by Joshua McElwee, NCR
Yet the retired auxiliary bishop exerted wide influence over the U.S. church for decades, being appointed first by the bishops’ conference as its representative to the organization responsible for the church’s exhaustive charity efforts, then to the organization representing its wide-ranging health care apparatus.
All the while, Sullivan served a stint as chairman of the bishops’ domestic policy committee and helped author several major national teaching documents on the economy, war and peace, and charity.
“In some ways, his not being an ordinary, having his own diocese, left him some great flexibility to serve the wider church,” said Jesuit Fr. Fred Kammer, who served from 1992 to 2001 as the head of Catholic Charities USA, where Sullivan served as the bishops’ episcopal liaison from 1982 to 2000.
Sullivan, who was appointed Brooklyn’s auxiliary in 1980 by Pope John Paul II and retired in 2005, died Friday after suffering serious injuries in a May 30 car accident. He was 83…