Catholic bishops pull a shocker today by their pick for president

By Michelle Boorstein America’s Catholic bishops pulled a shocker today in picking their new president, disregarding tradition and precedent by … Continued

By Michelle Boorstein

America’s Catholic bishops pulled a shocker today in picking their new president, disregarding tradition and precedent by rejecting its vice-president and instead choosing a man seen as more outspoken and conservative.

On their third ballot, the U.S. Conference of Bishops picked New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan to be their president for the next three years. By a vote of 128-111, they chose Dolan over Tucson Bishop Gerald Kicanas, who had been vice president of the group U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for the past three years.

Those who study the church said they couldn’t recall a vice president not being elevated to president, except in rare cases when the man was about to retire.

(N.Y. Archbishop Dolan using incense during a church service.)

Kicanas faced a barrage of last-minute criticism in recent days over how he dealt with a priest who was accused of molesting more than a dozen boys and is now in jail. Victims’ advocates spoke out against Kicanas, but the most intense opposition was from conservatives who consider him too moderate in tone. Dolan has been bolder on controversial, hot-button issues and is seen as similar in tone to outgoing president Cardinal Francis George of Chicago. George spent much of his last speech as president Monday defending the bishops’ controversial stance against President Obama’s federal health care overhaul. The stance may have hurt unity with Catholics who disagreed, George said, but only the bishops can speak for the church.

“It’s a polarized conference this year, but not so much in terms of substance of issues, but in style, how the conference ought to express those views,” said blogger Rocco Palmo, who was covering the event.

What were the bishops saying in choosing Dolan over Kicanas? What do you make of the move?

Catholic reaction to today’s selection:
BishopAccountability.org: “U.S. bishops correctly passed over Bishop Gerald Kicanas

  • adrienne_najjar

    “more outspoken and conservative”. Well, that won’t help these superstitious jerks one bit. Let’s hear it for atheism!

  • WallyWeet

    The Roman Catholic Church has become fundamentalist in the negative sense and dysfunctional. The reason? The hierarchy is a self promoting clique. The Vatican is disrespected as never before. The cure? Elect Bishops locally as in the ancient Church all of whom will then vote for the next Pope as the voice of the People of God. You say it won’t happen? If the situation at the Vatican continues to worsen it will happen. The hierarchy is NOT the Church. The people of God are the Church.

  • CHAOTICIAN101

    Ah the Church! When Christians now include magic underwear, canonizing convicted con-men, translation of Gold tablets into and out of the hands of said conman can anything be a surprise? God’s little Bishops need to do something really, really stupid to get any eyeballs in today’s media glitz; so they are working real hard to be as dumb or dumber than their Evangelical brethren. In this race to the bottom, the medieval costumes and papal idiocy give them an edge; no matter how far back they are!

  • jacobbergerj

    The Catholic bishops are vocally opposed to providing health care to the less fortunate, and completely silent about extending tax breaks for the wealthy.To anyone remotely familiar with the Gospels, the Catholic hierarchy is immediately recognizable as a bunch of Pharisees, but not at all as followers of Christ.

  • agapn9

    The anti-catholics have their knives out today – as anyone remotely familiar with the gospels which are written in Koine Greek the catholic church’s teaching is verbatim on some areas of disagreement as the Eucharist and – no women were pastors -remember they are coming out of a totally male dominated Jewish culture.

  • jimhorn

    The Church opposition to health care for the poor is so un-christian and such blatant hypocrisy that it loses respect on all issues. It reinforces my pleasure at having deserted the troglodytes long ago!

  • jimhorn

    The Church opposition to health care for the poor is so un-christian and such blatant hypocrisy that it loses respect on all issues. It reinforces my pleasure at having deserted the troglodytes long ago!

  • j3hess

    Why am I not surprised?The Catholic Church has decided it is called upon to do battle with secularism. It has decided that citizen and congregant are not separate roles; a member is supposed to be answerable to the Bishops in both. The last pope appointed conservatives; this pope will appoint conservatives; the archbishops will elect a conservative for the next pope; the die is cast for the next generation.

  • ThomasFiore

    Up until the papacy Of John Paul II the hierarchy of the Catholic church would gravitate between the conservative and liberal branches. With the long tenure of the last pope the conservatives have become more and more powerful within the church and this is a natural extension of that. The current VP wasn’t electable not because of his minor role with the child molestation scandals, the current president had more of a role and nobody was complaining about that role, the problem is that the arch conservative majority of bishops will not support anyone but their own.The question is if this continuing move to the right will drive all moderates and liberals out of the church the way it has those in my family. More and more this church is becoming an institution that exists to project it’s own power and no longer is recognizable as a force working for the good of all that it had been.

  • Fate1

    Hmmm, it was the level of conservatism that was the deciding factor, not the past charges of child molestation. One wonders if that is ever a deciding factor for anyone in the Catholic church, except protection.

  • veerle1

    Seriously, when is the human species going to evolve far enough to rid themselves of idiotic beliefs in invisible sky-dwellers.All religions are irrelevant, period. The Catholics are a just a more primitive example, waving baskets of incense and molesting boys. What a fraternity of morons.

  • veerle1

    Archbishop Dolan’s hat looks just like the cardboard ones BK has for the little kids.Yes, you religious types are really stupid.

  • hellowashington

    Bishops & Cardinals,Please resign from your priesthoods & join the republican tea party. We are looking for a few good candidates for 2012 ! You can practice what you preach ! Why defile the Christian Church ?

  • amelia45

    And more young Catholics will leave because there is so more that Christ asks of us than the Church can encompass.

  • beatle-maniac1

    See, this is why there was a massive Protestant movement. The Catholic Church simply refuses to own up to its own sins. and it’s no surprise that the world’s worst dictator Adolph Hitler was a Catholic. The Holocaust was pretty much keeping in step with the Catholic tradition of persecuting Jews. And Jews weren’t the only ones they stomped on.

  • dricks

    More right-wing posturing: Nobody seems to claim that Mr. Dolan will be any tougher on pedophilic priests than Mr. Kicana. The Catholic hierarchy is facing the same problem as the Republican party. The wingnuts have gained access to the levers of power and are conducting purges. The Russian communists did the same thing in the 1930s.

  • SaysEye

    The catholic church in no longer relevant.

  • ccdc20009

    awesome! The 13th Century was so great the first time, let’s just do it again!!!!!!!

  • abulaw

    Black White Hub * C o m is a nice and free place for SINGLES- a nice and free place for singles- black & white, to interact with each other. Maybe you wanna check out or- tell your friends.

  • Martial

    Confession time. Forgive me etc., etc., etc. Methought this would be a revelation about alcoholism, theft, pederasty, illicit drug sales, or even, perhaps murder. Turned out to be little more than Church politics. Not even a nasty ukase from Rome involved. Barely made it to the last paragraph without falling asleep.

  • hurleyvision

    Is there a newsperson with enough glands to address a big question? We have heard about the boys who were molested and grew up to be secure and successful men. How many nuns took care of the sexual needs of priests? Did a vow of silence allow this to happen?

  • Martial

    The least these guys with the raffish outfits could have done to spice matters up is to have had a dozen meetings at a lesbian S&M bar. Judging by what happened November 2, the result just might have been a REAL Catholic America.

  • bbrown95

    As Gandhi said: “I like your Christ — He’s so unlike your Christians.”

  • Eoak

    If it were not for the number of Catholics who create a large and influential voting block, it would be so easy to ignore these silly men. It’s too bad really, the amount of public oversight that must go into keeping tabs on their intrusive behavior into people’s lives.

  • WmarkW

    See Susan Jacoby’s column.The devil made them do it.

  • joe_allen_doty

    In spite of what they claim, the Roman Catholic Church is just a denomination; it is NOT the Church. And besides, it’s ritual form of worship isn’t even in the New Testament.It also ignores the fact that in the early church women were pastors, deacons (the Greek word is masculine since it’s a church position), teachers and evangelists.

  • gladerunner

    “On their third ballot, the U.S. Conference of Bishops picked New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan to be their president for the next three years.”Man, this really screwed up my ‘Fantasy Bishop’s League’ picks.

  • Mary_Cunningham

    Well, this one was easy. Once Thomas Reese went public in

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