The election of Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, KY, as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is a vote for continuity. As vice president of the conference for the last three years, he was already an integral part of the leadership team chosen by the bishops. As Michael Sean Winters points out, Kurtz is well like and
Up until now, he has been overshadowed by the bigger-than-life presence of his predecessor, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York.
President Kurtz will continue to lead the bishops in their fight against abortion, gay marriage, and the contraceptive mandate included in the Affordable Care Act, but he will also stress support for immigration reform and programs that help the poor. As a priest, Father Kurtz got a degree in social work and worked to develop programs for the poor. Tom Roberts has eloquently described this background.