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Gregory's Term Ends as Bishops' President

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Bishop Wilton Gregory

By Ap/KWMU

Washington, DC – Catholic bishops will pick a new leader to replace Wilton Gregory today (Monday).

Gregory, the bishop of the Belleville, Ill. diocese, has for the past three years been President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Gregory took over as president less than two months before the priest sex abuse scandal became the stuff of national news. His term ends with the election of a new leader today.

The bishops are meeting in Washington, DC.

The financial impact of abuse lawsuits has driven the dioceses of Tucson, Arizona, and Portland, Oregon to declare bankruptcy, and the Spokane, Washington, diocese plans to file at month's end.

The Spokane bankruptcy has drawn special attention because its leader, Bishop William Skylstad, would normally succeed Gregory as president.

But Skylstad is named in several lawsuits that accuse the Spokane diocese of hiding wrongdoing by priests, and the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests is opposing his candidacy.

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