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Kentucky archbishop chosen to lead US bishops

BALTIMORE — The nation’s Roman Catholic bishops on Tuesday elected Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., a prelate who has earned a reputation as a consensus-seeker, as president of their conference.

Kurtz, who served as vice president the last three years, will succeed Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, who finishes his three-year term at the conclusion of the bishops’ meeting this week.

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In a closely watched decision, the bishops elected Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston as vice president from a slate of 10 candidates. In the runoff vote, they passed over Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia, a writer who often weighs in on politics from a conservative point of view.

The bishops customarily elevate their vice president to president, so the election for this post often determines their leadership for years to come. Among the other candidates defeated for vice president were Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, who has led the bishops’ religious liberty campaign to fend off what they see as serious threats to religious freedom.

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