Wright, John J.

Wright, John J. (Joseph)

(1909–79) Catholic prelate; born in Boston, Mass. Ordained in Rome, where he earned a doctorate in theology (1939), he taught philosophy and was secretary to the Boston archbishop before becoming auxiliary bishop of Boston (1947), bishop of Worcester, Mass. (1950), and finally bishop of Pittsburgh (1958). Doctrinally conservative, he was a liberal on social issues and a strong promoter of ecumenism and of retreats for laypeople. He was made a cardinal (1969) and appointed prefect of the Sacred Congregation of Clergy, becoming the highest-ranking American in the Vatican.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.