Eusebius J. Beltran

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His Excellency, The Most Reverend
Eusebius Joseph Beltran
Archbishop Emeritus of Oklahoma City
ArchdioceseOklahoma City
AppointedNovember 24, 1992
InstalledJanuary 22, 1993
Term endedDecember 16, 2010
PredecessorCharles Alexander K. Salatka
SuccessorPaul Stagg Coakley
OrdinationMay 14, 1960
ConsecrationApril 20, 1978
by Charles Salatka, Thomas Andrew Donnellan, and Andrew Joseph McDonald
Personal details
Born (1934-08-31) August 31, 1934 (age 84)
Ashley, Pennsylvania
Previous postBishop of Tulsa (1978–1993)
MottoWe are one in Christ
Styles of
Eusebius Joseph Beltran
Mitre (plain).svg
Reference style
Spoken styleYour Excellency
Religious styleArchbishop

Eusebius Joseph Beltran (born August 31, 1934) is an American prelate. He served as Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma from 1993 until 2010, and is now archbishop emeritus. Prior to his appointment to Oklahoma City, Beltran was bishop of the Diocese of Tulsa, Oklahoma from 1978 to 1992.

Beltran was ordained in 1960 and did pastoral and curial work in the Archdiocese of Atlanta until 1978. He also participated in the Selma to Montgomery marches in 1965 during the civil rights movement.

Early life and ministry[edit]

Eusebius Beltran was born in Ashley, Pennsylvania, to Joseph and Helen (née Kozlowski) Beltran. His father was a Spanish immigrant and coal miner, who later died of black lung disease. The fifth of eight children, Beltran has two siblings who entered the religious life as well; one brother also became a priest and one sister became a nun, taking the religious name Sister Sponsa and working as a missionary in Liberia. He was raised in Wilkes Barre and attended Marymount School. He took the name Joseph as his confirmation name.

Beltran's father later moved the family to Georgia in search of employment. Aspiring to become a missionary, he became a seminarian for the Diocese of Savannah following his graduation from high school. Beltran returned to Pennsylvania for eight years, studying at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Overbrook. He was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Francis Hyland on May 14, 1960, for the Diocese of Atlanta, which had been formed in 1956. Beltran then did pastoral and curial work in the Atlanta diocese (raised to archdiocese in 1962) until 1978. He also participated in the Selma to Montgomery marches in 1965 during the civil rights movement.

Episcopal career[edit]

Bishop of Tulsa[edit]

On February 28, 1978, Beltran was appointed Bishop of Tulsa, Oklahoma, by Pope Paul VI. He was consecrated on April 20 by Archbishop Charles Salatka, with Archbishop Thomas Donnellan and Bishop Andrew McDonald serving as co-consecrators. His mother, Helen, died shortly afterwards.

Most notable among his charity work were his efforts to assist persons in need, including unwed mothers, AIDS victims, unborn children threatened by legal abortion, homeless families, and women who had just been released from prison.

Archbishop of Oklahoma City[edit]

On November 24, 1992, Beltran was elevated to the position of Archbishop of Oklahoma City by Pope John Paul II. He was installed on January 22, 1993. Beltran continues to perform works of charity. Because of his designation as Archbishop of Oklahoma City, Beltran is also the official publisher of the Sooner Catholic, a bi-monthly newspaper that delivers news and other information to Catholics who live in Oklahoma. Beltran's sermons were featured in each number of the newspaper during his reign.

In 2009, he expressed his opposition to President Barack Obama giving the commencement speech at and receiving an honorary degree from the University of Notre Dame, saying, "President Obama, by word and action, has approved of abortion and other atrocities against human life. Therefore he deserves no recognition at a Catholic institution."[1]

Upon reaching his 75th birthday in 2009, Beltran submitted to the Vatican a letter of resignation, as required by Catholic canon law.[2] His request was accepted on December 16, 2010, during a press conference at which his successor, Bishop Paul Stagg Coakley of the Diocese of Salina, Kansas, was introduced. The installation of Archbishop Coakley took place on February 11, 2011, the feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes.[2]

Sexual Abuse Scandal[edit]

In 1999, Catholic priest James Francis Rapp was arrested and plead no contest to sexually abusing two boys in Duncan, Oklahoma. During a subsequent civil trial, it was discovered that Beltran knew about Rapp's prior history of abuse as early as 1994. Beltran received medical documents and psychiatric evaluations of Rapp that advised the priest should not be allowed to work with children.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hinton, Carla. "Speech by Obama faces Catholic foes in Oklahoma". The Oklahoman. Retrieved April 1, 2009.
  2. ^ a b Hinton, Carla (December 16, 2010). "Newly-named Oklahoma archbishop said he will 'eagerly embrace' his appointment". The Oklahoman. Retrieved December 16, 2010.
  3. ^ "Bishop Accountability". Retrieved 2016-05-17.

External links[edit]

Episcopal succession[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Charles A. Salatka
Archbishop of Oklahoma City
Succeeded by
Paul S. Coakley
Preceded by
Bernard J. Ganter
Bishop of Tulsa, OK
Succeeded by
Edward J. Slattery