Jesuit chosen as US bishops’ new doctrinal watchdog

The U.S. bishops’ conference has named a Jesuit known for conventional views on marriage and sexuality as its new doctrinal watchdog, replacing a key staffer behind several controversial criticisms of theologians in recent years.

Fr. Peter Ryan will become executive director of the bishops’ secretariat of doctrine and canonical affairs in August, the conference announced Wednesday.

The appointment, which comes as the bishops’ conference prepares a change in its top leadership in the fall, may be a sign of what stance the bishops will take toward those who hold more progressive viewpoints under the new pontificate of Pope Francis.