X

Browsing News Entries

Browsing News Entries

Pope Francis Accepts Resignation of Bishop Felipe Estévez of Diocese of Saint Augustine; Appoints Rev. Erik Pohlmeier as Successor

WASHINGTON - Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Felipe J. Estévez, 76, from the pastoral governance of the Diocese of Saint Augustine, and has appointed Reverend Erik T. Pohlmeier, as Bishop-elect of Saint Augustine. Bishop-elect Pohlmeier is a priest of the Diocese of Little Rock, and currently serves as pastor at Christ the King parish in Little Rock, and as director of the diocese’s continuing education for clergy, the permanent diaconate formation program, and the office of faith formation. The resignation and appointment were publicized in Washington, D.C. on May 24, 2022, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Father Pohlmeier was born July 20, 1971, in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He studied at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville (1989-1991) and received a Bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology in Indiana (1994); and at the Pontifical North American College and received Bachelor of Sacred Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome (1995-1997). He received a Master’s degree in spirituality from the Saint Thomas Aquinas Pontifical University (Angelicum) in Rome. He was ordained to the priesthood on July 25, 1998.

Bishop-elect Pohlmeier’s assignments after ordination include: associate pastor at Christ the King parish in Little Rock (1998-2001); pastor at Our Lady of the Lake parish in Lake Village, St. Mary Church mission in McGehee, and Holy Child of Jesus parish in Dumas (2001-2005); pastor at Holy Spirit parish in Hamburg (2004-2005); pastor at Church of Saint John the Baptist parish in Hot Springs (2005-2010); pastor at Our Lady of the Holy Souls parish in Little Rock (2010-2016). Father Pohlmeier’s ministry also includes serving at the diocesan level as director of the permanent diaconate formation program (since 2015), director of the diocese’s office of faith formation (since 2016), and director of continuing education of the clergy (since 2019). Since 2020, he has also served as pastor at Christ the King parish in Little Rock.

Bishop-elect Pohlmeier has also served as a member of the Diocese of Little Rock’s presbyteral council (2003-2006, 2011-2014, and 2021-present); the clergy personnel board (2011-2014, and 2020-present); college of consultors (2014-2019); and the clergy welfare advisory board (2015-2017, and 2019-present).

The Diocese of Saint Augustine is comprised of 11,032 square miles in the state of Florida and has a total population of 2,277,463 of which 163,525 are Catholic.

###

Media Contact:
Chieko Noguchi
202-541-3200

Pope Francis Names Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit

WASHINGTON - Pope Francis has appointed the Most Reverend Paul F. Russell as auxiliary bishop of Detroit. He is the titular archbishop of Novi. The appointment was publicized in Washington, D.C. on May 23, 2022, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

The Archdiocese of Detroit is comprised of 3,901 square miles in the State of Michigan and has a total population of 4,278,248, of which 1,131,660 are Catholic.

###

Media Contact:
Chieko Noguchi
202-541-3200

U.S. Bishops’ Chairman on International Justice and Peace on Renewed Engagement with Cuba

WASHINGTON – On May 16, the U.S. Department of State announced the Biden Administration’s intention to renew relations with Cuba. Bishop David J. Malloy of Rockford and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace welcomed the news:

“We commend the Administration’s renewed interest in restarting U.S. engagement with Cuba. Recognizing that points of contention remain between our two countries, Cuba’s punitive isolation has not produced the economic and social change that the United States has sought to effect. 

“The expansion of travel opportunities for U.S. citizens, as well as the lifting of onerous remittance limitations, will strengthen familial, economic, and social ties between our countries. Cuba’s developing civil society and private sector depend on the leadership provided by active U.S. civil society engagement in Cuba. 

“The U.S. bishops, including the Cuban-American bishops, in conjunction with the Holy See and the bishops of Cuba, continue to stress the vital importance of bilateral engagement and mutually beneficial trade relations between the United States and Cuba as the key to transformative change on the island.”

###

Media Contact:
Chieko Noguchi
202-541-3200

Pope Francis Appoints Apostolic Administrator of Ordinariate for Armenian Catholics of Eastern Europe

WASHINGTON - Pope Francis has appointed Reverend Mikael Bassale as Apostolic Administrator for the Ordinariate for Armenian Catholics of Eastern Europe. The appointment was publicized in Washington on May 17, 2022, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Father Bassale is currently pastor of Holy Cross Armenian Catholic Church in Belmont, Massachusetts, a parish within the Armenian Catholic Eparchy of Our Lady of Nareg.

###

Media Contact:
Chieko Noguchi
202-541-3200

 

Annual Collection Supports Catholic Communications Efforts Locally and Globally

WASHINGTON - Catholics in many dioceses throughout the United States will have the opportunity to give to support the Catholic Church’s communications efforts on May 28-29. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Catholic Communication Campaign (CCC) works to spread the Gospel through the media in all its forms. Its work is funded by an annual collection through which the faithful can support their local diocesan communications efforts, while also supporting national and international initiatives. #iGiveCatholicTogether also accepts funds for the collection, which gives an option to those who wish to contribute to this work but are unable to give at Mass.

“Communicating the Gospel message is at the heart of evangelization. Through your gift, the Church is able to spread the faith, hope, and love of Jesus Christ, and of his Church, both here at home and abroad to people and places where the word of God is needed most,” said Archbishop Gregory Hartmayer, OFM Conv., of Atlanta, chairman of the USCCB Communication Committee’s Subcommittee on the Catholic Communication Campaign.

When you give at your parish, half of the gift one makes to the Catholic Communication Campaign collection remains in the donor’s diocese to support local communications projects. Such local projects often include support for diocesan newspapers or magazines, website updates and outreach campaigns, or Mass and television programs to reach the faithful and share the Good News. The other half goes to the USCCB to be awarded in the form of national and international grants. In 2021, the Catholic Communication Campaign awarded more than $3 million.

The CCC also awarded a grant to support the communications efforts related to a gathering in Chicago in June 2022 for “Journeying Together: A National Intercultural Encounter for Ministries with Youth and Young Adults.” This event supporting the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church combines synodal listening and discernment to hear the voices and perspectives of Catholics from diverse cultural backgrounds.

Other initiatives supported include evangelization, creating digital resources that help the faithful better understand the richness of Catholic teaching, producing documentaries and videos on the lives of exemplary modern-day Catholics on the path to beatification, and preserving Church history.

“The Catholic Communication Campaign not only shares the Good News in mainstream America, but it also reaches people on the furthest peripheries,” Archbishop Hartmayer said. Some examples of what the Catholic Communication Campaign has assisted with internationally include initiatives to keep mariners and seafarers connected to the faith, radio communications, and television ministry.

For instance, mariners may spend months far from home and family. An app that the Apostleship of the Sea of the United States of America developed years ago to help seafarers maintain a spiritual life and find pastoral care in port is now technologically obsolete. Gifts to the campaign will allow the app to be redesigned and add a new feature to help cruise ship passengers locate a Catholic chaplain.

In Bolivia, the CCC supports Radio Pio XII, which since 1959 has championed the rights of indigenous people when they have been under violent attack. Gifts from this collection will replace its failing 20-year-old transmitter with a far more powerful one.

With help from this collection, Ukrainian war refugees are receiving messages of hope and pastoral support through LOGOS TV, a Catholic media ministry in Eastern Europe. Typical recent segments offered spiritual encouragement and showed a Slovak archbishop greeting refugees in a Catholic youth center.

Resources for dioceses and parishes to use in promoting the collection on social media in weekly bulletins can be found here: https://www.usccb.org/committees/catholic-communication-campaign/catholic-communication-campaign-resources. For more information about the Catholic Communication Campaign and those who benefit from it, visit www.usccb.org/ccc.

###

Media Contact:
Chieko Noguchi
202-541-3200

Statement of USCCB on Shootings in Buffalo and Laguna Woods

WASHINGTON - In response to the shootings in Buffalo, NY and Laguna Woods, CA over the weekend, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) offered the following statement from its spokesperson, Chieko Noguchi, director of public affairs.

“The U.S. bishops join with others throughout the country in offering prayers for the support and healing of the families, friends, and communities of those impacted by these violent incidents. We pray especially for those who were injured and particularly for those who lost their lives. We pray also for those on the front lines who risk their lives in responding to the calls for help, and to those in the medical fields who minister to those who have been harmed.

“The bishops again call for an honest dialogue rooted in Christ in addressing the persistent evil of racism in our country. The Catholic Church has been a consistent voice for rational yet effective forms of regulation of dangerous weapons, and the USCCB continues to advocate for an end to violence, and for the respect and dignity of all lives.

“We pray for and support the healing of the communities impacted and for all the victims of violence and that Christ’s peace be upon all affected.”

###

Media Contact:
USCCB Public Affairs
202-541-3200

Pope Francis Accepts Resignation of Auxiliary Bishop Edward Deliman

WASHINGTON - Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of the Most Reverend Edward M. Deliman, 75, from the Office of Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia.

The resignation was publicized in Washington on May 13, 2022, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

###

Media Contact:
Chieko Noguchi
202-541-3200

Statement of U.S. Bishops’ Chairman on International Justice and Peace on Arrest of Cardinal Joseph Zen

WASHINGTON - Upon the news of the arrest of Cardinal Joseph Zen of Hong Kong on May 11, Bishop David J. Malloy of Rockford and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace called for prayer and the pursuit of justice.

Bishop Malloy’s full statement follows:

“The alarming news of the May 11 arrest in Hong Kong of Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun due to his past role in administering a humanitarian fund for protestors indicates the downward trend in respect for fundamental freedoms and human rights in Hong Kong. This steadfast pastor and strong supporter of democracy and justice was arrested along with other trustees of a fund that paid for legal and medical expenses of pro-democracy protestors, a fund that was disbanded in the fall of 2021. Because of Cardinal Zen’s support for these protestors, he is being accused of ‘collusion with foreign forces.’ Under the national security law imposed in June 2020, ‘secession, subversion and collusion with foreign forces’ is a crime punishable with sentences of up to life imprisonment. Thus, although Cardinal Zen has been released on bail, his situation remains precarious.

“The Vatican’s press office said Wednesday, ‘The Holy See has learned with concern the news of Cardinal Zen’s arrest and is following the evolution of the situation with extreme attention.’ I join with the Holy See in expressing concern for the fate of Cardinal Zen and others who share his current predicament. I invite all those of good will to pray for their safety and that justice may prevail.”

###

Media Contact:
Chieko Noguchi
202-541-3200

Bishop Chairmen Respond to Senate Vote on Extreme Abortion on Demand Bill

WASHINGTON - Today, the U.S. Senate failed to advance the Women’s Health Protection Act, S. 4132. This bill would have imposed abortion on demand nationwide at any stage of pregnancy through federal statute and would have eliminated pro-life laws at every level of government -- including parental notification for minor girls, informed consent, and health or safety protections specific to abortion facilities. S. 4132 also would have compelled all Americans to support abortions here and abroad with their tax dollars and would have also likely forced health care providers and professionals to perform, assist in, and/or refer for abortion against their deeply-held beliefs, as well as forced employers and insurers to cover or pay for abortion.  

Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities and Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chairman of the Committee for Religious Liberty, issued the following statement: 

“The ‘Women’s Health Protection Act’ (S. 4132) is an utterly unjust and extreme measure that would impose abortion on demand nationwide at any stage of pregnancy through federal statute. We are relieved that the Senate vote to advance this bill failed for the second time in less than three months. This bill insists that elective abortion, including late-term elective abortion, is a ‘human right’ and ‘women’s health care’ -- something that should be promoted, funded, and celebrated. S. 4132 is far more extreme than Roe v. Wade. It would invalidate widely supported laws that protect women and unborn children from an unscrupulous abortion industry, would force all Americans to support abortion here and abroad with their tax dollars, and seeks to force religious hospitals and health care professionals to perform abortions against their beliefs. 

“More than 60 million unborn children have already lost their lives to abortion, and countless women suffer from the physical and emotional trauma of abortion. This radical bill would add millions more to that tragic toll.  As a nation built on the recognition that every human being is endowed by its Creator with the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, we implore Congress to stop pushing abortion as a solution to the needs of women and young girls, and instead embrace public policy that fully respects and facilitates these rights and the needs of both mother and child.”

###

Media Contact:
Chieko Noguchi
202-541-3200

Faithful Invited to Fast and Pray the Rosary on Friday in Midst of Tensions Over Leaked Draft Supreme Court Opinion

WASHINGTON - In response to the leak of a draft opinion in the U.S. Supreme Court case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, some abortion advocates are calling for nationwide demonstrations, disruptions of church services, and the personal intimidation of specific Supreme Court justices. Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities invited the faithful to unite in fasting and prayer:

In the midst of current tensions, we invite Catholics around the country to join us in fasting and praying the Rosary on Friday, May 13, the Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima. Let us offer our prayers and fasting for these intentions:

  • For our nation, for the integrity of our judicial system, and that all branches of government be dedicated to seeking the common good and protecting the dignity and rights of the human person, from conception to natural death.
  • For the overturning of Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey in the Supreme Court’s final decision in Dobbs v. Jackson.
  • For the conversion of the hearts and minds of those who advocate for abortion.
  • For a new commitment to building an America where children are welcomed, cherished, and cared for; where mothers and fathers are encouraged and strengthened; and where marriage and the family are recognized and supported as the true foundations of a healthy and flourishing society.
  • For Our Blessed Mother’s intercession and guidance as the Church continues to walk with mothers and families in need, and continues to promote alternatives to abortion, and seeks to create a culture of life.

As Catholics, let us witness to the beautiful gift of life with civility and love, and with our peaceful prayers and our compassionate service to all those in need.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

###

Media Contact:
Chieko Noguchi
202-541-3200