Several reports of the choice of a new bishops' president noted gingerly that this election had returned to the traditional process of naming successors. That is, the outgoing vice president would be given the top job and the bishops would elect a vice president who became next in line.
Fall bishops' meeting 2013
NCR Today: The U.S. bishops voted Tuesday to continue a set of English translations of liturgical texts, approving new rites for the Catholic celebrations of marriage and confirmation.
Hours after his election as the next president of the U.S. bishops' conference, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz began notably shifting the conference's tone, saying he wants to speak for the "voiceless and vulnerable" and sees himself primarily as a pastor.
Kurtz, the archbishop of Louisville, Ky., spoke Tuesday afternoon during a press conference at the bishops' meeting. The current vice president of the conference, Kurtz was elected Tuesday morning to be their next president by a 53 percent majority.
I read with interest my colleague Michael Sean Winters’ blog on the meaning of the elections that occurred this morning at the meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Of Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., the conference president-elect, he wrote:
The Supreme Court's ruling that rendered the federal Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, and the Senate's passage Nov. 7 of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act put the legal defense of marriage "at a critical point in this country," said the archbishop who heads the U.S. bishops' Subcommittee on the Promotion and Defense of Marriage.
The Supreme Court's DOMA decision is now being used to judicially challenge marriage laws in more than a dozen states that still recognize marriage as the union of one man and one woman," said Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco.
"Any other nominees? I didn't think so."
The U.S. bishops meeting in fall assembly this morning elected chairmen to various committees, including their Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People.
To fill open chairmen slots, the bishops' committee on priorities and plans presents a slate of two candidates. Other candidates can be nominated from the floor of the assembly, so conference president New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan asked before each vote, "Are there any other nominees?"
Distinctly Catholic: I think everyone was surprised that the first ballot decided the election. It isn't easy to get more than 50 percent of the vote in a contest with 10 candidates.
NCR Today: Three years ago, the U.S. bishops opted for a candidate other than the current vice president. Tuesday, the bishops re-established that norm.
No real surprises in the voting for the various committee chairmen, with one exception. Bishop Oscar Cantu of Las Cruces defeated Bishop David Malloy 126-110, to lead the Committee on International Justice and Peace. +Malloy was formerly the General Secretary of the USCCB and, consequently, was well known to all the bishops. Usually, such familiarity serves as a path to victory. This time, not so much.
On the third ballot, a run-off between the two top vote getters on the second ballot, Houston-Galveston Cardinal Daniel DiNardo was elected the Vice President of the USCCB. DiNardo received 147 votes to Archbishop Charles Chaput's 87 votes. +DiNardo was slated to assume th chairmanship of the Divine Worship Committee, and now the conference will need to create a new slate of nominees for that post.