Next month, at their annual meeting in Baltimore, the U.S. bishops will vote on some new committee chairs. The USCCB announced the nominated candidates this week. Two contests caught my eye. In the election for Conference Secretary, the nominees are Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans, and Archbishop Tim Broglio of the Archdiocese of the U.S. Military. Before casting their ballots in this contest, the bishops might want to consult Elisabetta Pique's biography of Pope Francis, just published in English, in which she relates that while in Buenos Aires, the future pope was having all of his candidates for the episcopate blocked by the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Angelo Sodano. Sodano's chief of staff of then-Msgr. Broglio, and the future pope and his staff made a joke at the expense of Broglio's name which, in Italian, can be rendered as "the one who cheats you." I am betting +Aymond wins.
The selection of a new chair of the communications committee is the other interesting contest. The nominees are Archbishop Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas and Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Center. I appreciate +Naumann's support for Donnelly College, a ministry of the Church in Kansas that has Pope Francis stamped all over it. And, I have had some pleasant personal encounters with Bishop Murphy when a mutual friend has brought us together. But, it would less than honest to characterize either man as a communications' whiz. On this one, there should be some nominations from the floor.