VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Among the new members and consultants Pope Francis named to the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity is Father John W. Crossin, the executive director of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Although in February Pope Francis confirmed all of the council’s members and consultants until the end of their original five-year mandates, he named three new members and 10 new consultants to the council July 22.

Father Crossin, a member of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, holds a doctorate in moral theology and master’s degrees in psychology and theology from The Catholic University of America.


He is past president of the North American Academy of Ecumenists and the Thomas More Society of Washington and he was the executive director of the Washington Theological Consortium before he started serving the bishops’ conference in 2011.

The pope named three bishops — two from Latin America and one from Germany — to be new members of the Vatican council and he appointed four laymen, five priests and one Chinese religious sister from Macau as consultants.

Many of the new consultants, including one from South Korea, are the ecumenical officers of their national bishops’ conferences.

The nun is Salesian Sister Maria Ha Fong Ko, who is from Macau. She studied in Italy and Germany and earned a doctorate in biblical theology. She teaches sacred Scripture and biblical studies at the Pontifical Faculty of Educational Sciences “Auxilium” in Rome and at the Holy Spirit Seminary of Hong Kong.