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Archbishop Schnurr elected treasurer of USCCB

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Archbishop of Cincinnati Dennis M. Schnurr speaks with local media at the Archdiocese of Cincinnati central office building in 2013. Archbishop Schnurr was elected USCCB treasurer-elect at the conference’s general assembly Nov. 17. (CT Photo/John Stegeman)
Archbishop of Cincinnati Dennis M. Schnurr speaks with local media at the Archdiocese of Cincinnati central office building in 2013. Archbishop Schnurr was elected USCCB treasurer-elect at the conference’s general assembly Nov. 17. (CT Photo/John Stegeman)

Catholic News Service

The U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops Nov. 17 elected Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr of Cincinnati as  treasurer-elect. He received 126 votes to 110 for Bishop John M. LeVoir of New Ulm, Minnesota, on the second day of the USCCB’s annual fall general assembly in Baltimore.

Next year, Archbishop Schnurr will succeed the current USCCB treasurer, Bishop Kevin J. Farrell of Dallas. Archbishop Schnurr was one of nine candidates for election as USCCB president in 2013 when the assembly elected Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Ky. 

Archbishop Schnurr served as conference treasurer from 2005 until 2008. He has also served multiple USCCB committees, most recently as chair of the Committee on National Collections.

The bishops also elected Msgr. J. Brian Bransfield as the new general secretary of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. He has been associate general secretary of the conference for five years, working alongside the current general secretary, Msgr. Ronny Jenkins, whose term is ending.

Msgr. Bransfield, a Philadelphia archdiocesan priest, will step into the position in 2016. His term will run for five years. The general secretariat oversees the work of the USCCB on behalf of the U.S. bishops.

The bishops chose Msgr. Bransfield over Father Shawn McKnight, executive director of the USCCB Secretariat of Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations. No vote tally was announced by Msgr. Jenkins.

The bishops also voted for chairmen-elect for six standing committees: Divine Worship; Migration; Domestic Justice and Human Development; Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations; and Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth. Other elections were for the boards of Catholic Relief Services, the U.S. bishops’ overseas relief and development agency, and the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, or CLINIC.

Voting was done by paper ballots, so the results for those elections were not immediately available. Problems arose with the electronic voting method.

When this year’s fall assembly comes to a close, Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond of New Orleans will become secretary of the USCCB. The archbishop was chosen secretary-elect during the 2014 bishops’ assembly. He succeeds the current USCCB secretary, Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain, who is finishing his three-year term.

The other USCCB officers are: Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz Louisville, Kentucky, president; and Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, vice president.

Also several chairmen-elect for committees, also chosen last year, will become chairmen at the end of the assembly:

— Communications: Bishop Christopher J. Coyne of Burlington, Vermont, succeeding Archbishop John C. Wester of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

— Cultural Diversity in the Church: Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller of San Antonio, succeeding of Bishop Daniel E. Flores of Brownsville, Texas.

— National Collections: Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi of Mobile, Alabama, succeeding Cincinnati’s Archbishop Schnurr.

— Pro-Life Activities: Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, succeeding Boston Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley.

Ordained in 1994, Msgr. Bransfield has a licentiate and doctorate in sacred theology from the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family at The Catholic University of America in Washington. He served in parish and high school ministry, seminary formation and graduate teaching before coming to the USCCB in 2007 as a theology specialist in the Secretariat of Evangelization and Catechesis.

At the USCCB, Father Bransfield was part of the Task Force for Faith Formation before he was named executive director of the Secretariat of Evangelization and Catechesis. He also served on what is now the bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage. In March 2009, he was named assistant USCCB general secretary. He was named associate general secretary a year later.

Father Bransfield wrote a book on Pope John Paul II called “The Human Person: According to John Paul II.” He is a frequent speaker on new evangelization, marriage and family and the theology of the body. He also has given retreats to priests and religious throughout the country.

CT staff contributed to this report.

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