Car­di­nal from Galve­ston-Hous­ton arch­dio­cese to lead U.S. bish­ops


Pitts­burgh Post-Gazette

— The U.S. Con­fer­ence of Catholic Bish­ops on Nov. 15 elected Car­di­nal Daniel DiNardo, who leads the large Arch­dio­cese of Galve­ston-Hous­ton in Texas, to be its new pres­i­dent.

The con­fer­ence also elected an­other car­di­nal from a heav­ily His­panic arch­dio­cese, Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, to be its vice pres­i­dent.

The elec­tion came just days af­ter Gomez made an im­pas­sioned plea for im­mi­grants, many of whom lack le­gal sta­tus and face de­por­ta­tion or fam­ily sep­a­ra­tions if Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump fol­lows through on the most dra­co­nian of his cam­paign state­ments.

“Tonight in Amer­ica — chil­dren are afraid; men and women are wor­ried and anx­ious, think­ing about where they can run and hide,” Gomez said at a ser­vice called last week af­ter the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion. “This should not be hap­pen­ing in Amer­ica. ... We are bet­ter than this.”

DiNardo, elected to a three­year term, suc­ceeds the out­go­ing pres­i­dent, Arch­bishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Ky.

DiNardo him­self just wrapped up a three-year term as vice pres­i­dent, and bish­ops usu­ally el­e­vate their vice pres­i­dent to the pres­i­dency as a mat­ter of for­mal­ity.

So in some ways the greater sus­pense was on who would


be­come vice pres­i­dent this year, and what mes­sage it might send about the bish­ops' re­sponses to the agen­das of both Pope Fran­cis and Trump.

Gomez's vis­i­bil­ity on the im­mi­gra­tion is­sue, which har­mo­nizes with Pope Fran­cis's stance and is a chal­lenge to Trump's cam­paign rhetoric, is an early in­di­ca­tion of the bish­ops en­dors­ing that pri­or­ity.

Some of the other candidates on the slate for vice pres­i­dent in­cluded arch­bish­ops known for a con­ser­va­tive so­cial agenda and who, de­spite pre­sid­ing over his­toric seats of Catholic power, were not pro­moted by Pope Fran­cis to the rank of car­di­nal dur­ing the pon­tiff's re­cent se­ries of red-hat ap­point­ments.

DiNardo was born in Steubenville, Ohio, and grew up at­tend­ing St. Anne Church in Cas­tle Shan­non in Pitts­burgh's South Hills.

He grad­u­ated from Duquesne Univer­sity and was or­dained a priest in the Dio­cese of Pitts­burgh in 1977. He served as a sem­i­nary pro­fes­sor and ad­min­is­tra­tor both in Pitts­burgh and in Rome, and his work as pas­tor in­cluded the 1994 found­ing of SS. John and Paul Church in Franklin Park in the grow­ing North Hills.

He be­came a bishop in Sioux City, Iowa, in 1997 and later moved to Galve­ston-Hous­ton, an arch­dio­cese of 1.3 mil­lion Catholics, be­com­ing arch­bishop in 2006 and a car­di­nal in 2007.


Car­di­nal Daniel DiNardo takes part in the pro­ces­sion prior to a 125th an­niver­sary Mass at St. Anne Parish in Cas­tle Shan­non in 2014. The car­di­nal grew up in Cas­tle Shan­non and at­tended St. Anne School.

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