Maryland Jesuit Named Head of USCCB Doctrine Secretariat

May 29, 2013 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON—Father Peter FrenchRyan, a member of the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus, has been namedexecutive director of the Secretariat of Doctrine and Canonical Affairs of theU.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

He succeeds Capuchin Father ThomasWeinandy, who announced his resignation in January. Father Weinandy began hiswork at the USCCB in 2005. Father Ryan'sappointment is effective August 19.

FatherRyan has been director of spiritual formation and professor of moral theologyat Kenrick-Gennon Seminary in St. Louis since January 2012. Prior to that hewas professor of moral theology at Mount St. Mary's Seminary, Emmitsburg,Maryland, 2001-2011, and assistant professor of theology at Loyola College inMaryland, 1994-2001.

FatherRyan holds a licentiate and doctorate in theology from the GregorianUniversity, Rome; a master of divinity degree from Regis College, Toronto; amaster of arts degree in English and a licentiate in philosophy from GonzagaUniversity, Spokane; and a bachelor of arts in political science from LoyolaCollege in Maryland.

Heis a member of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars and has served three termson its executive board. He also was been a senior fellow with The WestchesterInstitute for Ethics "& the Human Person, founded in 1998 to renew, deepen,and promote the Western tradition of moral reflection.

Father Ryan has written extensivelyon ethical and theological issues and been published in scholarly journals, includingTheological Studies, Fellowship ofCatholic Scholars Quarterly, Homiletic and Pastoral Review, the NationalCatholic Bioethical Quarterly, American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly and American Journal of Jurisprudence. Hespeaks and reads English, Italian, French and German and also reads Latin andSpanish.

Theexecutive director of the doctrine secretariat oversees the work and staff ofthe secretariat for the bishops' Committee on Doctrine, and also assists thebishops' Subcommittee on Health Care Issues and Subcommittee on the Translationof Scripture Texts.

Msgr.Ronny Jenkins, USCCB General Secretary, thanked the Jesuits for permittingFather Ryan to join the USCCB staff and highlighted the relevance of hisbackground.

"FatherRyan's considerable expertise on bioethical issues is vital as contemporary societyaddresses moral challenges inherent in biotechnology, medical ethics andenvironmentalism," Msgr. Jenkins said. "He brings a depth of theologicalknowledge to these and other areas, including the study and teaching ofsystematic theology, that are critical to the Church today and to the strategicpriorities adopted by the bishops."

Msgr.Jenkins also applauded the contributions of Father Weinandy.

"FatherWeinandy has offered a steady hand in serving the U.S. bishops in theirimmersion in today's theological issues," he said. "He leaves the USCCB knowinghe has been a valued contributor to its work. He has earned the sabbatical henow takes as he prepares for further work in academia."

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