Catholic bishops stick to safe choices, middle ground in electing new leaders

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Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., talks with Catholic News Service after he was elected the new president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on Nov. 12, 2013 in Baltimore. Photo by Nancy Phelan Wiechec, courtesy Catholic News Service

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., talks with Catholic News Service after he was elected the new president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on Nov. 12, 2013 in Baltimore. Photo by Nancy Phelan Wiechec, courtesy Catholic News Service

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BALTIMORE (RNS) The real debates were expected to go on behind closed doors in sessions that will last through Thursday as the bishops are expected to have frank talks about contentious issues like their stance against the Obama administration’s contraception mandate.