The pope on Sunday named Bishop Robert McIlroy of San Diego, an ideological ally of Pope Francis who has often argued with more conservative American bishops, as one of 21 new cardinals..
The Archdiocese of San Diego said McIlroy will be consecrated by Pope Francis on August 27 at St Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
Among his standout positions, McIlroy, 68, is one of a minority of US bishops who are highly critical of the campaign to exclude Catholic politicians who support abortion rights from communion.
McIlroy wrote: “It would come with very devastating consequences.” May 2021. “The Eucharist is being weaponized and deployed as a tool in political warfare. This must not happen.”
Upon choosing McIlroy, Francis passed on the highest-ranking Archbishop of San Francisco, Salvatore Cordelion. Earlier this month, Cordileone He said he would no longer allow US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to receive the Communion because of her support for abortion rights.
McIlroy, in a statement, said he was “extremely stunned and surprised” by the news of his appointment.
He said, “My prayer is that in this service I may be in additional service to God who has honored me on so many levels in my life.” “I also pray to assist the Holy Father in his pastoral renewal of the Church.”
Cordelion released a brief statement Noting that McElroy is a San Francisco native and extends congratulations on the date. The statement did not mention the differences between the two men.
Archbishop of Los Angeles Jose Gomez, president of the American Conference of Catholic Bishops who has worked with McIlroy for many years, also offered the congratulations – adding that the new cardinal “will serve the world church well.”
“By naming Bishop Robert McIlroy a cardinal, Pope Francis has demonstrated his pastoral interest in the Church in the United States,” Gomez said in a written letter. statement.
McIlroy received his BA in History from Harvard University in 1975 and MA in History from Stanford University in 1976.
He taught at St. Patrick’s School in Menlo Park, California, and in 1985 he received a theology degree from the Jesuit Seminary in Berkeley. He received a doctorate in moral theology from the Gregorian University of Rome the following year and a doctorate in political science from Stanford University in 1989.
Ordained a priest in 1980 and ordained in the Archdiocese of San Francisco, where he served in a parish before becoming personal secretary to Archbishop John Quinn. Other California diocese assignments included Redwood City and San Mateo.
He became auxiliary bishop of San Francisco in 2010. In 2015, early in the pontificate of Francis, he was ordained bishop of San Diego.
Over recent years, McIlroy has been among the relatively few US bishops who have questioned why the Conference of Bishops insisted on defining abortion as a “highlight” priority. He wondered why issues such as racism, poverty, immigration and climate change were not given more importance.
“The number of deaths from abortion is more urgent, but the number of long-term deaths from uncontrollable climate change is greater and threatens the future of humanity,” he said in a speech in 2020.
Last year, he was among a small group of bishops who signed a statement expressing their support for gay youth and denouncing the bullying often directed at them.
The bishops’ statement said gay youths attempt suicide at much higher rates, are often homeless due to families rejecting them and “target acts of violence at alarming rates.”
“We take this opportunity to tell our LGBT friends, especially young people, that we stand with you and oppose any form of violence, bullying or harassment directed at you,” the statement read. “Most of all, know that God created you, God loves you and God is on your side.”
Francis Dibernardo, executive director of the New Ways Ministry, which advocates greater LGBTQ acceptance in the Catholic Church, welcomed McElroy’s appointment.
“He represents the kind of bishop our church needs, someone who will extend a hand, not a fist, to the LGBTQ community,” Dibernardo said. “As an elector for future popes, McIlroy can play a role in ensuring that the next papacy continues in the spirit of welcoming Pope Francis.”
The Archdiocese of San Diego stretches along 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 the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of San Diego, numerous social service and family support organizations throughout the area.
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