WASHINGTON (December 1, 2000) -- Msgr. John J. Strynkowski, a priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn, has been named Executive Director of the Secretariat for Doctrine and Pastoral Practices at the National Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Currently Msgr. Strynkowski, who is 61, is Assistant Secretary for Education for Catholic Higher Education and Campus Ministry at the United States Catholic Conference.
Msgr. Strynkowski succeeds Dominican Father Augustine DiNoia, who in September was named founding director of the newly established Intercultural Forum at the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington.
Both appointments become effective April 16, 2001.
Msgr. Strynkowski holds a doctorate in sacred theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, and has taught theology at several institutions of higher learning.
From 1979 to 1995 he was professor of systematic theology at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington, NY, where he was rector from 1985-1995. In previous educational posts he was a visiting professor at North American College, Rome, 1991-1992, a teaching assistant at the Gregorian University, Rome, 1972-1976, and a theology teacher at Cathedral College, Douglaston, N.Y. (1968-1969).
Msgr. Strynkowski studied for the priesthood at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception, Huntington, and Rome's North American College. He was assistant spiritual director at North American College 1976-1979.
He also worked at the Vatican from 1971 to 1973 as an official in the English Section of the Vatican's Secretariat of State and as an official of the Congregation for Bishops, 1973 to 1979.
He has been published in several journals and periodicals including The Jurist, Origins, Priests and People, The Tablet (London), The Priest, and Marriage Studies.
He has appeared on television, both national (NBC, CBS, CNN) and local (WOR, Telicare, the Prayer Channel, Channel 12, Fox, and Channel 1).
He is fluent in English, Italian and Polish and reads Latin, French, Spanish and German.
Msgr. Strynkowski currently is a member of the Catholic Theological Society of America and the Roman Catholic-Methodist Dialogue and Roman Catholic-Polish National Catholic Dialogue in the United States.
Bishop Joseph A. Fiorenza, President of the NCCB and Bishop of Galveston-Houston, Texas, praised Msgr. Strynkowski's appointment.
"Msgr. Strynkowski brings extraordinary talent to the vital position in our conference. He understands theology and can articulate it in an accessible way," Bishop Fiorenza said. "In today's world, where people discuss theology in both academia and the public square, Msgr. Strynkowski's abilities are most valuable. I am grateful to Bishop Thomas Daily of Brooklyn for permitting the entire church in the United States to benefit from his gifts. His appointment provides for a smooth transition in the office for doctrine and pastoral practices."
Msgr. William Fay, NCCB General Secretary-elect, thanked Msgr. Strynkowski for accepting the position.
"Msgr. Strynkowski has been at the conference less than a year and in that time has shown himself to be an asset not only to the Education Department but to other conference departments as well. He is talented and generous with the gifts God has given him," Msgr. Fay said.
In his new position Msgr. Strynkowski will serve as staff to the Committee on Doctrine, which deals with a wide range of theological and moral issues, and the Committee on Pastoral Practices, which addresses how Catholics express their faith. He also will serve as staff for the Ad Hoc Committee on Health Care Issues and the Church and Ad Hoc Committee for the Review of Scripture Translations.
Msgr. Strynkowski has been staff to the committee developing procedures for awarding theologians the mandatum to teach, as called for by Ex corde Ecclesiae, (From the Heart of the Church), the apostolic constitution on Catholic higher education issued by Pope John Paul II and dealing with how the structure and life of Catholic colleges and universities should reflect their Catholic identity. He will continue in that position.
The move to set up mandatum procedures followed the Vatican's approval of Ex corde Ecclesiae: An Application to the United States, a document of the U.S. bishops which takes the general principles and norms of Ex corde Ecclesiae (ECE) and applies them to the specific situation of Catholic colleges and universities in the United States. ECE calls for bishops' conferences to do this.