Pope Benedict XVI has appointed the Right Reverend James D. Conley as auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Denver. The Holy See made the announcement today at noontime in Rome, 4 a.m. in Denver. Archbishop Charles J. Chaput will hold a press conference today at 9 a.m., at the John Paul II Center, to introduce the new auxiliary bishop. To read the official announcement, click here. A special web page for Bishop-Elect Conley will be available after the 9 a.m. press conference.An interview with Msgr. Conley reveals him to be just what the Church needs at this time. Another interview is here. His biography can be found here, including information about his past Kansas City life:
Bishop-elect Conley, 53, is a native of Overland Park, Kan., a suburb of Kansas City, and a convert to Catholicism. Currently pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish in the Diocese of Wichita, Kan., he previously served the Holy Father for 10 years as an official in the Vatican Congregation for Bishops in Rome. He has been a Catholic for 33 years and a priest for 23 years.
In 1973, Bishop-elect Conley graduated from Shawnee Mission West high school in Overland Park and enrolled in the fall as a freshman at University of Kansas. He graduated in 1977 from University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature.Also see Fr. Z's blog where he quotes from a Kansas priest who calls the appointment of Msgr. Conley "huge!"
While in college, he studied in the University of Kansas’s Integrated Humanities Program, a well-known classical great books program. During his junior year, he converted to the Catholic Church on Dec. 6, 1975. His mentor and teacher in the Integrated Humanities Program, Professor John Senior, was his godfather.
I am sure that you have heard about the new bishops named early this morning. [I sure have!]
Msgr. Conley, currently of the Diocese of Wichita and formerly in the Congregation for Bishops and graduate of the famous KU humanities program and now appointed to be auxiliary bishop of Denver, is to my knowledge the first bishop appointed recently who had regularly celebrated the TLM as part of his priestly service (not merely an occasional Mass here and there). [And that must have been a consideration, frankly. There is no way that it wasn’t.] I believe that he and another priest alternated celebrating the 8 AM Sunday TLM in Wichita, the only such Mass in the Diocese of Wichita. This is huge! Maybe second to Summorum Pontificum. [That would be a "YES" vote!] Now we have a bishop who is not only a friend of the Extraordinary Use of the Mass, like Arch. Burke, but one for whom the EU was an important part of his ministry. The EU is part of new bishop(s). It is part of the mainstream of the church. This is great news for fans of Tradition.
Father Brian Klingele
Archdiocese of Kansas City in KS