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Bishop Burbidge elected chairman-elect of Communications Committee

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BALTIMORE – Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge, Bishop of the Diocese of Arlington, was elected chairman-elect of the Communications Committee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops during the fall general assembly in Baltimore.

“It is such an honor to have been selected by my brother bishops as the Chairman-elect of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Communications,” said Bishop Burbidge in a statement released Nov. 14. “I am grateful for the trust they have placed in me and I will strive to continue the tremendous work of the committee throughout my tenure.


“In the midst of so many moral and social issues, the Church speaks the Truth and Joy of the Gospel,” Bishop Burbidge said. “Thus, the use of effective and creative communications tools must be properly utilized so to reach as many people as possible. With God's grace, the USCCB Committee on Communications will always offer great support and assistance in that process.”

The Communications Committee assists the bishops, both individually and collectively, to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the communications media as “pathways to intensify communion and to render more penetrating the proclamation of his word” (John Paul II, The Rapid Development, 2005).

The committee seeks to support the work of evangelization and faith formation through a comprehensive approach to media that includes media relations, media production and programming, policy, review of entertainment media, publishing, distribution, and licensing with sensitivity toward culturally diverse communities.

Bishop Christopher J. Coyne of Burlington, Vt., is the committee’s current chairman.

In other votes Nov. 14, Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron of Detroit will be the next secretary of the USCCB, taking office next November.

Votes also were cast for a new chairman of the bishops' Committee for Religious Liberty and chairmen-elect for the committees on Cultural Diversity in the Church, Doctrine, National Collections and Pro-Life Activities.

Archbishop Vigneron will succeed New Orleans Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond, who is starting his third and final year of his three-year term. The Detroit prelate will serve one year as secretary-elect and then start a three-year term in office at the conclusion of the 2018 fall general assembly.

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., was elected chairman of the Committee on Religious Liberty. He was to assume his duties at the conclusion of the assembly.

At their spring meeting in June, the bishops voted to make what was an ad hoc religious liberty body a permanent standing committee. Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori served as chairman of the committee since its creation in 2011.

Bishops also voted for chairmen-elect of four other committees. Those elected will serve for one year before beginning three-year terms at the conclusion of the bishops' 2018 fall general assembly.

Those elected include:

— Committee on Pro-Life Activities: Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kan.

— Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church: Bishop Nelson J. Perez of Cleveland.

— Committee on Doctrine: Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Ind.

— Committee on National Collections: Bishop Joseph R. Cistone of Saginaw, Mich.


Bishops also were to choose six members for the CRS board. An electronic vote was bypassed in favor of a paper ballot. Results were to be announced before the conclusion of the assembly.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2017