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USCCB News Release Archives

May 17, 2010

Pope Names Head of Bishops’ Central, Eastern Europe Office as Rector of Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome

WASHINGTON—Pope Benedict XVI has named Jesuit Father James McCann, 61, as rector of the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome.
Father McCann currently heads the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Office to Aid the Church in Central and Eastern Europe. He will assume his new position in mid-September and is expected to leave the USCCB in July.
Msgr. David Malloy, USCCB General Secretary, congratulated Father McCann and thanked him for service to the Church in the United States.
“Father McCann has shown dedication to efforts of U.S. Catholics to help the church in Russia, Central and Eastern Europe,” he said. “He has represented the bishops well both here and abroad. With clear vision and a keen observance of need, he has seen that funds collected for the church in Russia, Central and Eastern Europe are wisely spent on rebuilding the church where it is most challenged and has been instrumental in educating men and women, especially through the priesthood and religious life, for church ministry.”
Father McCann is a native of Chicago and entered the Society of Jesus in 1967. He was ordained a priest in 1979. He holds a Licentiate in theology from Centre Sèvres in Paris, a Master’s degree in Russian and East European Studies from Yale University, and a Doctorate in Politics with a specialization in Russia and Eastern Europe from Princeton University.
Father McCann joined the USCCB in 2003. Before that he was a professor at Loyola University Chicago, where he also served as dean of freshmen, and at Xavier University in Cincinnati, where he was also Director of Peace Studies. He has studied in Germany and served in pastoral ministry in Russia and Kazakhstan.

He brings significant understanding to his position of service to the oriental churches, which are the focus of the Pontifical Oriental Institute. It is dedicated to providing theological and spiritual resources for the churches of the East, the mission assigned to it by the popes since its founding by Pope Benedict XV in 1917.

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