Bishop James D. Conley

Birthday: 19 March 1955

Bachelor’s in English Literature – University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS
Master’s of Divinity – Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, Emmitsburg, MD
Licentiate in Moral Theology – Accademia Alfonsiana, Rome, Italy

Ordination: 18 May 1985
Episcopate: 30 May 2008
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Bishop James D. Conley on the Issues

Viganò testimony

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Amoris Laetitia

Does not allow Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics
  • In a letter to priests and seminarians in his diocese on December 5, 2016, Conley said sexual relationships outside the bonds of marriage constitute circumstances of grave sin. Divorced and civilly remarried Catholics “may not approach Holy Communion.” Conley provided priests and seminarians with the diocesan guidelines of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and the Diocese of Phoenix, both of which disallow communion to divorced and remarried Catholics. (Catholic News Agency)

Pro-life leadership

Actively engages in pro-life leadership
  • Bishop Conley led Catholics in stations of the cross outside a Planned Parenthood facility on Good Friday 2018, just days after leading a Eucharistic procession around the facility. (LifeSiteNews)
  • Bishop Conley conducted an exorcism outside a Planned Parenthood center and blessed a newly-opened Lincoln Right to Life Center on February 13, 2018, kicking off the 2018 40 Days for Life campaign. (Diocese of Lincoln)
  • Bishop Conley led approximately 200 Catholics in the stations of the cross outside a Planned Parenthood facility on Good Friday 2017. Lincoln Right to Life sponsored the event. (Diocese of Lincoln)
  • In 2011, Bishop Conley told a Dallas pro-life group that America is becoming increasingly “hostile to religious faith and religious believers.” In his speech, Conley denounced abortion, embryonic experimentation, and euthanasia. He also told the audience America needs their pro-life witness “now more than ever.” (LifeSiteNews)
  • While serving as Auxiliary Bishop of Denver in 2008, Conley attended a prayer vigil outside a Planned Parenthood abortion center hosted by then-Archbishop of Denver Charles Chaput. Dr. Alveda King spoke at the rally. (Catholic News Agency)


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Abortion politics

Upholds Church teaching on abortion politics
  • During a 2016 radio interview in Nebraska, Bishop Conley told listeners that abortion is not a prudential issue Catholics have a right to dissent from or disagree with. Abortion has “clearly been defined by the church as a moral evil,” he said. It can never be accepted under any circumstances or any justification (LifeSiteNews)
  • In a column for his diocese’s website in 2016, Bishop Conley adamantly declared “Abortion is a profound threat to the freedom of women everywhere.” He also said women who have abortions have “long-lasting psychological and emotional” effects. (Diocese of Lincoln)
  • In 2015, undercover videos showed Planned Parenthood employees discussing the sale of aborted babies. In response, Bishop Conley said the videos woke him up to “the degree to which people in the abortion industry are enslaved, corrupted, and abused by the culture of death.” He also said that persons who casually discuss the sale of dead children are victims of the father of lies. “Planned Parenthood perpetrates evil deeds,” he added. (CatholicVote)


Faithful to Church teaching on contraception
  • On the 50th anniversary of Humanae Vitae, Bishop Conley wrote a pastoral letter lamenting the low fertility rates in the U.S., blaming them on a “contraceptive culture” that incentivizes couples to delay childbirth and limit the number of children they have. Bishop Conley said these “costs” of the contraceptive culture were predicted by Humanae Vitae and are leading to a self-imposed demographic winter. (Southern Nebraska Register)
  • Weeks before assuming his role as bishop of Lincoln, Nebraska in November 2012, Bishop Conley declared that the Catholic Church would unapologetically fight the Obama administration’s HHS contraception mandate. Conley declared that the Church is “not going to back down” and that the Church will defy the mandate and “face the consequences.” (LifeSiteNews)

“LGBT” ideology

Upholds Church teaching on “LGBT” ideology
  • Bishop Conley was one of the chief signatories of an open letter defending Church teaching on men and women and their differences. The letter, titled “Created Male and Female,” was released on December 15, 2017 and signed by leaders of various Christian denominations. Conley was chairman of the USCCB’s subcommittee for the promotion and defense of marriage at the time. (USCCB)
  • In 2016, Bishop Conley blasted an Obama administration edict that told public schools they had to support transgenderism if they wanted to continue receiving taxpayer dollars. Conley said the directive was disturbing, wrong, and denies basic differences between men and women. Conley described the directive as part of an LGBT “tyranny of tolerance.” (LifeSiteNews)
  • During an interview with LifeSiteNews at the Catholic Medical Association’s 85th annual meeting in Washington in 2016, Bishop Conley said that to encourage people “who persistently desire to change their gender” surgically, hormonally, or in other ways is a “disservice.” It’s “false compassion because it’s not true.” (LifeSiteNews)
  • In 2016, Bishop Conley and his fellow Nebraska bishops denounced a Nebraska school board policy that would allow transgender students to play sports. Conley said the measure would harm students and that it would be “unjust to allow a harmful and deceptive gender ideology” to influence schools across the state. (Catholic League)


Promotes reverent liturgy
  • Bishop Conley told Catholic World Report that he is a “big fan” of ad orientem. “We stand in solidarity with one another, offering worship to God. It’s not the priest facing the people and speaking to them, it’s all of us facing God,” he said. (Catholic World Report)
  • Since 2014, Bishop Conley requires Sunday Masses at his Cathedral to be celebrated ad orientem during Advent. Conley encourages priests in his diocese to say mass ad orientem as well. (National Catholic Register)

Marriage and Family Life

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  • In 2011, Conley warned that participation in the Girl Scouts risks opening young women to the pro-abortion agenda because of the organization’s approach to sexuality and “reproductive freedom.” Conley said parents are the primary educators of their children. (LifeSiteNews)


Upholds Church teaching on education
  • Bishop Conley invited a priest who promotes the Rosary and Our Lady of Fatima to help lead a 4,000 person Rosary Crusade on the campus of the University of Nebraska on April 29, 2018. (LifeSiteNews)
  • In 2017, Bishop Conley spoke at a conference on Catholic classical education in Denver. During his remarks, Conley said that since the late 1960s, Catholic school’s have been increasingly secularized, in part, due to the 1967 Land O’ Lakes statement co-authored by Notre Dame’s president Fr. Theodore Hesburgh. Bishop Conley lamented the fact that Catholic schools and universities have hired teachers who reject the wisdom of the Church in the classes they teach. (The Cardinal Newman Society)