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Elections at the USCCB

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The USCCB's elections are complete and the results are: 

Conference Secretary: Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans received 52% of the votes and Archbishop Timohty Broglio of the Military Services got 48%  votes.

Chair of the Committee on Communications, Bishop Christopher Coyne of Indianapolis took 53%  of the votes and Archbishop Joseph Naumann received 47% of the votes.

Chair, Committee on Cultural Diversity, Archbishop Garcia-Siller of San Antonio received 73% of the votes and Bishop Joseph Tyson of Yakima garnered 27% of the votes.

Day two at the USCCB meeting

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In commenting on the synod on the family at the USCCB meeting yesterday, Cardinal Timothy Dolan said there were two synods: the raucous, politicized, controversial synod portrayed by some, and the actual synod, which was a study in consensus, even a little dull. It is true that notwithstanding the comments of a few prelates, some who attended the synod and some who did not, they achieved a remarkable consensus at the synod. But the voices of the other prelates were loud and insistent, and we in the press did not make that up.

Lucky Us: Another Fortnight for Freedom

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Archbishop William Lori, chairman of the USCCB ad hoc committee on religious liberty, just announced that there will be another Fortnight for Freedom in 2015 and the theme will be "Freedom to Bear Witness." I cannot believe that the conference really wants to devote resources to this failed effort, which never seems to reach anyone who does not watch EWTN on a regular basis. And, I am the only one who is perplexed by the fact that Archbishop Lori's plans do not seem to have much to say about the challenges to religious liberty in countries where Christians are being crucified.

Cardinal Wuerl Declines to Dump on Media

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In this afternoon's reports on the synod, Washington's Cardinal Donald Wuerl made an interesting point: With all the media attention generated by the synod, the Church's support for marriage and teaching on marriage was being disseminated by the world's media for two weeks almost non-stop, and in a manner no diocese or episcopal conference could achieve one their own. Finally, someone who does not dump on the media.

What is Said; What is Not Said

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Sometimes, you can tell about the relative influence of different parts of organization based on how much time the leader of that organization devotes to a given topic in a big, annual, survey speech, like the one Archbishop Kurtz gave this morning. Religious liberty was mentioned. Immigration reform did not get a mention. So much for "sterling leadership" by Msgr. Jenkins and his senior leadership team who worked on +Kurtz's draft: 11 million undocumented immigrants, most of them Catholics, do not merit a mention but fighting a contraception mandate does. 

It's Official: Cardinal Burke is Out

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In this morning's Bolletino, the announcement makes it official: Cardinal Raymond Burke has been named Patron of the Order of Malta. Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, currently the Vatican's "foreign minister," will replace +Burke as prefect of the Apostolic Signatura. The position of Patron of the the Order of Malta is usually given to a retired cardinal, or as a second task to an active cardinal. It has almost no responsibilities.

USCCB Tweet - Really?

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The USCCB sent out a tweet linking Pope's Francis' warning about the temptation to want to come down from the Cross to their fight for religious liberty. You can see the tweet here. First, the Holy Father used that warning in an entirely different context. Second, call me overly sensitive, but at a time when Christians are actually being crucified in Iraq, I think invoking the Cross to shore up support for the religious liberty struggle here in the U.S. is offensive. 

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