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USCCB about to elect new president & VP (live video).

Update: The USCCB goes back on script and elects the current vice president, Archbishop Kurtz, to become the next president. And, nearly repeating the results of the previous VP election, Archbishop Chaput came close to winning but lost out to Cardinal DiNardo. More on the candidates here.

Watch a livestream of the public sessions here.

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Grant Gallicho is an associate editor of Commonweal. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter.



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Just going by their dates of birth, all the candidates but one are Boomers.  The one who isn't, Chaput, was perceived 15 years ago as sort of a young gun - now he's the granddad of the bunch.  Time flies.

The rule of the cardinals. For several decades the bishops largely avoided electing cardinals to the two top posts. And actually chose in that period five mere bishops as president: James Malone, Anthony Pilla, Joseph Fiorenza, Wilton Gregory, William Skylstad. Now the sequence of presidents, begun with Cardinal George's election as VP in 2004, looks like Cardinals George, Dolan, Archbishop Kurtz, Cardinal DiNardo. Not a good trend, I think.

Bishop Gerald Kicanas's election as president was upended by the maneuvering of the Dolan faction in 2010. It is true that Cardinal Dolan was not named a cardinal till February 2012, but it was certainly foreseen. He was a cardinal for over half his term.

I thought it was just awful that Cardinal Dolan stepped on Bishop Kicanas to get the spot; last time.

Doesn't all this shuffling of cardinals toward the head of the line smack just a teenie-weenie bit like pushing the possible American candidate(s) in the next conclave?

Although Dolan's flame-out in the face of the Franciscan papacy is really spectacular.  Given the really engaging roll-out of Papa Francesco, Dolan fades by comparison.  Dolan as good papabili???  What were they thinking???

Re: the rule of the cardinals

This is just a passing thought. I hope that Archbishop Kurtz can be his own man with Cardinal DiNardo in the back room. I have no data to back up that thought, just an intuition since DiNardo seems to be an up and coming leader in the U.S. Church.

I am delighted that Archbishop Kurtz has a degree in social work.  Most social workers I know have a great handle on social issues: poverty, violence, troubled families, addictions, etc. In addition, he took care of his older brother who had Down's Syndrome and died in 2002 in his rectory.

I wish him luck and prayer.



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