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Bishop McElroy of San Diego is made a cardinal by Pope Francis

Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego, one of Pope Francis’ ideological allies who has often clashed with more conservative US bishops, was named by the pope on Sunday as one of them 21 new cardinals.

The Diocese of San Diego said McElroy will be installed by Pope Francis on August 27 in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

Among his notable positions was McElroy, 68, one of the few US bishops to slam the campaign to bar Catholic politicians who support abortion rights from communion.

“It will have tremendously destructive consequences” wrote McElroy in May 2021. “The Eucharist will be armed and used as an instrument of political warfare. That must not happen.”

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In selecting McElroy, Francis overtook the more senior Archbishop of San Francisco, Salvatore Cordileone. earlier this month, Cordileone said he would no longer allow US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to receive communion because of her support for abortion rights.

McElroy said in a statement he was “stunned and deeply surprised” by the news of his appointment.

“My prayer is that in this ministry I will give an additional service to the God who has graced me on so many levels in my life,” he said. “And I also pray that I can support the Holy Father in his pastoral renewal of the Church.”

A native of San Francisco, McElroy received a bachelor’s degree in history from Harvard in 1975 and a master’s degree in history from Stanford in 1976.

He attended St. Patrick Seminary in Menlo Park, California, and received his theology degree from the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley in 1985. The following year he received his doctorate in moral theology from the Gregorian University in Rome and his doctorate in political science from Stanford in 1989.

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He was ordained a priest in 1980 and assigned to the Diocese of San Francisco, where he served in a parish before becoming Archbishop John Quinn’s personal secretary. Other California community assignments included Redwood City and San Mateo.

In 2010 he became auxiliary bishop of San Francisco. In 2015, at the beginning of Francis’ pontificate, he was appointed Bishop of San Diego.

In recent years, McElroy has been among a relatively small number of U.S. bishops to question why the bishops’ conference insisted on listing abortion as its “overriding” priority. He has questioned why issues such as racism, poverty, immigration and climate change were not given greater prominence.

“The death toll from abortion is more immediate, but the long-term death toll from unabated climate change is larger and threatens the future of humanity,” he said in a 2020 speech.

Last year he was among a small group of bishops who signed a statement expressing their support for LGBT youth and denouncing the bullying that is often directed at them.

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The bishops’ statement said that LGBT youth are far more likely to attempt suicide, are often homeless because families reject them, and “are the target of violent crime on an alarming scale.”

“We take this opportunity to say to our LGBT friends, especially young people, that we stand by you and stand against any form of violence, bullying or harassment against you,” it said. “Above all, know that God created you, God loves you and God is on your side.

The Diocese of San Diego straddles California’s border with Mexico and serves more than 1.3 million Catholics in San Diego and Imperial counties. It includes 98 parishes, 49 elementary and secondary schools, and through Catholic charities of the Diocese of San Diego, various social services and family support organizations throughout the region.

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https://www.local10.com/news/national/2022/05/29/san-diego-bishop-mcelroy-named-by-pope-francis-as-a-cardinal/ Bishop McElroy of San Diego is made a cardinal by Pope Francis

Sarah Y. Kim

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