As the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Timothy Broglio of Military Services was elected Tuesday. He oversees Catholic ministries to the U.S. armed force forces.
Broglio, 70 years old, was elected from 10 candidates to a 3-year term. Broglio will succeed Archbishop Jose H. Gomez, Los Angeles’s first occupant of the position in 2019.
William Lori, the archbishop of Baltimore was elected vice president.
The election of new USCCB leaders is usually a formality with the bishops elevating their vice president to that position. This year, however, the election was open as the incumbent VP, Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron will soon turn 75. He is therefore ineligible for service.
From the moderate Archbishop Paul Etienne from Seattle to the conservative San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone. This year Cordileone was in the headlines when he barred Nancy Pelosi (a San Franciscan) from receiving Communion in her archdiocese because she supports abortion rights.
They were nominated in the absence of several of their cardinal colleagues by fellow bishops.
Broglio wasn’t considered as conservatively hardline as some other candidates but his election was not well received by left-of-center Catholics, who sympathize with Pope Francis during his conflicts with the U.S. Bishops.
John Gehring, Catholic program director for Faith in Public Life, a Washington-based clergy network, said that “I’m disappointed Catholic Bishops chose a president who has a track record of being a cultural warrior.” “Even though Pope Francis offers a better way forward for the church,” said John Gehring, Catholic program director at Faith in Public Life Washington-based clergy network. “Too many American bishops continue to use old strategies that are not engaging and energizing the faithful.
On Wednesday, the annual fall meeting of the bishops will be concluded. This is the first meeting of the bishops since June’s Roe v. Wade decision, which found a constitutional right for abortion, was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. The ruling remitted the legal question of legal abortion back to the states.
Lori, the chairman of the bishops Committee on Pro-life Activities acknowledged that many Catholics support legalizing abortion.
Lori, elected vice president of the bishops’ conference, stated that Roe’s demise is a huge victory but that it would be a Pyrrhic victory for those who fail to win in their minds and hearts.
He said, “We cannot credibly talk in a divided society as long our own house remains divided.” “But, at the same time, we can’t wait until total unanimity is achieved before we bear witness to the ambient culture about human dignity and life.”
AP VoteCast was an extensive survey of 2022 voters and found that Michigan’s Catholic voters
voted for a referendum to enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution. Kentucky’s Catholic voters voted against an antiabortion constitutional amendment.
Broglio, a strong opponent of abortion, has extensive experience beyond U.S. borders having studied in Rome and served in the Vatican’s diplomatic corps.
Broglio was the chief of cabinet for Cardinal Angelo Sodano (later Vatican secretary of State) from 1990 to 2001. Sodano was widely criticized for his inability to investigate prominent clergymen who were sexual abusers such as the Rev. Marcial Maciel the leader of Legion of Christ, a religious organization.
Broglio stated that “Hindsight is always 20/20” at a news conference following his election. “Many of the things we have learned now may not have been known back then.”
He stated that Maciel had “had everyone fairly buffaloed” during his tenure because he was recruiting new priests.
Broglio claimed that he had resigned from the office of secretary-of-state “by the time there were great accusations” against Maciel.
Although Maciel was accused of many things in the 2000s and 2003s, the Hartford Courant first reported the allegations in 1997. Eight men had made accusations against Maciel.
Broglio stated that the experience was a “good reminder” to be more attentive and proactive.
Broglio also stood behind an earlier statement where he linked homosexuality to the church’s abuse crisis. Broglio had stated previously that most cases of abuse were not pedophilia but homosexuality, as many victims of abusive priests were older than 12 years.
The bishops commissioned the John Jay College of Criminal Justice to conduct a 2011 study that found homosexuality not to be a reason for priest abuse.
Broglio stated Tuesday that “it’s certainly an aspect of the sexual crisis that cannot be denied.” While it’s not to point fingers at anyone, I believe it would be foolish to suggest there is no relationship between them.
Broglio declined speculation on his election or whether it signaled a new agenda than the pontiffs.
He said, “I’m certain I’m in communion with Pope Francis.” “I don’t know if this indicates any dissonance with Pope Francis.”
Broglio’s assertion last year that servicemembers should have the right to religious exemptions, sparing them from the Pentagon mandate that all troops get COVID-19 vaccines at no cost, caught national attention.
Broglio stated, “Notwithstanding these vaccines’ moral permissibility, the Church treasures its teachings on the sanctity and conscience.” “Accordingly, nobody should be forced to get a COVID-19 vaccination if it would violate his or her conscience.”
Broglio was raised in the Cleveland region, where he attended Catholic schools. He then went on to Boston College and earned a doctorate of canon law at the Pontifical Gregorian University.
In May 1977, he was ordained to the priesthood for the diocese of Cleveland at a Rome chapel.
Broglio was an associate pastor, college lecturer, and priest. He also participated extensively in the Vatican’s diplomatic services. Broglio was secretary to the apostolic nunciatures of Paraguay and Ivory Coast, and then he became the Dominican Republic’s apostolic nuncio.
Broglio was made an archbishop in March 2001 by St. John Paul II. He was ordained as an archbishop of Military Services USA in March 2001.
Broglio is currently the secretary of the conference as a USCCB member. He has been chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace and chair of the Canonical Affairs and Church Governance Committee.