James D. Conley
|The Most Reverend
James Douglas Conley
|Bishop of Lincoln|
|Appointed||September 14, 2012|
|Installed||November 20, 2012|
|Ordination||May 18, 1985
by Eugene John Gerber
|Consecration||May 30, 2008
by Charles J. Chaput, Michael Owen Jackels, Paul Stagg Coakley
March 19, 1955 |
Kansas City, Missouri
|Previous post||Apostolic Administrator of Denver (2011-2012)
Auxiliary Bishop of Denver (2008-2011)
Titular Bishop of Cissa (2008-2012)
|Alma mater||University of Kansas
Mount St. Mary's Seminary
|Motto||Cor Ad Cor Loquitur
("Heart Speaks to Heart")
James Douglas Conley
|Reference style||His Excellency|
|Spoken style||Your Excellency|
Ordination history of
James D. Conley
Raised in a Presbyterian family, James Conley was born in Kansas City, Missouri, to Carl (d. 2006) and Betty Conley (b. 1923). He has one sister by adoption, Susan (b. 1962). Conley is of Wea Native American descent through his paternal grandmother's family. He and his family moved to Denver, Colorado, in 1957, and to Arvada, Colorado, in 1959.
Conley attended Hoskinson Cottage School in Arvada before moving to Overland Park, Kansas, at age 8. He was a childhood friend and schoolmate of Paul S. Coakley, who became Bishop of Salina in 2004 and in 2011 was named Archbishop of Oklahoma City. Conley graduated from Shawnee Mission West High School in 1973, and then entered the University of Kansas (KU); because of his Native American heritage, the Bureau of Indian Affairs paid for a portion of his college education. He studied in KU's Integrated Humanities Program, whose courses on Greek and Roman classics led him to convert to Catholicism on December 6, 1975.
Conley obtained a bachelor's degree in English literature from KU in 1977, and then worked in construction in Kansas City, Kansas before traveling through Europe. Like Paul Coakley, he also considered a monastic vocation at the Abbey of Notre Dame de Fontgombault in France. Conley returned to the United States in 1978, and worked on a friend's farm near Courtland, Kansas. Following the 1979 visit of Pope John Paul II to the United States, he decided to pursue a vocation to the priesthood and entered St. Pius X Seminary in Erlanger, Kentucky, in 1980. He later studied at Mount St. Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland, where he earned a master's degree in divinity in 1985.
Conley was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Wichita on May 18, 1985, and then served as associate pastor at St. Patrick Church. In 1989, he was sent by Bishop Eugene J. Gerber in to further his studies in Rome, where he earned a licentiate in moral theology from the Alphonsian Academy of the Pontifical Lateran University.
Upon his return to the United States in 1991, Conley became chaplain of the Newman Center at Wichita State University and diocesan director of the Respect Life Office. His parents also converted to Catholicism in 1991, and it was Conley who administered the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation to them.
In 1996, he returned to Rome to serve as an official of the Congregation for Bishops in the Roman Curia. During this period, Conley also served as chaplain at the University of Dallas' Rome campus (1997-2003) and as adjunct instructor of theology at Christendom College's Rome campus (2004-2006). He was raised to the rank of Chaplain of His Holiness by John Paul II on February 9, 2001. Returning to the Diocese of Wichita in 2006, he was named pastor of Blessed Sacrament Church.
Auxiliary Bishop of Denver
On April 10, 2008, Conley was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Denver, Colorado, and titular bishop of Cissa by Pope Benedict XVI. He was consecrated on May 30 by Archbishop Charles Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., with Bishop Michael Jackels of Wichita and Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City serving as co-consecrators, at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. His episcopal motto, "Cor Ad Cor Loquitur (Latin: "Heart Speaks To Heart"), is taken from the motto of English cardinal and fellow Catholic convert John Henry Newman.
Speaking on proposed health care legislation in November 2009, Conley stated that Catholic bishops "have a few simple but important priorities. First, everyone should have access to basic health care, including immigrants...Second, reform should respect the dignity of every person, from conception to natural death... Third, real healthcare reform needs to include explicit, ironclad conscience protections for medical professionals and institutions so that they cannot be forced to violate their moral convictions. Fourth—and this is so obvious it sometimes goes unstated—any reform must be economically realistic and financially sustainable."
In September 2011, when Charles Chaput was appointed Archbishop of Philadelphia, Conley became Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Denver. He remained until July 2012, when Bishop Samuel Aquila of Fargo was named Chaput's successor.
Bishop of Lincoln
On September 14, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Conley as Bishop of Lincoln, Nebraska, succeeding Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz. He was installed on November 20, 2012, at the Cathedral of the Risen Christ.
The Lincoln diocese participated in the first of the U.S. bishops’ audit of the implementation of the youth-protection charter in 2003, but then-Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz declined to participate again while awaiting refinements to the process. In June 2014, the chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' National Review Board for the protection of children reported that Conley's diocese was one of four in the United States that had yet to comply with the USCCB's charter requiring every diocese to submit its procedures for the protection of children to the Review Board for an audit. According to a 2015 statement by Conley, the Lincoln Diocese complied with all church and civil laws on child-abuse reporting and child protection; he stated that the audit process had been improved, and that the diocese would now participate.
- "Pope Names Bishops For Des Moines, Little Rock Dioceses, Auxiliaries For San Antonio, Denver, San Francisco Archdioceses". United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
- "Biography of Most Rev. James D. Conley, S.T.L." Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Denver. Archived from the original on 2009-04-27.
- "Former baseball teammates to share new link as fellow bishops". Catholic News Service. 2008-05-07. Archived from the original on 2008-05-13.
- "Bishop James Douglas Conley". Catholic-Hierarchy.org. David M. Cheney. Retrieved 21 January 2015.[self-published source]
- Conley, James (2009-11-06). "A Healthcare Problem Washington May Have Missed". First Things.
- "Bishop Conley appointed to lead Diocese of Lincoln". Catholic News Agency. September 14, 2012. Retrieved September 14, 2012.
- Jones, Kevin J (September 11, 2015). "For Diocese of Lincoln, Audit Will Strengthen Its Effective Child-Protection". National Catholic Register. Retrieved March 5, 2016.
- Roewe, Brian (June 12, 2014). "Bishops talk sex abuse complacency, not accountability at annual meeting". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
|Catholic Church titles|
|Bishop of Lincoln
|Auxiliary Bishop of Denver
Gianfranco Gardin OFM Conv
|Titular Bishop of Cissa
Gonzalo Alonso Calzada Guerrero