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Cardinal George Elected President of U.S. Catholic Bishops

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Cardinal George Elected President of U.S. Catholic Bishops

Cardinal George will take office as Conference president in January.

Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George was elected president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops today. For Chicago Public Radio, Stephanie Lecci has more.

Cardinal George won 85 percent of the bishops’ votes. He’ll take office in January. Some hope George will reinvigorate the Conference. But others are protesting George’s election because of his handling of clergy sex abuse cases in the Chicago Archdiocese. Survivors’ Network of those Abused by Priests’ National Director David Clohessy says George’s election won’t help restore the Conference’s image.

CLOHESSY: If you want to recover from that kind of a crisis or scandal, you don’t do it by elevating a man who’s track record on that very crisis is at best extremely weak and troubled.

George defended himself at a press conference in Baltimore. He says he and other bishops recognize the gravity of clergy abuse.

GEORGE: It stays with people, which is why it’s going to stay with us as a pastoral concern for the rest of my life, certainly.

In addition to George’s election today, the Conference called for bipartisan efforts to end the war in Iraq. For Chicago Public Radio, I’m Stephanie Lecci.

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