NEW YORK — Following a mild stroke last Friday, the head of the United States Conference of Catholics Bishops (USCCB), Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, has been released from the hospital.
A statement released from the archdiocese of Galveston-Houston and the USCCB on Wednesday said the Texas cardinal has now entered a standard rehabilitation program, expected to last for two weeks.
“Based on recent trends, doctors expect the Cardinal to make a full recovery,” the statement noted.
“I could not be more grateful to the truly wonderful doctors and nurses at St. Joseph’s for their expert care and compassion, which has helped hasten my way down the road to a full recovery,” said DiNardo. “I am also doubly thankful for the many kind wishes and especially the prayers that have been directed towards my healing, which I can assure you are making a true difference. I look forward to getting back to work soon and continuing the important work we have before us.”
The cardinal’s stroke occurred while he was celebrating the Stations of the Cross, resulting in him being carried away in a wheelchair.
DiNardo, who is 69, has had a particularly full, and, at times, heavily scrutinized tenure as USCCB president.
Since last June, he has led the Church’s response to the reignited clergy abuse crisis, where he traveled to Rome last September to seek a Vatican led investigation into former cardinal and now laicized former priest Theodore McCarrick.
After the pope declined that request, DiNardo sought to push forward new standards for bishops’ conduct and new protocols for reporting misconduct against bishops. His plans to put those proposals to a vote at last November’s USCCB general assembly were halted by Rome after the Vatican said they required more time to review such proposals and their compatibility with canon law.
Last October, he was a delegate during the pope’s month-long Synod on young people, and just last month, he participated in the historic Vatican summit on sex abuse, which brought together the heads of every bishops’ conference from around the globe.
Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, who currently serves as vice-president of the conference, will, according to the USCCB’s bylaws, assume responsibility for the day-to-day needs of the USCCB while DiNardo recovers.