WASHINGTON — The election of a new president and vice president will top the agenda at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ fall assembly.

Meeting in Baltimore Nov. 11-13, the bishops will also vote on seven action items, which include supplementing documents on faithful citizenship ahead of the 2020 U.S. presidential election and voting on changes for a sixth edition of the “Program of Priestly Formation.”

Russell Shaw, a Catholic author who served as secretary for public affairs of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops/U.S. Catholic Conference from 1969 to 1987, told the Register it “would be a great surprise” if the current USCCB vice president, Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, were not elected president. Since 2016 the archbishop has served alongside the current USCCB president, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, who is retiring from the post at the completion of his three-year term. “The bishops almost always elect the vice president as president,” Shaw noted, “so I just take it for granted that Archbishop Gomez will be the next president of the bishops’ conference — and a very good one, I’m sure.

“The interesting question then becomes who will be elected vice president, with a good chance of being elected president three years from now; and there, I think, it’s really a toss-up.”  ….