San Diego Bishop McElroy named by Pope Francis as a cardinal

May 28, 2022, 8:37 PM | Updated: May 29, 2022, 4:09 pm
FILE - Robert W. McElroy, bishop of the diocese of San Diego, arrives to attend a conference on nuc...

FILE - Robert W. McElroy, bishop of the diocese of San Diego, arrives to attend a conference on nuclear disarmament, at the Vatican, Friday, Nov. 10, 2017. Pope Francis said Sunday, May 29, 2022 he has tapped 21 churchmen to become cardinals, most of them from continents other than Europe, which has dominated Catholic hierarchy for most of the church's history. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, File)

(AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, File)

Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego, one of Pope Francis’ ideological allies who has often sparred with more conservative U.S. bishops, was named by the pope on Sunday as one of 21 new cardinals.

The San Diego diocese said McElroy will be installed by Pope Francis on August 27 at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

Among his notable stances, McElroy, 68, has been one of a minority of U.S. bishops harshly criticizing the campaign to exclude Catholic politicians who support abortion rights from Communion.

“It will bring tremendously destructive consequences,” McElroy wrote in May 2021. “The Eucharist is being weaponized and deployed as a tool in political warfare. This must not happen.”

In selecting McElroy, Francis passed over the higher-ranking archbishop of San Francisco, Salvatore Cordileone. Earlier this month, Cordileone said he will no longer allow U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to receive Communion because of her support for abortion rights.

McElroy, in a statement, said he was “stunned and deeply surprised” by the news of his appointment.

“My prayer is that in this ministry I might be of additional service to the God who has graced me on so many levels in my life,” he said. “And I pray also that I can assist the Holy Father in his pastoral renewal of the Church.”

Cordileone issued a brief statement noting that McElroy is a native San Franciscan and offering congratulations on the appointment. The statement made no mention of the two clerics’ differences.

Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops who has worked with McElroy for many years, also offered congratulations — adding that the new cardinal “will serve the global Church well.”

“By naming Bishop Robert McElroy as a cardinal, Pope Francis has shown his pastoral care for the Church in the United States,” Gomez said in a written statement.

McElroy received a bachelor’s degree in history from Harvard in 1975 and a master’s in history from Stanford in 1976.

He studied at St. Patrick Seminary in Menlo Park, California, and in 1985 received a theology degree at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley. He obtained a doctorate in moral theology at the Gregorian University in Rome the following year and a Ph.D in political science at Stanford in 1989.

He was ordained a priest in 1980 and assigned to the San Francisco diocese, where he served in a parish before becoming personal secretary to Archbishop John Quinn. Other California parish assignments included Redwood City and San Mateo.

He became an auxiliary bishop in San Francisco in 2010. In 2015, early in Francis’ pontificate, he was named bishop of San Diego.

Over recent years, McElroy has been among the relatively few U.S. bishops who questioned why the bishops’ conference insisted on identifying abortion as its “preeminent” priority. He has questioned why greater prominence was not given to issues such as racism, poverty, immigration and climate change.

“The death toll from abortion is more immediate, but the long-term death toll from unchecked climate change is larger and threatens the very future of humanity,” he said in a speech in 2020.

Last year, he was among a small group of bishops signing a statement expressing support for LGBT youth and denouncing the bullying often directed at them.

The bishops’ statement said LGBT youth attempt suicide at much higher rates, are often homeless because of families who reject them and “are the target of violent acts at alarming rates.”

“We take this opportunity to say to our LGBT friends, especially young people, that we stand with you and oppose any form of violence, bullying or harassment directed at you,” it read. “Most of all, know that God created you, God loves you and God is on your side.”

Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry, which advocates for greater LGBTQ acceptance in the Catholic church, hailed McElroy’s appointment.

“He represents the kind of prelate our church needs, one who will stretch out a hand, not a fist, to the LGBTQ community,” DeBernardo said. “As an elector of future popes, McElroy can play a role in making sure that the next papacy will continue in the welcoming spirit of Pope Francis.”

The Diocese of San Diego runs the length of California’s border with Mexico and serves more than 1.3 million Catholics in San Diego and Imperial counties. It includes 98 parishes, 49 elementary and secondary schools, and, through Catholic Charities of the Diocese of San Diego, various social service and family support organizations throughout the region.

___

Associated Press religion coverage receives support through the AP’s collaboration with The Conversation US, with funding from Lilly Endowment Inc. The AP is solely responsible for this content.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Eviation's "Alice", the world's first all-electric commuter airplane, takes off for its first fligh...
Associated Press

Prototype electric airplane takes first flight

A prototype, all-electric airplane took its first flight Tuesday morning in central Washington state.
13 hours ago
Associated Press

Leader of extreme Jewish sect arrested in southern Mexico

TAPACHULA, Mexico (AP) — Mexican authorities arrested a leader of an extremist ultra-orthodox Jewish sect in southern Mexico accused of organized crime and human trafficking, state and federal officials said Tuesday. Officials also said an unspecified number of women and children were removed from the Lev Tahor group’s compound. The organized crime office of the […]
13 hours ago
Associated Press

California slaying suspect killed in high desert shootout

VICTORVILLE, Calif. (AP) — The fugitive in a Southern California slaying was killed in a shootout Tuesday with law enforcement in the high desert after he allegedly fled with his 15-year-old daughter, authorities said. The suspect, 45-year-old Anthony John Graziano, was pronounced dead at the scene in Hesperia, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s […]
13 hours ago
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris visits Zojoji Temple on the day of the state funeral for former P...
Associated Press

VP Harris seeks computer chip partners in Tokyo

TOKYO (AP) — Armed with a new law that boosts U.S. support for computer chip manufacturing, Vice President Kamala Harris is seeking new investments and partnerships as she sits down with Japanese technology executives. Harris was meeting with the CEOs on her last full day in Tokyo on Wednesday, a reflection of the administration’s focus […]
13 hours ago
FILE - In this photo released by Russian Orthodox Church Press Service, Russian Orthodox Church Pat...
Associated Press

Moscow patriarch: Russian war dead have their sins forgiven

Russian soldiers who die in the line of duty in Ukraine have all of their sins forgiven, the patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church proclaimed in a sermon, comparing their sacrificial death to that of Jesus. The assertion, made on Sunday, ratchets up Moscow Patriarch Kirill’s already staunch support for Russia’s war on Ukraine since […]
13 hours ago
FILE - Norfolk Southern locomotives work in the in the Conway Terminal on Sept. 15, 2022, in Conway...
Associated Press

Rail union that rejected deal signs new tentative agreement

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A union that rejected its deal with the nation’s freight railroads earlier this month now has a new tentative agreement, but officials cautioned that the contract dispute won’t be fully settled until all 12 rail unions approve their agreements this fall. The five-year deal announced Tuesday includes a 24% pay raise […]
13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
San Diego Bishop McElroy named by Pope Francis as a cardinal