In An Unprecedented Move, Left Leaning Bishop Kicanas, Vice President Of US Bishop’s Conference Passed Over For Right Leaning Archbishop Dolan

It was as stunning, as it was unexpected; by a vote of 128-111 the left leaning Bishop Gerald Kicanas, Vice President of the US Bishop’s Conference was passed over for President of the US Bishops by New York’s Archbishop Timothy Dolan. In the history of the US Bishop’s Conference, a sitting Vice President has never been passed over for another candidate. It had been assumed to be a foregone conclusion that Bishop Kicanas of Tucson, who is a protégé of the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin and his seamless garment theology, would easily win.

A number of factors may have tipped the scales toward the gregarious and well loved new Archbishop of New York. Tim Drake wrote an article about Bishop Kicanas which called into question his role as head of Chicago’s Mundelin Seminary. Some had questioned why the future bishop would allow a man who to be ordained even though many had questions concerning the prospective priest’s background. The priest would later be charged with molestation.

Another factor that might have led to Archbishop Dolan’s election that readers of my book The Tide is Turning Toward Catholicism as well as my columns and articles are accustomed to; is the belief that the tide is turning because of the new crop of priests and bishops who have been ordained and come of age in the latter half of the pontificate of Pope John Paul II and the current pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI. For a growing group of younger priests and bishops, who are more orthodox or traditional in the beliefs, the Seamless Garment view, may seem to be part of a bygone era where left leaning social activism blended in with the accompanying décor of shag carpeting, lava lamps and Jefferson Airplane concert posters. This may sound harsh or even heretical to those on the left, but it is a statement that many in the growing conservative movement will find fitting.

Archbishop Dolan of New York is known as a forceful leader who has been, as some describe at war with the New York Times over its treatment of the Pope Benedict XVI. In addition, His Excellency has also spoken out against President Barack  Obama being given an award at Notre Dame, as well as aspects of the recently passed health care bill.  Archbishop Dolan steered Milwaukee through the aftermath of the shambles left by the disgraced former prelate of Beer City, Rembert Weakland. Before his stint in Milwaukee, Archbishop Dolan cleaned up the North American College Seminary in Rome, which had been beset by a number of issues. It seems patently obvious that the bishops have chosen a leader who would not be afraid to speak out to defend Catholicism and her teachings.

This shocking move will no doubt be dissected and parsed for some time. The secular, and in particular the Catholic Left, will no doubt howl over the unprecedented move which follows the national trend to the right following this month’s mid term election. In the interim of that debate, you may want to read the following articles; If You Want The Political Left To Run Governments, Look At What The Religious Left Had Done To Religion (Left It In Tatters.) CNN Joins the Hit Piece Parade Against Pope Benedict XVI, along with  The Jesus the Professional Left Chose to Ignore and The Coming Open Rebellion Against God.

Dave Hartline

11 Responses to In An Unprecedented Move, Left Leaning Bishop Kicanas, Vice President Of US Bishop’s Conference Passed Over For Right Leaning Archbishop Dolan

  • Don the Kiwi says:

    I’m sure most people will be pleased, not the least, our own Bishop Owen Dolan of Palmerston North diocese (retired) who is the cousin of Archbp. Timothy, and paid a visit to him earlier this year after leading our Diaconate retreat inj Auckland.

    Orthodoxy will prevail. :-)

  • Kevin in Texas says:

    Hey Don the Kiwi, I’ve been meaning to ask you about the Archbishop down in Wellington and his level of orthodoxy…

    I visited your beautiful country for a month back in 2007, all of the north island and most of the south island (didn’t get down to Dunedin or the southeastern corner of that island), and I really fell in love w/ Wellington for its mix of people, physical beauty, and vibrant culture. I went to an evening Mass on a Sunday at the cathedral, and was fortunate enough to see the Archbishop preside then. I spoke with him briefly afterwards, and like all good kiwis, he was friendly to this Yank. I don’t remember his homily being anything extraordinary, but it was solid, although I do remember seeing a couple of altar girls serving, as well. Any thoughts on the Archbishop of Wellington?

    Kevin

    P.S. I did pass through Palmerston on my way to the wine country near Hawkes’ Bay. Some delicious wines are produced down there!

  • Zach says:

    It’s unfortunate that there are “left-learning” Bishops and “right-leaning Bishops.” Is it possible to use the categories “orthodox” and “heterodox” instead?

  • Zach, if you only knew the hornet’s nest I stirred up by using the word heterodox and orthodox at a church gathering some time ago. There are still some people who won’t speak to me today simply because I used those words. I am of the belief that since I didn’t invent the labels; orthodox or heterodox, along with liberal or conservative, I shouldn’t be held to account if I or someone else fits or doesn’t fit into these particular labels. It seems to that those who are secure in their beliefs don’t mind being called liberal or conservative, and or orthodox or heterodox.

  • Don the Kiwi says:

    Hi Kev in Texas.

    I visited your beautiful country back in 2007……..”

    Keep that up mate, we’ll make you an honorary Kiwi. ;-)

    Wellington is indeed a pretty city, but depending on the time of year you visit. Winter time brings very cold and strong southerly winds – the city is known as “windy Wellington”; its also on a major techtonic faultline, so like San Francisco, is gonna get a big one one day in the not too distant future.

    The Archbishop of Wellington diocese is John Dew, and is probably the 2nd most liberal of our 7 bishops in NZ, the most liberal being Bp. Peter Cuneen of Palmerston North diocese (Bp.Dolan is retired and more conservative) I live in Tauranga in the North Island, and part of the Hamilton diocese. Our bishop is Denis Browne, and is slightly liberal of centre, but a fine bishop. Our most orhtodox/conservative bishop is Barry Jones of Christchurch, who is the only Bp. in NZ who sticks to the old traditional “Our Father”. But being such a small country and a small number of bishops, they can’t stray too far from the centre without arrousing comment – although the Church in NZ generally is slightly liberal, but with a strong orthodox bent – like me (forget the liberal though :-) )

    And yes, we are blessed with some regions that allow the grape to provide some great beverages. NZ Savignon Blanc and Pinot Noir are world beaters, and our reds are getting better all the time. I’ve gotta say though, that its very hard to beat the Aussies for great reds – but we’re catching them.

    And if you happen to be visiting again, be sure to contact me and we’ll see if we can meet up. ( Don McClarey has my e-mail)

    Bless you, brother.

  • Steve says:

    So what’s going to change as a result of this? The liberal bureaucracy of the USCCB remains in tact (and will continue to undermine the efforts of orthodox, pro-life efforts).

    It’s great that Archbishop Dolan “speaks out.” But actions speak louder than words. Obama still got his award. Pro-aborts in Milwaukee and NY continue to receive the Eucharist. And in Wisconsin, a bill that forces Catholic pharmacists and Catholic hospitals to distribute the morning after pill went unopposed by Archbishop Dolan–providing cover to enough RINOs that the bill was passed into law despite a Republican-held legislature.

    I don’t mean to be uncharitable, and I’m glad for Dolan’s victory. But let’s not pretend like the landscape has changed. We need heroes, and aside from Cardinal-Elect Burke, they are few and far between.

  • Zach, left-leaning isn’t always synonymous with heterodox… in this particular instance, I’m fairly sure that Bishop Kicanas *is* a left-leaning but orthodox bishop.

    I’m overjoyed that Archbishop Dolan will be the public face of the USCCB, but I don’t think we need to wait to have a bench full of right-leaning bishops in order to do what is ultimately the most effective form of social, cultural and political transformation: our own sanctification.

  • Pax Christi of Bakersfield, CA says:

    The homosexualists had their last, great hope of transforming the church snuffed by this election. We can be sure that another orthodox, Abp. Kurtz, will be elevated from the vice presidency to replace Dolan three years from now.

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