WALL STREET JOURNAL – IAN LOVETT, FRANCIS X. ROCCA
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops chose a conservative archbishop for a key post Tuesday, signaling resistance to Pope Francis’s vision for the church among the Catholic hierarchy in the U.S.
Archbishop Joseph Naumann, of Kansas City, was elected chairman of the committee on Pro-Life Activities. In a vote of 96 to 82, he defeated Cardinal Blase Cupich, of Chicago, who is seen as a liberal in the church and a close ally of the pope.
The vote breaks a longstanding tradition of the position being held by a cardinal—an unusual lapse of deference in a highly rank-conscious body—and suggests that Catholic leaders in the U.S. remain largely resistant to the changes Pope Francis is trying to bring to the church.
Some experts said that the slim margin of the vote shows growing support for Pope Francis’s agenda; others said it mostly reflected the tradition of a cardinal holding the post.