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New Catholic Leader Elected

In a surprise move earlier this week, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops elected Timothy Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, as its new president. The election of Dolan, an outspoken conservative, represented a break in tradition since he was not the vice president. The vice president election also saw conservative candidates succeed. Catholic scholar Thomas Reese argued about the election:
It signals that this is a very conservative body that's going to continue to play a major role in this country's culture wars.
It will be interesting to see what the impact of this will be over the next couple of years as Dolan leads the group. As I note in my forthcoming book, the political involvement of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is one of the important societal changes that helped spark our age of confessional politics.

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