Archbishop Timothy Broglio
Courageous New Head of US Bishops
A “culture warrior” to critics, he seeks to “insert the Gospel into all aspects of life”
Archbishop Timothy Broglio, JCD, 71, is the newly-elected president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
He was elected on November 15 in Baltimore.
He comes to the job after a career which took him from a brief stint as a parish priest in South Euclid, Ohio, to nunciature posts in Ivory Coast, Paraguay and the Dominican Republic, to the office of Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican Secretary of State under Pope John Paul II.
Along the way he also earned a degree in Canon Law from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He is fluent in four languages.
His current (since 2008) post is as head of the Archdiocese for Military Services of the U.S.
During Archbishop Broglio’s tenure there, he’s attracted criticism from the secular media on a variety of occasions, most notably on questions of sexual morality, contraception and public policy. He’s been a reliable voice for the Catholic understanding of human anthropology and the moral teachings that flow from it.
For example, he was criticized for objecting in 2013 to the military’s benefits to same-sex “spouses” of military service members. He said, “This new policy under the guise of ‘equal benefits’ undermines marriage as the union of one man and one woman because it treats two persons of the same sex as spouses.”
He also registered his objection to the “contraceptive mandate” of Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
Archbishop Broglio supported the August 2017 Presidential Memorandum issued by President Trump which prevented so-called “transgender” persons from serving in the military (immediately overturned by new President Joe Biden).
In 2018, Archbishop Broglio’s email to a service member saying, “There is no question that the crisis of sexual abuse by priests in the USA is directly related to homosexuality; 90% of those abused were boys aged 12 and over. That is no longer pedophilia,” drew LGBT activists’ ire. Critics also panned his opposition to the 2021 repeal of the Clinton-era “Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell” policy on regulating “LGBT” members of the military, accomplished under Biden.
Archbishop Broglio dealt with a particularly hot military topic during the COVID pandemic: vaccine mandates.
Although the Vatican approved and even endorsed them, Broglio fully supported religious exemptions for military service members “if it would violate the sanctity of his or her conscience.”
Archbishop Broglio washes the feet of a U.S. soldier serving in Afghanistan at Shindand Air Base, Holy Thursday 2014. (CNS photo/ courtesy of the Archdiocese for the U.S. Military Services)
Called by some a “culture warrior,” in his first press conference as USCCB President, Archbishop Broglio was asked about Catholic, pro-abortion politicians like Joe Biden. “I don’t see my role as primarily political, but if there is any way to insert the Gospel into all aspects of life in our country, I certainly will not miss any occasion to do that,” Broglio told reporters.
But perhaps the most urgent subject that Archbishop Broglio has addressed — one that holds the key to addressing all other social and spiritual ills — is that of Jesus, present in the tabernacle.
In a 2013 keynote address, Archbishop Broglio revealed his convictions on the importance of the Eucharist for unity, for healing, for salvation — and why he might be the perfect choice for his new post.
“The Church tells us that this Eucharistic Presence in the tabernacle is a prolonging of the Sacrifice of the Altar,” he said.
“This Jesus, who is interceding for us in heaven, wants to do the same sacramentally from the tabernacle. He consecrates all human activity, gathering all that happens in the universe and presenting it to the Father.
“For this reason He is present in the midst of every parish and every community, to make palpable His mission to unify what is divided, to heal what is sinful, sweeten the bitter, and give eternity to our joys and sorrows…”
“There is nothing wrong with these good things in life,” he continued, “which are also a gift from God. However, we are created in the image and likeness of God. Our goal should be elevated and noble. It must be eternal life.
“The Eucharist puts us in contact with that life; it allows us to taste the union with Christ and the whole Church of those living, suffering, or triumphant. When we celebrate the Eucharist we are in the presence of all the Saints.”