17 November 2022, The Tablet

Broglio elected president of US bishops

Broglio elected president of US bishops

Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services.
CNS photo/Bob Roller

The US bishops chose new leadership this week at their annual plenary session in Baltimore, Maryland. Archbishop Timothy Broglio, of the archdiocese of the military, was elected as president of the conference and Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore was chosen as vice president. Oklahoma City Archbishop Paul Coakley was elected as conference secretary. 

Broglio worked as chief of cabinet to Cardinal Angelo Sodano from 1990 until 2001. When asked about Sodano’s role in protecting serial pedophile Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legionaries of Christ, Broglio said: “I had actually left the office by the time the great accusations [against Maciel] came up.” In fact, the Hartford Courant newspaper published extensive, detailed accounts of accusations against Maciel in 1997. Broglio told reporters, “Hindsight is always 20/20.” 

The 1990s was also the period of time when Sodano and Broglio sought to appoint more conservative bishops in Argentina, recommended by the government, against the wishes of the Argentine hierarchy. Sodano had earlier been apostolic nuncio to Chile and was friendly with that country’s dictator, Gen Augusto Pinochet. Sodano defended Pinochet from allegations of war crimes. 

Broglio also defended his earlier assertions that homosexual and “effeminate” clergy were “directly related” to the clergy sex abuse crisis, despite the fact that a 2011 study by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice for the USCCB indicated there was no statistical evidence to support such a linkage. Asked about his previous comments, Broglio said: “It's certainly an aspect of the sexual crisis that can't be denied.” 

In the final runoff in the presidential contest, Broglio defeated Lori by a margin of 138-99. The bishops proceeded to select Lori, a more moderate candidate, as the conference vice president. 

The contest for conference secretary pitted Coakley against Newark, New Jersey Cardinal Joseph Tobin, known as one of Pope Francis’ strongest supporters among the US bishops. Coakley, on the other hand, was one of 40 bishops who defended disgraced former nuncio Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano in 2018 when Vigano published a “testimony” in which he called on Pope Francis to resign. “While I lack any personal knowledge or experience of the details contained in his ‘testimony,’ I have the deepest respect for Archbishop Viganó and his personal integrity,” Coakley stated at the time. He defeated Tobin by a margin of 130-104. 

The bishops also voted to re-issue their quadrennial document on voting, “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship”, with some additional social media campaigns. The text was adopted in 2007 and does not reflect the social magisterium of either Pope Benedict XVI or Pope Francis. 


  Loading ...
Get Instant Access
Subscribe to The Tablet for just £7.99

Subscribe today to take advantage of our introductory offers and enjoy 30 days' access for just £7.99