Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Slating the Chairs

As the days grow shorter, the leaves fade, baseball winds down and the autumn air turns ever more crisp, the countdown continues to Stateside Catholicism's Fall Classic: the bishops' November Meeting, which begins in Baltimore on Monday, the 16th.

Among agenda items including the long-in-the-making marriage pastoral, a text on "reproductive technologies" and the final votes on the re-translated Roman Missal (coming 2011-ish to a parish near you), the body will vote on chairs-elect for several key committees, including those overseeing clergy and vocations, migration, and divine worship.

While the standing committees have always been a significant element of the USCCB structure, the bodies' importance has been even further enhanced since a 2006 reorganization that saw their number slashed from 36 to 16, their various competencies clustered under larger umbrellas.

With that as backdrop, the coming plenary's runoff slates for the chairs were revealed this morning... and the contenders are:
Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life, and Vocations:
Archbishop Robert J. Carlson [St Louis]
Bishop Michael F. Burbidge [Raleigh]

Committee on Divine Worship:
Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond [New Orleans]
Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron [Detroit]

Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development:
Bishop Stephen E. Blaire [Stockton]
Bishop Frank J. Dewane [Venice]

Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life, and Youth:
Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann [Kansas City in Kansas]
Bishop Kevin Rhoades [Harrisburg]

Committee on Migration:
Bishop James A. Tamayo [Laredo]
Archbishop José H. Gomez [San Antonio]
After a yearlong apprenticeship, the chairs-elect will take up their respective posts at the close of the 2010 November Meeting, at which point the conference's presidency will likewise change hands with the end of Cardinal Francis George's three-year mandate.