Archbishop Kurtz Elected President of U.S. Bishops

New USCCB President Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, was elected this morning president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) during the bishops’ annual fall General Assembly, November 12, in Baltimore. The election marks a return to form as the bishops elevated the previous term's vice president to the conference's top spot. In 2010, Cardinal Dolan's election over previous vice president Gerald Kicanas of Tucson, marked a break with tradition.

The archbishop, the current U.S.C.C.B. vice president, won on the first round of balloting. He received 125 votes. In the voting for vice president, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston was elected to the post during the third round of voting. He defeated Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia, 147 to 87.

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Archbishop Kurtz and Cardinal DiNardo are elected to three-year terms and succeed Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York and Archbishop Kurtz, respectively. The new president and vice president’s terms begin at the conclusion of the General Assembly, November 14.

Archbishop Kurtz was born August 18, 1946, and ordained a priest of Allentown, Pennsylvania on March 18, 1972. He previously served as bishop of Knoxville, Tennessee from 1999-2007 before being appointed to Louisville. Cardinal DiNardo was born May 23, 1949, and ordained a priest of Pittsburgh on June 16, 1977. He previously served as bishop of Sioux City, Iowa, from 1998-2004 before being appointed to coadjutor bishop, then archbishop, of Galveston-Houston. Pope Benedict XVI named him a cardinal in 2007, making him the first cardinal from Texas.

The bishops also elected Archbishop George J. Lucus of Omaha chairman of the Committee of Catholic Education in a 141-93 vote over George V. Murry, SJ, of Youngstown, Ohio. Archbishop Lucas, who has served as interim chair of the committee since the May 2013 death of Bishop Joseph P. McFadden, will begin his term at the conclusion of this week’s bishops’ meeting.

The bishops chose chairmen-elect of five other USCCB committees. The chairmen-elect will begin their three-year terms in one year, at the conclusion of the bishops’ fall 2014 General Assembly. These were:

  • Coadjutor Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda of Newark, New Jersey, to the Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance in a 167-70 vote over Bishop Joseph N. Perry, auxiliary bishop of Chicago.
  • Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski, auxiliary bishop of Baltimore, to the Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs in a 130-105 vote over Bishop Arthur L. Kennedy, auxiliary bishop of Boston.
  • Archbishop-designate Leonard P. Blair of Hartford, Connecticut, to the Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis in a 135-98 vote over Bishop John O. Barres of Allentown, Pennsylvania.
  • Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, New Mexico, to the Committee on International Justice and Peace in a 126-110 vote over Bishop David J. Malloy of Rockford, Illinois.
  • Bishop Edward J. Burns of Juneau, Alaska, to the Committee on Child and Youth Protection in a 118-114 vote over Bishop Robert J. Cunningham of Syracuse, New York.
On November 11, the following bishops were elected to the board of Catholic Relief Services (CRS): Bishop William P. Callahan, OFM Conv., of La Crosse, Wisconsin, Bishop Frank Dewane of Venice, Florida, and Bishop Cirilo B. Flores of San Diego. Also on November 11, the following bishops were elected to the board of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC): Bishop Richard Garcia of Monterey, California, and Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami.
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