Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Surprise Bishops' Conference Election Results Show Move To The Right

New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan yesterday was elected president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.  Christian Century reports that Dolan's choice was a surprise.  Usually the sitting vice president-- who was Bishop Gerald Kicanas or Tuscon-- is elected president. However Kicanas had been criticized by sex abuse victims for failing to stop the ordination of a priest who was later convicted of sex offenses.  Also conservative Catholics criticized Kicanas as weak on social issues.  In the third round of voting, Dolan defeated Kicanas by a vote of  128-111. Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville was elected vice president, defeating Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput.  Observers say the elections foreshadow a sharp move to the right by the bishops' conference and suggest that the bishops will be leaders in the culture wars.