Citation honoring Bishop George H. Niederauer

Listen to Bishop Niederhauer’s prayer in the Senate Chambers and his citation being read to the Utah Senate.

February 8, 2006

AN OFFICIAL CITATION OF THE GOVERNOR AND THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF UTAH HONORING BISHOP GEORGE H. NIEDERAUER, EXPRESSING APPRECIATION TO HIM FOR HIS MANY CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE CITIZENS OF THE STATE OF UTAH AND WISHING HIM WELL IN HIS NEW ASSIGNMENT.

Be it known to all by the Governor and the Legislature of the state of Utah:

WHEREAS, Bishop George H. Niederauer, a Catholic priest for over 43 years and leader of Utah's Catholic community for the past 10 years, has been named archbishop to San Francisco's Cathedral of Saint Mary beginning February 15, 2006.

WHEREAS, Bishop Niederauer will become one of only 49 Roman Catholic archbishops in the United States and is the first Salt Lake Diocese bishop to be appointed an archbishop since 1932.

WHEREAS, since coming to Utah, Bishop Niederauer has focused primarily on expanding church membership, in particular reaching out to Utah's Latino population. As a result, the Catholic community in Salt Lake City has more than doubled from 76,000 to 180,000, now served by 43 parishes and 19 missions.

WHEREAS, Bishop Niederauer has a Ph.D. in English literature from UCLA and a bachelor of sacred theology degree from Catholic University. He taught English for 27 years at St. John's Seminary in Camarillo, California, where he also served as spiritual director then a rector from 1987 to 1992. He was named a Chaplain to the Holy Father (monsignor) in 1984 and a Prelate of Honor in 1988. He also directed the Cardinal Manning House of Prayer for priests in Los Angeles.

WHEREAS, Bishop Niederauer served on a key committee of bishops that in 2001 wrote a controversial policy requiring that priests accused of sexual wrongdoing be removed from active ministry and barred from any contact with the public. He defended the policy widely in the media, calling it a compromise between protecting parishioners without automatically convicting errant priests.

WHEREAS, Bishop Niederauer is a member of the U.S. Bishops' Committee for the protection of Children and Young People; a member and chairman-elect of the Bishops' Committee on Communications; chairman of the Subcommittee for Catholic New Service; and a member of the Subcommittee for Standards and Policy. From 1999 to 2002 he was Chairman of the Bishops' Committee of Priestly Formation.

WHEREAS, Bishop Niederauer is a native of Los Angeles and a lifelong admirer of Gandhi. He received the Gandhi Peace Award in 2004 from Utah's Gandhi Alliance for Peace. He has been honored for his uncompromising stands against the Iraq war and in favor of immigrant rights, arguing against proposed legislation that would make it tougher for illegal immigrants to obtain driver licenses.

WHEREAS, Bishop Niederauer since 2000 has chaired the Utah Coalition Against Pornography and was instrumental in developing programs to teach teenagers about the impact of pornography. He has served on the Coalition for Utah's Future. He has supported numerous local causes and promoted interfaith efforts through the Alliance for Unity, a coalition of church, business, media and political leaders formed in 2001 to promote cooperation and mutual respect among the state's diverse religious, ethnic and political groups. He has also taken strong stands in favor of environmental preservation and against nuclear waste.

WHEREAS, Bishop Niederauer has recently written and published "Precious as Silver: Imagining Your Life with God", through Ave Marie Press.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT KNOWN that the Governor and the Legislature of the state of Utah recognizes the many contributions of Bishop George Niederauer to his diocese and to the citizens of the state of Utah and expresses to him their appreciation for his dedicated service, standard of excellence and exemplary leadership.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT KNOWN that the Governor and the Legislature of the state of Utah congratulate Bishop George Niederauer on his new assignment and his return to his birth state and wish him well in all his future endeavors.

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