As the world watched the Vatican for an announcement of a new leader for the Roman Catholic faithful, the White House quietly made a leadership appointment of its own on Wednesday, to the office responsible for outreach to religious organizations: Melissa Rogers will be the new director of the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
In some ways, the appointment of Ms. Rogers, a scholar of church-state legal issues, signals a new focus for the office. Her predecessor, the Rev. Joshua DuBois, sent President Obama Bible passages each morning and was known for fostering discussions with religious leaders on how to approach broad social goals. Yet Reverend DuBois made little headway in clarifying the First Amendment issues facing the office, which has been controversial since President George W. Bush created it in 2001.
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