At a meeting of grassroots activists, faith-based organizers, farm workers, undocumented immigrants, clergy, and several bishops held in Modesto, California, last week, San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy gave the most powerful and timely address I’ve ever heard from a Catholic leader.
Appointed by Pope Francis to lead the San Diego diocese last spring, McElroy has quickly emerged as one of the most respected intellectual leaders of the Catholic Church in the United States with his incisive essays and speeches on immigration, inequality, the threat of white nationalism, and the church’s obligation to confront Islamophobia. During one session at the Modesto meeting, Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, New Mexico, jokingly but accurately called McElroy “the brains” of the U.S. episcopacy. Along with other “Francis bishops” like Cardinal Blase Cupich in Chicago, McElroy is also at the forefront of pushing the U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops—in recent years most focused on fighting same-sex marriage and contraception coverage—to demonstrate greater institutional commitment to the breadth of Catholic social teaching and the pope’s priorities as they relate to poverty, inequality, and climate change.
Source: =Commonweal Magazine