Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston prepares to vote June 16 during the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' spring plenary assembly in Orlando, Florida. (OSV News/Bob Roller)
When the U.S. bishops gather for their fall plenary assembly Nov. 13-16 in Baltimore, they will elect a new secretary and chairmen for six standing committees for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The current secretary, Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City, was elected last year to complete the term left vacant when Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services, then the secretary, was elected to a three-year term as conference president. The U.S. bishops' conference secretary also serves as chairman of the Committee on Priorities and Plans.
Coakley has been nominated to continue as secretary in a new term. Archbishop Alexander Sample of Portland, Oregon, has also been nominated for the position.
The bishops elected will each serve for one year as the chairman-elect of their respective committees before beginning a three-year term as the chairman at the conclusion of the fall plenary assembly in 2024, when the current committee chairmen complete their three-year term.
The nominees for chairman-elect of the standing committees are as follows, in alphabetical order:
- Committee on Catholic Education: Bishop James Conley of Lincoln, Nebraska, and
- Bishop David O'Connell of Trenton, New Jersey.
- Committee on Communications: Bishop William Byrne of Springfield, Massachusetts, and Coadjutor Archbishop Christopher Coyne of Hartford, Connecticut.
- Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church: Bishop Robert Brennan of Brooklyn, New York, and Bishop Earl Fernandes of Columbus, Ohio.
- Committee on Doctrine: Bishop John Doerfler of Marquette, Michigan, and Auxiliary Bishop James Massa of Brooklyn.
- Committee on National Collections: Bishop Shawn McKnight of Jefferson City, Missouri, and Bishop Daniel Mueggenborg of Reno, Nevada.
- Committee on Pro-Life Activities: Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco and Bishop Daniel Thomas of Toledo, Ohio.
Bishop Michael 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 Lori of Baltimore was elected conference vice president.
The other chairmen whose terms heading standing committees end in 2024 are: Bishop Thomas Daly of Spokane, Washington, Catholic education; Auxiliary Bishop Robert Reed of Boston, communications; Auxiliary Bishop Arturo Cepeda of Detroit, cultural diversity; Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville, Texas, doctrine; and Bishop James Wall of Gallup, New Mexico, national collections.