Army chaplain from Ohio named auxiliary bishop for US military

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI has named a military chaplain from the Diocese of Cleveland as an auxiliary bishop of the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services. The appointment of Father Neal Buckon, 57, was announced in Washington Jan. 3 by Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio to the United States. Bishop-designate Buckon has served as an Army chaplain around the world since 1998. His assignments have included posts in South Korea; Fort Sill, Okla.; Germany; Iraq; Fort Stewart, Ga.; and Saudi Arabia. He also served in the Army from 1975 to 1982. Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the military archdiocese welcomed the appointment as a "very concrete sign of the paternal care of our Holy Father for all of us." Archbishop Broglio said in a statement: "There is no doubt that (Bishop-designate Buckon) has been an effective shepherd, served well as a chaplain and also knew the experience of prior service. That experience will certainly contribute to the richness of the episcopal ministry to which he is now called." Bishop-designate Buckon told Catholic News Service that his episcopal ordination is scheduled for 2 p.m. Feb. 22 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington. He said he retired from active duty as a lieutenant colonel Dec. 31 and moved to St. John Bosco Parish in Parma Heights, a suburb of Cleveland, just after Christmas. The bishop-designate had expected to be assigned to a parish in Cleveland when he was asked to become an auxiliary bishop. He said he discussed his new role with Archbishop Broglio and it appears that his primary responsibility will be overseeing ministry efforts on military bases in the western United States.