Bishops’ conference opens with nod to historic presidential election

BALTIMORE (CNS) — The historic significance of the election of President-elect Barack Obama dominated the Nov. 10 opening address of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ fall general assembly in Baltimore. “Symbolically, this is a moment that touches more than our history when a country that once enshrined race slavery in its very constitutional legal order should come to elect an African-American to the presidency,” said Cardinal Francis E. George of Chicago, president of the USCCB. “In this, I truly believe, we must all rejoice.” In his presidential address at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel before hundreds of U.S. bishops, Cardinal George said no political order conforms fully to the kingdom of God, but he prayed the incoming president will be able to succeed in his task for the good of all. “The odds against success are formidable,” he said. “We are as a nation internally divided and, in a global order, we will be less the masters of our economic and political fate.”

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