Cardinal DiNardo elected as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

November 15, 2016

Media Advisory

For immediate release

WHAT: Cardinal DiNardo elected as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
WHEN: Tuesday, November 15, 2016
CONTACT: Catherine Rogan, Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, Media Relations Manager;
713-652-8213 (office) or 713- 515-6054 (mobile); e-mail 

HOUSTON – Today, Tuesday, November 15, 2016, His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, was elected president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) during the bishops’ annual fall General Assembly in Baltimore, Maryland.

Cardinal DiNardo has served as vice president of the USCCB since 2013. Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles was elected USCCB vice president. Cardinal DiNardo and Archbishop Gomez will serve three-year terms. Cardinal DiNardo succeeds Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky. The new president and vice president terms begin at the conclusion of the General Assembly on November 15.

Cardinal DiNardo was elected president on the first ballot with 113 votes. Archbishop Gomez was elected vice president on the third ballot by 131-84 in a runoff vote against Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans.

The president and vice president are elected by a simple majority from a slate of 10 nominees. If no president or vice president is chosen after the second round of voting, a third ballot is a run-off between the two bishops who received the most votes on the second ballot. 

During a press conference following the election, Cardinal DiNardo said he hopes for the bishops to work “as shepherds and leaders to bring Catholics together, to recognize the beauty of the human person.”

“Pope Francis has called the entire Church to extend mercy as we have received mercy,” Cardinal DiNardo said. “To do that is a work of discipline … the discipline of faith, the discipline of voice. It’s a way to listen to one another without losing the most basic principles of the human person … I think this is where the priorities and plans for the bishops are leading into the next three years. My hope is that we will listen to one another and proclaim the basic faith of our Church very well.”

Cardinal DiNardo likened the Church of Galveston-Houston to the United Nations thanks to its multi-cultural make-up, adding that the people of the Archdiocese “love their Catholic faith.” 

“They are dedicated to what is going to happen with the religious formation of their children, what is happening in terms of the sacramental life and how they can reach out to the poor,” he said. “I’m very hopeful about the Church in the United States and take great pride in what I see as Catholics witnessing to their faith.”

About Daniel Cardinal DiNardo:
Born in Steubenville, Ohio, and raised with three siblings in Castle Shannon near Pittsburgh, Cardinal DiNardo attended St. Anne grade school and the Jesuit-run Bishop's Latin school before enrolling in St. Paul Seminary and Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. He received his master's degree in philosophy from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and degrees of Sacred Theology from both the Pontifical Gregorian University and the Patristic Institute Augustinianum in Rome.

He was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Pittsburgh on July 16, 1977 and served as parish pastor, seminary professor, spiritual director, and in the chancery. From 1984 to 1991, he worked in Rome as a staff member for the Congregation for Bishops, as director of Villa Stritch (the house for American clergy), and as adjunct professor at the Pontifical North American College. In 1991 he returned to Pittsburgh, serving as pastor to several parishes and again in the chancery.

He was appointed coadjutor bishop of Sioux City, Iowa and ordained there as a bishop in October 1997. As his Episcopal motto he adopted: Ave Crux Spes Unica, meaning "Hail the Cross, Our Only Hope." He succeeded retiring Bishop Lawrence Donald Soens of Sioux City in November of 1998.

He was named coadjutor bishop (later coadjutor archbishop) of Galveston-Houston in January 2004 and succeeded Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza on February 28, 2006. On June 29, 2006, he received the pallium from Pope Benedict XVI. He was elevated to the College of Cardinals in November of 2007 at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. As a member of the Sacred College, he served as a Cardinal-Elector in the Papal Conclave of 2013, which saw the election of Pope Francis to the See of Peter. In November of the same year, he was elected by his brother bishops as the Vice-President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) for a three-year term. He is a member of the Pontifical Council for Culture, the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, the Pontifical Council for the Economy, and is on the Board of Trustees of The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston serves 1.6 million Catholics in 10 counties. 
It is the largest Roman Catholic diocese in Texas and the 5th largest in the United States.