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The US Catholic Bishops elect new leaders

The Catholic bishops of the United States have elected new leaders as they adjust to changing priorities under Pope Francis. Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, won a three-year term for president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. He takes over from New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan after serving the last three years as vice president of the conference. The new vice president is Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, Texas.
The US bishops are meeting for their Autumn session in the city of Baltimore. On the first day of the meeting Monday, they discussed themes and priorities for their work as a whole, including evangelization, the family and Catholic education. The bishops also listened to remarks from apostolic nuncio Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò and the out-gone president of the conference Cardinal Dolan on the importance of Christian witness and international religious freedom. Archbishop Viganò urged them to a more profound witnessing to Christ and to preserve unity amongst themselves. Cardinal Dolan on his part said as “shepherds of one of the most richly blessed communities of faith on the planet, as pastors who have spoken with enthusiastic unity in defense of our own religious freedom, must become advocates and champions for Christians whose lives hang in the balance. He particularly lamented the trials facing Christians in the Middle East and the kidnap of two Orthodox bishops in Syria amid the ongoing civil war. He said the Iraq war and its consequences have “devastated” Iraq’s ancient Christian community.
The cardinal also noted a “serious escalation of violence” against Christians in Egypt, attacks on Christians in Africa, such as shootings of priests and church burnings in Zanzibar and anti-Christian violence in Nigeria. Cardinal Dolan also recalled the plight of Christian in India and China.
(Source Catholic News Service and AP)

Photo: Cardinal Timothy Dolan, right, of New York, outgoing president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, congratulates Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, after he was elected conference president during the groups annual fall meeting in Baltimore, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)


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