U.S. Catholic Bishops to Elect New President During Fall Meeting

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is set to elect the organization’s new president and other key leaders during its Fall General Assembly from Nov. 14-17 in Baltimore, Md.

The American bishops will vote on who would become their next president, vice president, and chairpersons of six standing committees.

Candidates for President, Vice President

According to its website, the bishops will choose from a roster of 10 candidates nominated by fellow bishops who will become their next president and vice president.

The nominees are as follows:

  • Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades, Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend

  • Bishop Frank J. Caggiano, Diocese of Bridgeport

  • Bishop Daniel E. Flores, Diocese of Brownsville

  • Bishop Michael F. Burbidge, Diocese of Arlington

  • Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio, Archdiocese for the Military Services

  • Archbishop William E. Lori, Archdiocese of Baltimore

  • Archbishop Paul S. Coakley, Archdiocese of Oklahoma City

  • Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, Archdiocese of San Antonio

  • Archbishop Paul D. Etienne, Archdiocese of Seattle

  • Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone, Archdiocese of San Francisco

The website said USCCB’s president and vice president are given three years to serve. Their tenure would start once the General Assembly comes to a close.

Archbishop José H. Gomez of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron of the Archdiocese of Detroit are scheduled to end their service as the conference’s president and vice president.

The bishops will first vote for the president among the candidates. The candidate who receives a simple majority vote (50% plus one vote) becomes president.

Once a president is elected, the remaining nine candidates will vie for the vice presidency. The simple majority rule also applies.

However, if a candidate fails to get the simple majority in any of the elections (president and vice president), there will be a second vote to determine the winner. A third vote will be held if there is still no winner in the second vote.

The bishops who receive the two highest ballots on the second vote will face off in the third and deciding election.

Also Read: U.S. Bishops to Vote on New Prayer Book for Lay Ministers of the Sick, Sainthood of 3 American Women

Standing Committee Chairpersons

The website added that the bishops would also choose six candidates to handle the six standing committees. The standing committees are as follows:

  • Committee on International Justice and Peace

  • Committee on Religious Liberty

  • Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance

  • Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People

  • Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis

  • Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs

The six bishops who would win a seat as committee chairpersons will have a one-year term as chairperson-elect. They will start a three-year term once the 2023 Fall General Assembly gets to a close.

20th Anniversary of Policies Against Clergy Abuse

A separate report by the Associated Press revealed that the bishops’ conference would also celebrate the 20th year since it adopted policies that seek to curb clergy abuse. The adoption came after The Boston Globe published an explode detailing systematic and widespread clergy abuse and subsequent cover-ups.

Several groups have urged the U.S. bishops to use the General Assembly as a venue to apologize to victims of clergy abuse and help in their healing.

Related Article: U.S. Bishops to Vote on Possible Beatification, Canonization of 3 American Women

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