BALTIMORE — Come next fall, two Brooklyn bishops will lead prominent committees within the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
On Nov. 14, Bishop Robert Brennan and Auxiliary Bishop James Massa were elected to lead the USCCB Committees on Cultural Diversity in the Church and Doctrine, respectively.
They will each serve as chairman-elect for the next year, and take over as chairman of their respective committees next November, following the 2024 USCCB general assembly.
For the role of chairman of the Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church, Bishop Brennan was up against Bishop Earl Fernandes, his successor in Columbus, Ohio. Bishop Brennan was elected chairman by a vote of 126 to 116. The Cultural Diversity Committee is tasked with bringing different cultures, races and communities “into fuller participation in the faith, life, and evangelizing mission of the Church,” according to its mandate.
Meanwhile, for the role of chairman of the Committee on Doctrine, Bishop Massa was up against Bishop John Doerfler of Marquette, Michigan, and was elected by a vote of 125 to 118. The Committee on Doctrine is tasked with “providing expertise and guidance concerning theological and moral issues that confront the Church in the United States,” according to its mandate. This includes addressing the relationship between science and faith and health care.
In other elections, the bishops reconfirmed five bishops who are currently board members of Catholic Relief Services, the U.S. bishops’ overseas relief and development agency, including Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus Octavio Cisneros.