US Bishop Change: Las Cruces, NM

This morning the Holy See announced the decision of Pope Benedict XVI to accept the retirement of Bishop Ricardo Ramirez, C.S.B. and to name Bishop Oscar Cantú as Bishop of Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA.

Bishop Cantú had been serving as Auxiliary Bishop of San Antonio, Texas.

Congrats! It says that he will be the youngest bishop at the helm of a diocese (i.e. not an auxiliary bishop).

In looking at the numbers, his appointment is actually quite historic. He will be the first bishop in the U.S. to head a diocese who was born after the conclusion of Vatican II.

Here is some information from the Diocese of Las Cruces

Bishop Cantu, previously Titular of Dardano and Auxiliary of San Antonio, was ordained to the priesthood in 1994 and received Episcopal ordination in 2008. In the National Bishops’ Conference he currently serves on the committees on Catholic Education, International Justice and Peace, and Protection of Children and Young People, as well as the Subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs.

Most Rev. Oscar Cantú, S.T.D was born December 5, 1966, in Houston, TX, the son of Ramiro and Maria de Jesus Cantú, natives of small towns near Monterey in Mexico. He is the fifth of eight children, five boys, and three girls. Bishop Cantú is a product of Houston’s Catholic Schools, attending Holy Name Catholic School and St. Thomas High School. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Dallas, TX.

Cantú’s father immigrated to the United States as a young man. He worked in Chicago where he leaned to be a machinist. Tired of the cold weather and the long distance from his native country, he moved his wife and two children to Houston.

While Mr. Cantú only received a 6th grade education, his life of hard work taught him to place a high value on education. Seven of his eight children attended Catholic schools in Houston at a great financial sacrifice for the family, four of them went on to college, three of them have attained their master s degrees. While still a seminarian, Bishop Cantu worked on a committee made up of diocesan leaders and chaired by Laredo’s Bishop James Tamayo. Its purpose was to develop, promulgate, and promote a plan for Hispanic ministry.

Since his ordination, Bishop Cantú has participated in number of ministries and movements in Houston. He was involved in the Christian Family movement, a national network of parish/neighborhood small groups of Catholics and their families who come together to reinforce their Christian values and are encouraged to reach out to others. He conducted three retreats per year with the youth of the CFM movement in the Galveston‐Houston Archdiocese. Bishop Cantu worked with those preparing for marriage through the Engaged Encounter ministry.

From 2004 to 2007 Bishop Cantú co‐hosted an interfaith radio show in Houston called “Show of Faith.” His co‐costs included a Jewish rabbi and a protestant minister. The program discussed issues from the perspective of their individual faith traditions.

Bishop Cantú has also been involved in The Metropolitan Organization (TMO). Its mission is to publicly address important socia

Bishop Ricardo Ramirez C.S.B. is retiring from leadership of the diocese due to age.

Dale, you and I always seem to be the first responders to these threads. :stuck_out_tongue:


I am not sure what to make of this, but of the last three bishop changes mentioned in this forum, all of them have background in dealing with abused children. Bishop-elect David P. Talley, before becoming a priest, had been employed as a social worker for abused and neglected children. Bishop Dennis Sullivan and Bishop Oscar Cantú serve on the USCCB’s Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People.

I can’t say whether that is coincidence or if it reflects a concern of the Holy See. The US has a papal nuncio who arrived two years ago. I wonder if his other recommendations show a pattern?

You’re right. That’s an interesting trend.

I am interested in knowing more about Cantu. I’m hoping he is orthodox. I cannot find much about him other than he works on immigration issues,etc. I am concerned about that. Usually, to me, that means liberal “social justice” nonsense. That diocese is a mess because of Ramirez. I was hoping for a “house cleaner”.

It isn’t much to go on, but here are a snippet from Rocco Palmo:

Cantú stoked an outcry from San Antonio’s gay community after a 2010 order (given while he was apostolic administrator) to cancel a long-running weekly Mass coordinated by the unsanctioned LGBT lobby Dignity.

Bishop Cantú has a blog, although he doesn’t post often to it. Still, it might offer some insight into his perspective.

Thank you for the info. I knew about his shutting down of the gay Mass, which was a good thing.

I find, and this is a generalization, that Hispanic men are not proponents of a gay lifestyle. I did an initial look at Cantu’s blog. It seems a lot of fluff and no church militant. I think the church needs love and militant. There is NO militant in LC. it is a diocese run amok, and just taking an initial look at Cantu, he isn’t what LC needs, and that makes me sad. I hope I am very wrong. Obviously, it is God’s will, which once again, makes me realize I have no idea of the master plan, except the last chapter where we win! I believe getting to the last chapter is going to be painful!

The Apostolic nuncio does his homework. Even if it’s hard for us to see at first, I have great confidence that the Holy See goes through great pains to choose the right man for the job.

Don’t let a handful of blog posts make you think that’s all there is to the man.

I agree. But, at the same time, that’s kind of the point. You could, for example, try and find out about Chaput, and have no problem figuring out what he’s all about.

I suppose we’ll see! If they did their homework with Ramirez, that’s a bit frightening.

Chaput has the benefit of being around a lot longer.

Not every bishop wants to be in the spotlight that much. That doesn’t make them any less solid or any less good of a pastor. I know a bishop who made it standard policy that he would not write endorsements for specific Catholic books, even really good ones. He just didn’t want to get pulled into that. I can respect that, even if I do appreciate the bishops who do give endorsements which encourage me make quicker judgment calls on the potential of a new book.

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