CATHOLIC HERALD STAFF
When the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) released its list of 10 candidates to be president and vice president for the next three years, Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki’s name was on it.
However, Archbishop Listecki said he was a little surprised that he had been nominated and that it wasn’t something he sought out.
The next president, who will replace Galveston-Houston Archbishop Daniel Cardinal DiNardo and serve for three years, will be selected during the USCCB general assembly, scheduled for Nov. 11-13 in Baltimore.
Archbishop Listecki noted that the current USCCB vice president and the Archbishop of Los Angeles, Jose H. Gomez, is the most likely to replace Cardinal DiNardo as the common practice has been for the vice president to be elected president and the other nine candidates essentially being considered for the vice president role.
Archbishop Listecki said he believes whoever is elected to the two roles, they will have to deal with Church transparency and reestablishing the confidence people have in the leadership of the Church, along with ongoing social issues such as abortion and immigration.
In addition to Archbishops Listecki and Gomez, the other names on the list are Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio (Military Services), Bishop Frank J. Caggiano (Bridgeport), Archbishop Paul S. Coakley (Oklahoma City), Archbishop Salvatore J. Cardileone (San Francisco), Bishop Daniel E. Flores (Brownsville), Bishop Thomas John Paprocki (Springfield, Illinois), Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades (Fort Wayne-South Bend) and Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron (Detroit). The 10 members of the list were nominated by their fellow bishops.
“It’s a slate of 10, and I can tell you right now, there are nine better candidates for the office than I am,” Archbishop Listecki said. “I’ve been a bishop for 18, almost 19, years and you get to be known among other bishops. When positions open up, I think because of more seniority than anything else, your name is usually banded about.”
Archbishop Listecki said he believes his nomination is a recognition of the success the archdiocese has had since he became Archbishop in 2010.
“It’s the way Milwaukee’s been handling a lot of leadership in this country,” Archbishop Listecki said. “You take a look at schools, you take a look in terms of the Synod we did. Even though we’re Midwest, hometown people, Milwaukee’s a place where a lot of innovation is taking place in the Church, and I think people recognize that.”
The by-laws of the USCCB provide that the first election is that of the president by simple majority vote of members present and voting. Following the election of the president, the vice-president is 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 run-off between the two bishops who received the most votes on the second ballot.
During the meeting, the bishops will also vote for new chairmen of six committees: Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance, Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis, Committee on International Justice and Peace, Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People, and the Committee for Religious Liberty.
Archbishop Listecki presently serves on a sub-committee for migrants and travelers. He is the liaison for airport chaplains, ship lines and circus ministry. It’s part of the greater Committee on Migrants and Immigrants.
The General Assembly is taking place at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront hotel.