The Catholic bishops of the United States meeting in congregation this week elected as Archbishop Timothy Broglio, President of the Episcopal Conference with the Head of the Military Archdiocese, one of the most conservative bishops within the North American bishops and a declared opponent of the renewal process proposed by Pope George Bergoglio in the Catholic Church. Broglio (age 70) was installed by a simple majority (138 votes) and will be the supreme authority of North American bishops for the next three years, a period that also includes the 2024 North American presidential election. Thus, in the scenario of a Catholic bishop divided, Most of the bishops opted for a candidate who has spoken out against the synod (assembly) and anti-clerical approach of FrancisBut also in opposition to the commitment that Bergoglio preaches in favor of the poor, “abandoned” and openness to those who identify themselves as homosexuals.
In the election, Broglio won over the Archbishop of Baltimore, William Lowry, a man with a conservative tradition who was mutinous for a position close to Pope Francis and who to many outside observers was able to reconcile the bishops. Was presented as a moderate. Lowry was eventually elected vice president with the support of 143 of her peers.
Broglio was appointed military archbishop by Pope Benedict XVI in 2007. As of now, he continues in that position, which makes him responsible for the spiritual care of 1.8 million soldiers and their families, distributed across 220 military installations not only in the North American region but throughout the world.
The new president of the United States Bishops’ Conference also has a long career in the Vatican’s diplomatic service where he served Private Secretary to the late Italian Cardinal Angelo Sodano (1990 to 2001), Secretary of State and right-hand man of Polish Pope John Paul II, Sodano has been a declared enemy of the Church in Latin America, particularly of liberation theologians, and in that position he persecuted and sanctioned Brazilians, among others. Leonardo Boff who eventually decided to move away from ordained priestly ministry.
Sodano is also accused of hiding the sexual abuse of its founder Legion of Christ, Mexican priest Marcial Macielwho were also the ones to bring significant contributions from businessmen to the Vatican’s finances during the pontificate of Pope Karol Wojtyla.
Broglio was named bishop by John Paul II in 2001. and was sent as Apostolic Nuncio (Vatican Ambassador) to the Dominican Republic. But the diplomatic career of the new President of the United States of America’s bishops began in 1983 when he entered the diplomatic corps of the Holy See to work for four years as a secretary in the Vatican embassies in Abidjan (Ivory Coast) and then in Asuncion (Ivory Coast). in Paraguay) for three years.
Broglio publicly supports “conscientious objectors” to the mandatory nature of a COVID-19 vaccineespecially within the armed forces. In 2021, the archbishop supported Catholic soldiers who refused vaccinations, saying in a sermon that they could not be forced to do so if it “violated the sanctity” of their consciences.
Criticism of Francis
When Francis spoke publicly against isolating and condemning gays and lesbians in the Catholic Church and offered support and closeness to electors, Broglio issued a “clarification”. A pastoral attitude should not be confused with solidarity with homosexuals,
As president of the United States Bishops’ Conference, made up of more than 260 archbishops and bishops, Broglio will lead that group’s singing voice at the first session of the XVI General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops. Held in Rome from October 4 to October 29, 2023, an event promoted by Pope Francis and whose stated aim is to present an ecumenical perspective in the Catholic Church, reducing “fundamentalism” and opening up the possibility of greater participation by laity, priests , and nuns.
In the person of Broglio, Pope Francis will find strong resistance These initiatives as well as the intention to restart Bergoglio’s momentum for changes inspired the Second Vatican Council. Without ignoring the fact that, on the political scene in the United States and in the face of the 2024 presidential elections, Archbishop Broglio will make his moves in favor of the Republican side.