WASHINGTON (November 27, 1998)--Archbishop John G. Vlazny of Portland (Oregon), recently elected chairman of the U.S. bishops Committee on Women in Society and in the Church, has named six other bishops to the committee.
The new members include Bishop Howard J. Hubbard of Albany, New York; Bishop John J. McRaith of Owensboro, Kentucky; Bishop Pierre DuMaine of San Jose, California; Bishop Thomas G. Doran of Rockford, Illinois; Auxiliary Bishop Curtis J. Guillory of Galveston-Houston, Texas; and Auxiliary Bishop Gilberto Fernandez of Miami.
Archbishop Vlazny was elected chairman during the annual November Bishops' meeting in Washington. He succeeds Auxiliary Bishop John C. Dunne of Rockville Centre, New York.
The Committee will appoint women advisors after its first meeting early next year.
Archbishop Vlazny underscored the role of women going into the year 2000.
"As we move into the Third Millennium," he said, "I hope that this committee will continue to encourage an expanding role for women in society. Building on the strong work that has gone before us, we will continue to affirm and support a deeper appreciation of the gifts women continue to give the Church."
The Committee assumes responsibility for implementing "From Words to Deeds: Continuing Reflections on the Role of Women in the Church." That document was published in October and calls on Church leaders to appreciate and incorporate the gifts of women in the Church, appoint women to Church leadership positions, and promote collaboration between women and men in the Church.
The Committee on Women in Society and in the Church was established as a standing committee of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops in 1986. It has produced several documents, including "When I Call for Help," a statement on how to deal with domestic violence, and "Walk in the Light: A Pastoral Response to Child Sexual Abuse."
In 1994 it published "Strengthening the Bonds of Peace," which has been used nationwide to encourage discussion on women in the Church. It has also developed "Pope John Paul II and The Genius of Women," a collection of the Pope's 1995 statements to and about women.