Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services was elected Nov. 15 to a three-year term as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops during the bishops’ fall general assembly in Baltimore.
The native of suburban Cleveland was chosen from a slate of 10 nominees, winning with 138 votes.
In subsequent voting, Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore was elected to serve a three-year term as conference vice president. He was elected on the third ballot by 143-96 in a runoff with Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana.
Under USCCB bylaws, the vice president is elected from the remaining nine candidates.
The two top officers begin their terms at the conclusion of the fall assembly Nov. 17.
Archbishop Broglio, 70, worked in the Vatican diplomatic corps before being named the head of the military archdiocese in 2007. He has served as conference secretary for the past three years.
The prelate has been an advocate for members of the U.S. military around the world. He regularly visits U.S. service members as part of his responsibilities in leading the archdiocese. Archbishop Broglio also has been an advocate for pro-life causes.
Because Archbishop Broglio is conference secretary, the bishops planned to vote Nov. 16 for his replacement. Likewise, Archbishop Lori, 71, is chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities and his successor will be voted on after the election of conference secretary.
Broglio told EWTN News in Depth in May 2021 that serving the needs of the men and women in the U.S. military has been a “very enriching and rewarding ministry.” He also pointed out that the military “remains the largest single source of vocations to the priesthood in the United States today.”
He has been a defender of religious-freedom protections for those serving in the military. Last year, he spoke out against mandating military personnel to receive the COVID-19 vaccine against their conscience.
“No one should be forced to receive a COVID-19 vaccine if it would violate the sanctity of his or her conscience,” he said in a statement at the time. “The denial of religious accommodations, or punitive or adverse personnel actions taken against those who raise earnest, conscience-based objections, would be contrary to federal law and morally reprehensible.”
He also voiced concerns for the religious-freedom rights of military chaplains in 2010 during the repeal of the Clinton administration’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy against soldiers’ public declarations of their sexual orientations.
“There is an agenda to force everyone to accept as normal and positive behavior that is contrary to the moral norms of many religions, including the Catholic Church,” he told CNA at the time. “While the armed forces will never oblige a priest or minister to act in an official capacity contrary to his or her religious beliefs, there is the danger that teaching objective moral precepts or seeking to form youngsters in the faith could be misconstrued as intolerance. Then, indeed, freedom of religion would be compromised.”