WASHINGTON (July 11, 2003) -- Archbishop John R. Roach, retired archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis and former president of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops/United Sates Catholic Conference, was a devoted churchman and a courageous leader, Bishop Wilton D. Gregory said shortly after the death of Archbishop Roach, July 11.
Bishop Gregory's statement follows.
The death of Archbishop John Roach brings a sense of loss to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Archbishop Roach not only served well the people of his beloved diocese St. Paul and Minneapolis, but also the national body of bishops, of which he was president, 1980-1983. He chaired the Committee on International Policy, 1991-1994, during the first Gulf War, and articulated the conference's teaching on war and peace.
Archbishop Roach was a devoted churchman and a courageous leader rooted in prayer. His devotion to the Bishops' Conference was inspiring. He led his brother bishops in several important areas, including their efforts for world peace through development of a major pastoral letter on nuclear disarmament, Challenge of Peace: God's Promise and Our Response. He was also an outspoken advocate for the pastoral letter on the economy, Economic Justice for All: A Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy.
The prayers of the Bishops' Conference are with the Roach family, Archbishop Harry Flynn of St. Paul and Minneapolis, and the people of the archdiocese he so loved. May he rest in peace.