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Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego, certainly one of Pope Francis’ ideological allies who has usually sparred with extra conservative U.S. bishops, was named by the pope on Sunday as certainly one of 21 new cardinals.

The San Diego diocese mentioned McElroy will likely be put in by Pope Francis on August 27 at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

Amongst his notable stances, McElroy, 68, has been certainly one of a minority of U.S. bishops harshly criticizing the marketing campaign to exclude Catholic politicians who assist abortion rights from Communion.

“It would deliver tremendously damaging penalties,” McElroy wrote in Might 2021. “The Eucharist is being weaponized and deployed as a device in political warfare. This should not occur.”

In choosing McElroy, Francis handed over the higher-ranking archbishop of San Francisco, Salvatore Cordileone. Earlier this month, Cordileone mentioned he’ll now not enable U.S. Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi to obtain Communion due to her assist for abortion rights.

McElroy, in a press release, mentioned he was “surprised and deeply shocked” by the information of his appointment.

“My prayer is that on this ministry I may be of further service to the God who has graced me on so many ranges in my life,” he mentioned. “And I pray additionally that I can help the Holy Father in his pastoral renewal of the Church.”

Cordileone issued a quick assertion noting that McElroy is a local San Franciscan and providing congratulations on the appointment. The assertion made no point out of the 2 clerics’ variations.

Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez, president of the U.S. Convention of Catholic Bishops who has labored with McElroy for a few years, additionally provided congratulations — including that the brand new cardinal “will serve the worldwide Church properly.”

“By naming Bishop Robert McElroy as a cardinal, Pope Francis has proven his pastoral look after the Church in the US,” Gomez mentioned in a written assertion.

McElroy acquired a bachelor’s diploma in historical past from Harvard in 1975 and a grasp’s in historical past from Stanford in 1976.

He studied at St. Patrick Seminary in Menlo Park, California, and in 1985 acquired a theology diploma on the Jesuit College of Theology in Berkeley. He obtained a doctorate in ethical theology on the Gregorian College in Rome the next yr and a Ph.D in political science at Stanford in 1989.

He was ordained a priest in 1980 and assigned to the San Francisco diocese, the place he served in a parish earlier than changing into private secretary to Archbishop John Quinn. Different California parish assignments included Redwood Metropolis and San Mateo.

He grew to become an auxiliary bishop in San Francisco in 2010. In 2015, early in Francis’ preach, he was named bishop of San Diego.

Over latest years, McElroy has been among the many comparatively few U.S. bishops who questioned why the bishops’ convention insisted on figuring out abortion as its “preeminent” precedence. He has questioned why larger prominence was not given to points corresponding to racism, poverty, immigration and local weather change.

“The dying toll from abortion is extra speedy, however the long-term dying toll from unchecked local weather change is bigger and threatens the very way forward for humanity,” he mentioned in a speech in 2020.

Final yr, he was amongst a small group of bishops signing a press release expressing assist for LGBT youth and denouncing the bullying usually directed at them.

The bishops’ assertion mentioned LGBT youth try suicide at a lot greater charges, are sometimes homeless due to households who reject them and “are the goal of violent acts at alarming charges.”

“We take this chance to say to our LGBT pals, particularly younger folks, that we stand with you and oppose any type of violence, bullying or harassment directed at you,” it learn. “Most of all, know that God created you, God loves you and God is in your facet.”

Francis DeBernardo, govt director of New Methods Ministry, which advocates for larger LGBTQ acceptance within the Catholic church, hailed McElroy’s appointment.

“He represents the form of prelate our church wants, one who will stretch out a hand, not a fist, to the LGBTQ group,” DeBernardo mentioned. “As an elector of future popes, McElroy can play a task in ensuring that the subsequent papacy will proceed within the welcoming spirit of Pope Francis.”

The Diocese of San Diego runs the size of California’s border with Mexico and serves greater than 1.3 million Catholics in San Diego and Imperial counties. It contains 98 parishes, 49 elementary and secondary faculties, and, by way of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of San Diego, varied social service and household assist organizations all through the area.

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