbishop Christopher J. Coyne of Hartford, Connecticut, 103.

— Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church: Bishop Robert J. Brennan of Brooklyn, New York, 126; Bishop Earl K. Fernandes of Columbus, Ohio, 116.

— Committee on Doctrine: Auxiliary Bishop James Massa of Brooklyn, 125; Bishop John F. Doerfler of Marquette, Michigan, 118.

— Committee on National Collections:Bishop Daniel H. Mueggenborg of Reno, Nevada, 146; Bishop W. Shawn McKnight of Jefferson City, Missouri, 97.

— Committee on Pro-Life Activities: Bishop Daniel E. Thomas of Toledo, Ohio, 161;
Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco, 84.

Archbishop Coakley will serve one year as “elect” and the chairmen-elect also will each serve for one year as “elect” before they each begin a three-year term in their respective positions at the conclusion of the fall plenary assembly in 2024, when the current committee chairmen complete their three-year term.

Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Arlington, Virginia, was elected as the chairman of the pro-life committee during the November 2022 plenary to complete the term left vacant when Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore was elected conference vice president.

The other chairmen whose terms heading standing committees end in 2024 are: Bishop Thomas A. Daly of Spokane, Washington, Catholic education; Auxiliary Bishop Robert P. Reed of Boston, communications; Auxiliary Bishop Arturo Cepeda of Detroit, cultural diversity; Bishop Daniel E. Flores of Brownsville, Texas, doctrine; and Bishop James S. Wall of Gallup, New Mexico, national collections.

In other elections, the bishops reconfirmed bishops who are currently board members of Catholic Relief Services, the U.S. bishops’ overseas relief and development agency: Bishop Brendan J. Cahill of Victoria, Texas; Bishop Daniel E. Garcia of Monterey, California; Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin of Newark, New Jersey; Bishop Luis R. Zarama of Raleigh, North Carolina; and retired Auxiliary Bishop Octavio Cisneros of Brooklyn. The bishops also confirmed the appointment of two new members of the CRS board: Auxiliary Bishop Robert P. Reed of Boston and Bishop Joseph J. Tyson of Yakima, Washington.

The bishops also confirmed the appointment of two prelates to the board of the Catholic Legal immigration Network Inc., or CLINIC: Archbishop George Leo Thomas of Las Vegas and Auxiliary Bishop Roy E. Campbell Jr. of Washington.

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