Tag Archives: USCCB

Joseph Kurtz and Daniel DiNardo to lead US Catholics

Today, the US bishops gathered in Baltimore for the their annual meeting, elected Louisville Archbishop Joseph Edward Kurtz, 67. Kurtz has been a bishop for the last 14 years. He has been the VP of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops under the presidency of Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan whose 3 year term ended.

In 2010, the bishops elected Cardinal Dolan of New York as president after the bishops failed to have support Bishop Kicanas who was the VP of the Conference but was embroiled in controversy.

The bishops elected Galveston-Houston Cardinal Daniel Nicholas DiNardo, 64, to be the VP. He has been a bishop for 16 years and a cardinal for 6. The cardinal defeated Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia. With the election of Archbishop Kurtz to presidency of the USCCB the body of bishops returned to an earlier practice of electing a sitting vice president to the conference presidency.

Both Kurtz and DiNardo are well-regarded churchmen. This slate of leaders is not mind-blowing. What each man brings is good experience and competence and both have a congenial personality.

Kurtz has been the archbishop of Louisville since 2007. Daniel Cardinal DiNardo has led the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston since 2006; he was created a cardinal in 2007, the first from Texas. He is twice a coadjutor bishop, the only US bishop to be so distinguished.

The bishops also elected chairmen committees assuming their chairmanships at the conclusion of the meeting:

  • Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli of Paterson: Committee on Divine Worship
  • Archbishop George J. Lucas of Omaha: Committee on Education
  • Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda of Newark: Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance
  • Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski of Baltimore: Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs
  • Archbishop Leonard P. Blair of Hartford: Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis
  • Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces: Committee on International Justice and Peace
  • Bishop Edward J. Burns of Juneau: Committee on Child and Youth Protection

Cardinal Dolan tells US bishops: work on your own conversion first

President Timothy Cardinal Dolan began his address saying that we need to
attend to “First things first: we are first believers in Christ: the way, the
truth and the life…We need to recall that the Lord said, “Seek first the
Kingdom of God”: it is God who first engages us…”

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Church thinking about social communication

How theologians might reflect on communication and information technologies and the new culture that they create formed the basis of a symposium sponsored by the Pontifical Council on Social Communication, held at the Jesuit-sponsored Santa Clara University in California (USA) in late June. The PCCS, along with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Communications and the University’s Communication Department, convened a gathering of 25 theologians to begin a process of sustained theological reflection. The group focused on three general areas: ecclesiology, approaches from historical theology, and a theological understanding of digital culture, in each area considering the challenges that contemporary communication poses to the church’s theological understanding.

Communication, whether the mass media or the Internet, has changed the environment in which people live, raising questions about church structure, personal identity, parish life, religious self-understanding, and religious formation and participation. For example, people take their identity from popular culture more than from the Church’s catechetics or even from the Gospel. The same mass media also promote a vertical model of the Church in which the local community, the parish, and the diocese disappear, so that only “the Catholic Church” headed by the Pope matters. Each of these poses a serious ecclesiological challenge, as each redefines the nature of the Church.

To read the whole article, see the text here.

Lori speaks on legitimate separation of church and state, Church’s voice

The battle for religious freedom is only now heating up. The 16th archbishop of Baltimore, William E. Lori, is the spokesman for matters pertaining to religious freedom viz. the Catholic Church in the USA. However, one could claim with seriousness that he is not only speaking for the Catholics, but for people of faith. Gave a keynote address tonight in Washington that you ought to read. The full text is here: Lori on Religious Freedom May 24 2012.pdf

New evangelizers in the United States

The April 21, 2012 issue of L’Osservatore Romano ran this editorial on the work of the evangelization in the United States. We are getting noticed for our zeal for the Gospel. Perhaps we colonialists do have something to contribute to the life of the Church universal.

“Join us in a journey to re-discover the faith or answer questions about reconnecting with the Catholic Church”. This is the call of  the document by the Bishops of the United States which intends renew with great strength the mission of spreading and proclaiming the Gospel. The episcopate’s initiative, written for the modern man and for the benefit of the whole community, is centred on references to the Pontifical Magisterium and to other interventions of the episcopate.


Disciples Called to Witness: The New Evangelization is the title chosen for the document that “focuses on reaching out to Catholics, practicing or not, who have lost a sense of the faith in an effort to re-energize them”, as described in a note by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). 

It was chairman of the USCCB Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis, Bishop David Laurin Ricken of Green Bay, Wisconsin, to point out this new duty, stating: “Every Catholic has a role in the Church, and every Catholic is called to spread the Gospel”. But he adds “in order to evangelize, a person must first be evangelized. This is really the heart of the New Evangelization”. The document especially highlights the call of Pope Benedict XVI to pursue the New Evangelization with renewed vigor and joy.

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About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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