WASHINGTON (CNS) — During their fall general assembly in Baltimore Nov. 14-17, the U.S. bishops will elect the next president and vice president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops from a slate of 10 candidates nominated by their fellow bishops.
They also will vote on chairmen-elect for six standing USCCB committees.
The president and vice president are elected to three-year terms, which begin at the conclusion of this year’s general assembly. At that time, Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles and Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron of Detroit will complete their terms as president and vice president, respectively.
The candidates for president and vice president are, in alphabetical order:
- Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services.
- Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Arlington, Virginia.
- Bishop Frank J. Caggiano of Bridgeport, Connecticut.
- Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City.
- Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco.
- Archbishop Paul D. Etienne of Seattle.
- Bishop Daniel E. Flores of Brownsville, Texas.
- Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller of San Antonio.
- Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore.
- Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana.
According to the USCCB bylaws, the president is elected first by a simple majority vote of members present and voting. The vice president is then elected from the remaining nine candidates.
In either election, if a candidate does not receive more than half of the votes cast on the first ballot, a second vote is taken. If a third round of voting is necessary, that ballot is a runoff between the two bishops who received the most votes on the second ballot.
During the meeting, the bishops also will vote for chairmen-elect of six USCCB standing committees on: Canonical Affairs and Church Governance; Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs; Evangelization and Catechesis; International Justice and Peace; Protection of Children and Young People; and Religious Liberty.
The six bishops will each serve for one year as chairman-elect of their respective committee before beginning a three-year term as chairman at the conclusion of the bishops’ 2023 Fall General Assembly.
The nominees are, in alphabetical order:
- Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance: Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois, and Bishop Alfred A. Schlert of Allentown, Pennsylvania.
- Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs: Bishop Joseph C. Bambera of Scranton, Pennsylvania, and Auxiliary Bishop Peter L. Smith of Portland, Oregon.
- Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis: Archbishop Charles C. Thompson of Indianapolis and Bishop William D. Byrne of Springfield, Massachusetts.
- Committee on International Justice and Peace: Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez of Philadelphia and Bishop Abdallah Elias Zaidan of the Maronite Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon.
- Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People: Bishop Barry C. Knestout of Richmond, Virginia, and Auxiliary Bishop Elias R. Lorenzo of Newark, New Jersey.
- Committee for Religious Liberty: Archbishop Cordileone and Bishop Rhoades.
Because the elections for USCCB president and vice president are also taking place at the general assembly, if any of the candidates for committee chairmanship are elected to fill either of those higher offices, the USCCB’s Committee on Priorities and Plans will convene to nominate a new candidate for that committee.
Last November, the bishops voted for chairmen-elect for five standing committees. At the end of this year’s fall assembly, they will take over as chairmen of their respective committees on:
- Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations: Bishop Earl A. Boyea of Lansing, Michigan.
- Divine Worship: Bishop Steven J. Lopes, who heads the Houston-based Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter.
- Domestic Justice and Human Development: Archbishop Borys Gudziak of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia.
- Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth: then-Auxiliary Bishop Robert E. Barron of Los Angeles, who now heads the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, Minnesota.
- Migration: Bishop Mark J. Seitz of El Paso.