The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops meets for its fall plenary assembly meeting Nov. 14, 2023, in Baltimore. / Credit: Joe Bukuras/CNA
Baltimore, Md., Nov 14, 2023 / 14:15 pm (CNA).
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops elected Archbishop Paul S. Coakley as conference secretary as well as six new chairmen-elect on Nov. 14 at their fall plenary assembly in Baltimore.
The bishops overwhelmingly voted in Coakley of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City as secretary-elect and chairman-elect of the Committee on Priorities and Plans. He was chosen over Archbishop Alexander K. Sample of the Archdiocese of Portland, Oregon, by a vote of 187 to 55.
Coakley already serves as secretary, since he was elected last year to fill the position, which was left vacant when Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio was elected USCCB president. His new three-year term will begin at the adjournment of the 2024 fall general assembly.
The chairmen-elect will serve in their roles for one year before assuming the position of “secretary” and “chairman” at the adjournment of the 2024 fall meeting, when they will begin their three-year terms.
The members of the USCCB elected the following bishops to chair conference committees:
Committee on Catholic Education:
Bishop David M. O’Connell of the Diocese of Trenton, New Jersey, was elected chairman of the Committee on Catholic Education in a 144-101 vote. He was chosen over Bishop James D. Conley of the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska.
Committee on Communications:
Bishop William D. Byrne of the Diocese of Springfield, Massachusetts, was elected chairman of the Committee on Communications over Archbishop Christopher J. Coyne, coadjutor of the Archdiocese of Hartford, in a 142-103 vote.
Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church:
Bishop Robert J. Brennan of the Diocese of Brooklyn, New York, was elected chairman of the Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church. He was chosen over Bishop Earl K. Fernandes, Diocese of Columbus, Ohio, in a 126-116 vote.
Committee on Doctrine:
Bishop James Massa, auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn, New York, was elected chairman of the Committee on Doctrine in a 125-118 vote. He was chosen over Bishop John F. Doerfler of the Diocese of Marquette, Michigan.
Committee on National Collections:
Bishop Daniel H. Mueggenborg of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada, was elected chairman of the Committee on National Collections. He was chosen over Bishop W. Shawn McKnight of the Diocese of Jefferson City, Missouri, in a 146-97 vote.
Committee on Pro-life Activities:
Bishop Daniel E. Thomas of the Diocese of Toledo, Ohio, was elected chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities in a 161-84 vote. He was chosen over Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of the Archdiocese of San Francisco.