Robert W. McElroy

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Robert W. McElroy
Auxiliary Bishop of San Francisco
Church Roman Catholicism
Archdiocese San Francisco
In office 7 September 2010—present
Ordination 12 April 1980
Consecration 7 September 2010
by George Hugh Niederauer, Archbishop of San Francisco
Personal details
Born (1954-02-05) February 5, 1954 (age 61)
San Francisco, California
Alma mater Harvard University, Pontifical Gregorian University, Stanford University, Graduate Theological Union

Robert Walter McElroy (born February 5. 1954) is auxiliary bishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco, California.


Early life and education[edit]

McElroy was born in San Francisco, California. He earned a B.A. in history from Harvard University in 1975, and an M.A. from Stanford in 1976. He attended St. Patrick's Seminary in Menlo Park, California where earned an STL degree in 1985 with a thesis titled, Freedom for faith: John Courtney Murray and the Constitutional question, 1942-1954 from the Jesuit School of Theology in the Graduate Theological Union in Berkely, California.

Ordination and ministry[edit]

McElroy was ordained to the priesthood for the San Francisco Archdiocese on April 12, 1980. He was secretary to Archbishop John Quinn and Vicar General of the Archdiocese of San Francisco. He was parochial vicar at St. Ceceilia Church in San Francisco and St. Pius Church in Redwood City, CA. He was pastor of St. Gregory Church in San Mateo, CA from 1996–2011. He spent the last several months at St. Gregory as pastor and bishop. In 1986 he was awarded a Doctorate in moral theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome entitled, John Courtney Murray and the secular crisis: foundations for an American Catholic public theology, and PhD in Political Science from Stanford University in 1989 titled, Morality and American foreign policy : the role of moral norms in international affairs.[1]

He is the author of The Search for an American Public Theology: The Contribution of John Courtney Murray (Paulist Press, 1989) and Morality and American Foreign Policy: The Role of Ethics in International Affairs (Princeton University Press, 1992). He has written four articles for America Magazine.

He taught ethics at St. Patrick's Seminary and was guest professor of social ethics at the University of San Francisco in the Fall of 2008.

Auxiliary Bishop of San Francisco[edit]

On July 6, 2010, McElroy was appointed Titular Bishop of Gemellae in Byzacena and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, and consecrated on September 7.[2]

Writing in America magazine he argued that the emphasis of Pope Francis on inequality in Catholic Social Teaching:

did not go over well with many American Catholics, who criticized the statement as being radical, simplistic and confusing. This pushback stands in stark and telling contrast to the otherwise enthusiastic reception the new pope has met in the United States. From the moment of his election, Pope Francis has captured the attention of the American people with his message and manner, even as he has challenged us all to deep renewal and reform in our lives. Americans take heart in the pope’s call to build an ecclesial culture that casts off judgmentalism; they applaud structural reforms at the Vatican and admire Francis’ continuing focus on the pastoral needs of ordinary men and women.[3]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Episcopal succession[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Auxiliary Bishop of San Francisco