Bishop Cordileone of Oakland Appointed New Chairman of USCCB Defense of Marriage Committee

January 5, 2011 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON—Archbishop Timothy Dolan, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has appointed Bishop Salvatore Cordileone of Oakland, California as chairman of the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee for the Defense of Marriage. Bishop Cordileone succeeds Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, who was elected vice president of the USCCB in November 2010.

“I am grateful for the leadership of Archbishop Kurtz and humbled by this opportunity to serve the bishops of the United States, the Church and our country on this most vital and defining issue of our day,” Bishop Cordileone said. “Marriage and the family are the essential coordinates for society. How well we as a society protect and promote marriage and the family is the measure of how well we stand for the inviolable dignity and good of every individual in our society, without exception. The consequences for our future—especially that of our nation’s children—cannot be greater and must not be ignored.

Bishop Cordileone, a current member of the Ad Hoc Committee, is also a member of the USCCB Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance. In addition to his extensive background in the area of the canonical understanding of marriage, he also brings experience in the work of preserving the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman in California.

The Ad Hoc Committee was established by the U.S. bishops in the fall of 2008 with the support of the Knights of Columbus. At the bishops’ 2010 Fall General Assembly in Baltimore, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, then-president of the USCCB, announced that Defense of Marriage would be transitioning into a subcommittee under the bishops’ Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, which is chaired by Bishop Kevin Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana. The transition will occur during the first half of 2011.

For more information about the Committee’s catechetical and educational initiative, Marriage: Unique for a Reason, visit


Keywords: Bishop Salvatore Cordileone, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, Bishop Kevin Rhoades, Defense of Marriage, Ad Hoc Committee, Subcommittee, Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, definition of marriage, Oakland, California

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