The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops elected Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville as president.
Kurtz’s selection in Baltimore this week was expected. Tradition holds that the vice president becomes the next president.
Bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane was among 10 bishops in the running for the leadership post.
The conference president is often considered the public face of the Catholic Church in the United States.
Bishop William Skylstad, who led the Catholic Diocese of Spokane for 20 years until retiring in June 2010, had been president of the bishop’s conference from 2004-2007.