Advertisements ad

George is first cardinal to be elected as conference president since 1971

Baltimore (CNS) — The U.S. bishops Nov. 13 elected Cardinal George as their president and Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas of Tucson, Ariz., as their vice president.

Using an electronic voting system, the bishops voted on the second day of their Nov. 12-15 fall general meeting in Baltimore.

Cardinal George won on the first ballot with 188 votes, or 85 percent.

He is completing his three-year term as vice president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. He is the first cardinal to be elected president or vice president of the conference since 1971.

He succeeds Bishop William S. Skylstad of Spokane, Wash., whose three-year term came to an end at the close of the meeting.

Chicago response

“We are extraordinarily proud as Catholics and Chicagoans that Cardinal George has been chosen for this important leadership position,” said Father John F. Canary, vicar general of the Archdiocese of Chicago.

“During his 10 years in Chicago, the cardinal has developed very strong relationships with people and their parishes, as well as his pastors and priests. His many responsibilities in the church, as well as his strength as a pastor, will serve U.S. Catholics well in his new role on behalf of the church in this country.”

Jimmy Lago, chancellor of the Archdiocese of Chicago, remarked that, “The cardinal has been a compelling voice that speaks on issues of concern, including interfaith relations, Catholic education, expanding vocations, and racial and social justice.

“He has also been a steadfast protector of children and youth locally, nationally and internationally, as well as an advocate for the important social service work of Catholic Charities in Cook and Lake counties,” Lago added.

Past service

Cardinal George has been archbishop of Chicago since 1997. He was made a cardinal in 1998. He first became a bishop when he was named to head the Diocese of Yakima, Wash., in 1990. He then was head of the Portland archdiocese from 1996 until his appointment to Chicago.

A native of Chicago, Cardinal George was ordained a priest for the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate in 1963.