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How to Cover the Catholic Church

(Archdiocese of NewYork), New Jersey (Newark), Pennsylvania (Philadelphia),

Florida (Miami), Ohio (Cincinnati), Illinois (Chicago), Michigan (Detroit),

Indiana (Indianapolis) and Wisconsin (Milwaukee) are examples.

In other areas the dioceses of two or more states are united in a single prov-

ince. For example, the Boston ecclesiastical province covers the other three

dioceses in Massachusetts plus those in Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire;

the St. Paul and Minneapolis province includes the four dioceses of North and

South Dakota as well as the other dioceses in Minnesota.

The relationship of the archdiocese, or

metropolitan see

, to the dioceses

under it (called

suffragan sees

in this context) rarely comes into play in news

coverage. The limited authority an archbishop has over the other diocesan

bishops in his province is largely in terms of internal church affairs. The bish-

ops of a province meet periodically, for example, to discuss common policy on

various pastoral matters and to draw up lists of priests who may be suggested

to Rome as potential candidates to be made bishop.

State Catholic Conferences

As the public policy arm of a state’s Catholic bishops, a state Catholic confer-

ence may often be in the news, especially if religious freedom or moral and

social values espoused by the church are at issue in state executive or legisla-

tive proposals or judicial proceedings. In a few small states that have only one

diocese, such as Vermont, New Hampshire and Rhode Island, there is no state

Catholic conference, and the diocese itself has some form of public policy or

government liaison office that deals with such issues. Most states, however,

do have a state Catholic conference. Its headquarters are usually located in the

state capital, even if that is not the most populous city or the seat of the most

important diocese in the state. The New York State Catholic Conference, for

example, is located in Albany, not New York City; the Catholic Conference of

Ohio is in Columbus, not Cincinnati. Typically the bishops of the state are the

members of the conference, but the executive director is a layperson, often

someone with a background in law.


Catholic Colleges and Universities

There are more than 230 Catholic colleges and universities in the United States,

most of them sponsored by religious orders, though often governed by lay-