(ZENIT News / Baltimore, 11.16.2023).- At their annual Fall Plenary Assembly in Baltimore this week, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) elected a Conference secretary and chairmen for six standing committees. The Conference secretary also serves as the chairman of the Committee on Priorities and Plans.
Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City was elected as Conference secretary and chairman of the Committee on Priorities and Plans in a 187 to 55 vote over Archbishop Alexander K. Sample of Portland in Oregon. Archbishop Coakley is currently serving as Conference secretary, completing the term left vacant last November when Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA was elected Conference president. With this election, his term as Conference secretary runs through November 2027.
The remaining six will serve for one year as chairmen-elect before beginning a three-year term at the conclusion of the bishops’ 2024 Fall General Assembly. The bishops elected as chairmen-elect are:
Bishop David M. O’Connell of Trenton, as chairman-elect of the Committee on Catholic Education in a 144 to 101 vote over Bishop James D. Conley of Lincoln.
Bishop William D. Byrne, Diocese of Springfield in Massachusetts, as chairman-elect of the Committee on Communications in a 142 to 103 vote over Archbishop Christopher J. Coyne, coadjutor of Hartford.
Bishop Robert J. Brennan of Brooklyn, as chairman-elect of the Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church in a 126 to 116 vote over Bishop Earl K. Fernandes of Columbus.
Bishop James Massa, auxiliary bishop of Brooklyn, as chairman-elect of the Committee on Doctrine in a 125 to 118 vote over Bishop John F. Doerfler of Marquette.
Bishop Daniel H. Mueggenborg of Reno, as chairman-elect of the Committee on National Collections in a 146 to 97 vote over Bishop W. Shawn McKnight of Jefferson City.
Bishop Daniel E. Thomas of Toledo, as chairman-elect of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities in a 161 to 84 vote over Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco.