The U.S. Catholic bishops will vote for the chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee for Religious Liberty and a chairman-elect for each of seven other standing committees before the USCCB convenes its annual fall general assembly, which is being held virtually Nov. 16-17.
In August, after consultation with the Vatican, the USCCB's bishop-members voted to approve the convocation of this year's November meeting in a virtual format in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The bishop-members voted to suspend the bylaws of the conference to allow for paper, mail-in ballots for the committee chairmen before the November meeting, with the results of the election to be announced during the meeting.
Since June, the Committee for Religious Liberty has had an acting chairman following the death of Bishop George V. Murry of Youngstown, Ohio, who had been serving as chairman.
At the conclusion of the bishops' meeting, the bishop elected to the Committee for Religious Liberty will assume the post of chairman. The nominees are Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York and Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami.
The USCCB committees for which the bishops will choose a chairman-elect are: priorities and plans, Catholic education, communications, cultural diversity in the church, doctrine, national collections and pro-life activities.
The bishops elected as chairmen-elect will serve for one year in that capacity before beginning a three-year term as the chairman of their respective committees at the conclusion of the fall general assembly in 2021.
The seven committees and the nominees for chairman-elect for each are:
-- Committee on Priorities and Plans: Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services and Bishop Daniel E. Thomas of Toledo, Ohio.
-- Committee on Catholic Education: Bishop Thomas A. Daly of Spokane, Washington, and Archbishop Gregory J. Hartmayer of Atlanta.
-- Committee on Communications: Bishop Christopher J. Coyne of Burlington, Vermont, and Auxiliary Bishop Robert P. Reed of Boston.
-- Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church: Bishop Arturo Cepeda of Detroit and Bishop Jorge Rodriguez of Denver.
-- Committee on Doctrine: Bishop Brendan J. Cahill of Victoria, Texas, and Bishop Daniel E. Flores of Brownsville, Texas.
-- Committee on National Collections: Bishop W. Shawn McKnight of Jefferson City, Missouri, and Bishop James S. Wall of Gallup, New Mexico.
-- Committee on Pro-Life Activities: Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila of Denver and Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore.