US bishops to elect several new committee heads at November meeting

USCCB 2019 The 2019 USCCB fall general assembly/ Catholic News Agency

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has announced the slate of candidates for five committee chair positions to be filled this fall, as well as candidates for the position of treasurer-elect. 

The bishops will elect new committee chairs at their fall general assembly in Baltimore, which will be held from Nov. 15-18. The meeting marks the first in-person meeting of the conference in two years.

The winner of each election will serve as “chairman-elect” or “treasurer-elect” for one year. Following that year, at the bishops’ fall 2022 meeting, the chairmen-elect and treasurer-elect will become the chairmen of their respective committees and treasurer of the USCCB, respectively. Each term lasts for three years. 

Bishop James Checchio of Metuchen and Archbishop Paul Etienne of Seattle will be considered for the position of USCCB treasurer-elect, leading the conference’s budget and finance committee. 

For the position of migration committee chairman-elect, Bishop Mark Seitz of El Paso and Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami will be considered. 

Bishop Steven Lopes of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter and Archbishop Mitchell Rozanski of St. Louis are the candidates for chairman-elect of the Committee on Divine Worship. 

In March 2020, amid the coronavirus pandemic, Rozanski, then Bishop of Springfield in Massachusetts, attempted to authorize a change to norms for the anointing of the sick, permitting a nurse, rather than a priest, to conduct the physical anointing. Only a priest can validly administer the sacrament.

For the USCCB’s Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life, and Youth, the bishops will choose between Bishop Robert Barron, an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and Bishop Edward Burns of Dallas. 

Both Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver and Bishop Earl Boyea of Lansing are candidates for chairman-elect for the Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life, and Vocations. 

Archeparch Borys Gudziak of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia and Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield in Illinois will be considered for the position of chairman-elect for the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development. 

At the November meeting, the current chairmen-elect will assume control of their committees. 

Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville will become the new chairman of the Committee on Doctrine; Bishop James Wall of Gallup will head the National Collections Committee; and Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore will become the new leader of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities. 

The bishops will also be voting to approve the final draft of a teaching document on the Eucharist, an item that received considerable attention and debate during their spring meeting.

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