New Tulsa bishop is strong advocate for Catholic teaching on life, morals

New Tulsa bishop is strong advocate for Catholic teaching on life, morals


David Konderla, the new Catholic bishop in Tulsa, Okla., meets schoolchildren after he was named to succeed retiring Bishop Edward Slattery.

Lisa Bourne

TULSA, Oklahoma, June 30, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – The Tulsa diocese’s new bishop comes in with a history of active support for Catholic moral principles.

Bishop David Konderla was ordained Wednesday afternoon at the University of Tulsa’s Reynolds Center, after a Tuesday evening service at Holy Family Cathedral.

The Bryan, Texas, native and second of 12 children has worked for 19 years in post-abortion ministry and also for years with Courage, the Catholic Church’s apostolate ministering to people with same-sex attraction.

“It is a dangerous idea that a woman has the right to take the life of her unborn child,” Bishop Konderla told the Tulsa World, discussing threats from which he looked to protect his flock.

Identifying another danger, he called pornography “a disease in our culture that our young people are constantly battling against.”

And recognizing the attack on marriage in society today, the newly appointed bishop stated, “Marriage is under assault by a gender ideology that wants to say we can make marriage what we want, as if we invented marriage. But this is simply not true.”

Bishop Konderla attributed these problems to the rising secularism within the culture, which he also called “a refusal to recognize that people have the right to live according to the dictates of their conscience, even in the public square.”

An avid outdoorsman, Bishop Konderla, 56, drives a pickup truck, rides mountain bikes and performs carpentry, crafting his own crosier, a shepherd’s staff used by a bishop, from wood.

Ordained in 1995, Bishop Konderla spent 15 years of his priesthood in campus ministry in Texas and four years as vocations director for the Austin diocese. He said he loves young people and attributes his lengthy experience in youth ministry as the reason Pope Francis named him a bishop.

Bishop Konderla succeeds Bishop Edward Slattery, the longest-serving bishop in the Tulsa diocese, who was appointed in 1994 and reached retirement age in August 2015. Bishop Slattery pulled the diocese out of a partnership with a local social justice group after learning it had sponsored the city’s Gay Pride parade.

Bishop Konderla was ordained by Oklahoma City Archbishop Paul Coakley, with co-consecrators Bishop Slattery and Austin Bishop Joe Vasquez, and also new Papal Nuncio Archbishop Christophe Pierre.

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