The Vatican today announced two new bishops for dioceses in the United States.
From the Vatican bulletin:
Resignation and appointment of the Bishop of Colorado Springs (USA)
The Holy Father accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the Diocese of Colorado Springs (USA), presented by His Excellency Mgr. Michael J. Sheridan.
The Holy Father has appointed Bishop of Colorado Springs (USA) the Rev. Mgr James R. Golka, of the clergy of the Diocese of Grand Island, currently Vicar General and Rector of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Cathedral .
HE Bishop James R. Golka was born on September 22, 1966 in Grand Island (Nebraska). He attended Creighton University in Omaha where he obtained his Baccalaureate in Philosophy (1985-1989). He completed his ecclesiastical studies at Saint Paul Seminary in Saint Paul (Minnesota) (1990-1994), obtaining the Master of Divinity .
He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Grand Island on June 3, 1994.
After his priestly ordination he held the following positions: Parish Vicar of Saint James Parish in Kearney (1994-2000) and of Holy Rosary Parish in Alliance (2000-2001); Pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Scottsbluff (2001-2006) and of Saint Patrick’s Parish in North Platte (2006-2016). So far he has been Vicar General (since 2018) and Rector of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Cathedral (since 2016).
Resignation and appointment of the Bishop of Wilmington (USA)
The Holy Father has accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the Diocese of Wilmington (USA), presented by His Excellency Msgr. William Francis Malooly.
The Holy Father has appointed Rev. William E. Koenig, of the clergy of the Diocese of Rockville Center, currently Vicar for the Clergy, as Bishop of Wilmington (USA).
HE Bishop William E. Koenig was born on August 17, 1956 in Queens (New York), Diocese of Brooklyn. He attended the Cathedral College of the Immaculate Conceptionin Douglaston (1975-1979) and then the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington (1979-1983). He later earned his Master of Social Work from Fordham University in the Bronx (1994).
He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Rockville Center on May 14, 1983.
After his priestly ordination he held the following positions: Parish Vicar of Saint Edward the Confessor Parish in Syosset (1983-1986) and of Saint James Parish in Setauket (1986-1989); Director for the promotion of vocations (1989-1996); Director of the Office of Ministry to Priests (1990-1996); Parish Vicar of the Saint Agnes Cathedral (1996-2000); Pastor of Saint William the Abbot Parish in Seaford (2000-2009); Rector of Saint Agnes Cathedral (2009-2020). From 2020 up to now he has been Vicar for the Clergy. He is a member of the Priest Personnel Board .
The Wilmington appointment is especially notable, because that is the home diocese of President Joe Biden. When then-candidate Biden was denied communion during Mass at a campaign stop in South Carolina, the Wilmington diocese issued a statement:
“The Church’s teachings on the protection of human life from the moment of conception is clear and well-known. Bishop Malooly has consistently refrained from politicizing the Eucharist, and will continue to do so. His preference, as with most bishops, is to interact with politicians individually who disagree with significant church teachings.”
Bishop Malooly in the Sept. 4, 2008 edition of The Dialog, the Diocese of Wilmington’s newspaper, addressed the issue shortly before his installation.
“I look forward to the opportunity to enter into a dialogue on a number of issues with Sen. Biden and other Catholic leaders in the Diocese of Wilmington,” the bishop said in an interview that was published four days before he was installed as bishop of Wilmington. “However, I do not intend to get drawn into partisan politics nor do I intend to politicize the Eucharist as a way of communicating Catholic Church teachings. It is critical to keep the lines of communication open if the church is going to make her teachings understood and, please God, accepted. It is my belief that Catholics of all occupations have the same duty to examine their own consciences before determining their worthiness for the reception of communion. I think I will get a lot more mileage out of a conversation trying to change the mind and heart than I would out of a public confrontation.”
Bishop-elect Koenig’s opinion on the matter is, so far, unknown.
The retiring bishop of Wilmington had this to say:
“We are very fortunate to have Bishop-elect Koenig as the next leader of the Catholic community of Delaware and Maryland’s Eastern Shore,” Bishop Malooly said. “God has richly blessed us and we give thanks to God for this wonderful gift.”
UPDATE on the communion question, from the AP:
The newly appointed bishop of Joe Biden’s home diocese in Delaware said Friday he would gladly speak with the president about his views on abortion but did not say whether he would allow him to continue receiving Communion, as his predecessor has.
During a news conference in which retiring Wilmington Bishop Francis Malooly introduced Monsignor William Koenig to his new flock, Koenig said he was open to having a conversation with the president on the issue and that as a bishop, he is called to teach “the fullness and the beauty of the Catholic faith.”