US bishops choose new secretary-elect, committee heads at fall meeting

Archbishop J. Peter Sartain
Archbishop J. Peter Sartain

.- The U.S. bishops conference chose Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle as their new secretary-elect, who will also serve as chairman of the conference’s Committee on Priorities and Plans.

The bishops picked new chairmen-elect for several other committees at their fall general assembly in Baltimore, Md. on Nov. 14.

After serving for one year as chairman-elect, each bishop will serve a three-year term as chairman of their individual committees.

Bishop John C. Wester of Salt Lake City was chosen as chairman-elect of the Committee on Communications and Archbishop John C. Nienstedt of St. Paul and Minneapolis was picked as the new head of the bishops' committee on doctrine.

Bishop Daniel E. Flores of Brownsville, Tx. will become the new leader of the cultural diversity committee while Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr of Cincinnati was chosen as chairman-elect of the Committee on National Collections.

The bishops selected Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, OFM Cap. of Boston as head of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities.

Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines was elected as chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace. Unlike the other committees, Bishop Pates was chosen as the chairman rather than the chairman-elect of the committee and will assume leadership at the end of the meeting.

The unusual situation was due to the fact that Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien of Baltimore had been chosen as chairman-elect in 2010 but will not be able to take up the position as chairman because he was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI in August as pro-grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.

The bishops also elected Bishop Flores, Archbishop George J. Lucas of Omaha, Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City and Auxiliary Bishop Martin D. Holley of Washington to the board of Catholic Relief Services.

Bishop Joseph A. Pepe of Las Vegas and Bishop Anthony B. Taylor of Little Rock were also chosen to be members on the board of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.

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