Father John Crossin Named Head of Bishops’ Ecumenical, Interreligious Secretariat

November 17, 2011 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON—Father John William Crossin, a member of the Oblates of St. Francis De Sales, has been named executive director of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

The appointment becomes effective December 5. Father Crossin succeeds Father James Massa, who returned to his home diocese in Brooklyn, New York, in July.

Msgr. Jenkins, USCCB general secretary, thanked the Oblates for agreeing to the appointment.

“Father Crossin has extraordinary background and expertise in the world of ecumenism and interfaith relations,” Msgr. Jenkins said. “He also has strong administrative experience honed in service to his religious congregation. I am delighted to welcome him to the USCCB.”

The Secretariat supports the work of the bishops in the areas of ecumenical, interreligious and Jewish dialogues and works with theologians and other experts in these areas. Work is both national and international in scope. Current religious groups in formal dialogue with the U.S. bishops include Orthodox, Anglicans, Polish National Catholics, Lutherans, Reformed, United Methodists, Jews, Muslims and Sikhs.

Father Crossin served most recently as executive director of the Washington Theological Consortium, 1998-2011. Previously he was a visiting fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University, 1997-1998; president, De Sales School of Theology, 1987-1997; and academic dean, De Sales School of Theology, 1986-1987. He also has served on weekends for the past 20 years at Annunciation Parish, Washington, where he currently is parochial vicar.

Within his religious order he has served as a superior, a member of the provincial council and assistant general treasurer of the congregation.

He holds a Ph.D. in moral theology and master’s degrees in psychology and theology from The Catholic University of America. He is past president of the North American Academy of Ecumenists and the Thomas More Society of Washington. He has taught at several theological schools including Catholic University, Wesley Theological Seminary, Virginia Theological Seminary, Gettysburg Lutheran Theological Seminary and De Sales School of Theology.

He is widely published in theological journals and is author of the following books: Everyday Virtues, Walking in Virtue: Moral Decisions and Spiritual Growth in Daily Life, Friendship: The Key to Spiritual Growth and What Are They Saying About Virtue.

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Keywords: John Crossin, USCCB, U.S. bishops, Catholic, ecumenism, interfaith, interreligious

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