By Marnie McAllister, Record Assistant Editor
Archbishop of Louisville Joseph E. Kurtz was elected the new president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops during a swift vote this morning in Baltimore. The bishops of the United States elected Archbishop Kurtz to a three-year term in the first round of voting that took just two minutes to complete.
He captured 125 votes, which was a 53 percent majority.
The bishops selected Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston as the vice president a few minutes later.
They will take office on Thursday, Nov. 14, at the close of the U.S. Bishops fall general assembly.
Archbishop Kurtz served as the vice president of the conference for the last three years, along with New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, the outgoing president.
In a statement released after the election, Archbishop Kurtz said he felt deeply honored that his brother bishops selected him as their president.
“As our Holy Father, Pope Francis, calls us to witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I look forward to serving my brother bishops as together we seek to serve our Lord,” he said in a statement released by the Archdiocese of Louisville Chancery on Nov. 12.
“The conference has a vital role in assisting each bishop in his ministry as well as in proclaiming the Church’s teaching and perspective on important issues of the day,”he explained in the statement. “I ask for the prayers of all Catholics as the Bishops’ Conference strives to be a voice for those who are poor and vulnerable, for religious liberty, for the common good, and most importantly, for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Archbishop Kurtz also gave thanks to Cardinal Dolan, who he said served the conference with “grace, courage and humor.” He thanked the cardinal for “his inspiring and dedicated leadership.”
The archishop ended his statement with a prayer for the intercession of the Blessed Mother.
“Through the intercession of our Blessed Virgin Mary, whose wholehearted ‘yes’ is the inspiration for all of our efforts, may we cooperate with God’s grace, sustain our Church, and encourage all people of good will,” he said.