For the first time in decades, the staff of the US bishops’ conference will (probably) not swing reflexively into line with the latest liberal rhetoric.

When John Carr retired from the staff of the US bishops’ conference, after helping to shape the bishops’ statements on political issues for more then 25 years, we wondered whether his departure signaled a shift in USCCB policy. Today we have our answer: Yes, it does.

Jonathan J. Reyes, who will be taking Carr’s post in December, will be coming to Washington from Denver, where he was head of Catholic Charities. His work there, and especially his involvement in projects like “Christ in the City,” testify to his belief that Christian charitable work is inseparable from evangelization. In other words he sees charitable work as a witness to faith, not a call for government support.

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