Dolan elected president of U.S. Catholic bishops conference
November 16th, 2010
12:49 PM ET

Dolan elected president of U.S. Catholic bishops conference

New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan was chosen Tuesday as the next leader of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Dolan defeated Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas of Tucson, Arizona, and eight others to win the three-year term. The vote was 128-111, according to conference spokesman Don Clemmer.

Dolan will replace Cardinal Francis George, who did not run for re-election.

Kicanas, the group's outgoing vice president, was considered a likely candidate for the job but faced criticism from a group called Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests over allegations he failed to work hard enough to protect children from a Chicago, Illinois, priest who was later convicted of molestation, according to the group.

"We're grateful that Kicanas lost. While it's risky to speculate, we hope his reckless promotion of a sexually troubled priest who later molested 20 boys played a role is his defeat," David Clohessy, the executive director of SNAP, said in an e-mailed statement.

Kicanas has denied the allegations in an e-mail interview with the National Catholic Register.

Despite his election, Dolan is facing critics of his own.

"He's charming and affable but as bad or worse than most bishops when it comes to clergy sex crimes and cover ups," Clohessy said. "His deceitful and secretive moves to help a serial predator priest quietly resign in August are particularly upsetting."

The group claims Dolan allowed a prominent priest to resign, despite claims from at least nine men who have accused him of molesting them when they were boys, the group said.

Two years ago, Dolan's predecessor found the allegations credible and suspended the priest, the group said.

On Monday, Dolan's office declined to respond to CNN's questions about the priest.

Dolan, 60, was ordained in 1976, according to his conference biography. He has been a bishop since 2001, serving as the archbishop of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, from 2002 to 2009 before moving to New York.

He is the chairman of the Catholic Relief Service board, and serves on conference committees on Jewish affairs, budget matters, the church in Africa, and international justice and peace.

During his three-year term, he will lead the conference's effort to unite Catholic bishops on vital issues, work with Catholic church officials in other nations, and assist bishops in leading their dioceses.

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Catholic Church

soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. dcmission

    Evidence for the Resurrection of Christ:

    November 19, 2010 at 11:40 am |
  2. Jack Anderson

    Paint me worried but I think there is something else going on here that we may be missing. The Rainbow Sash Movement has a history of being very supportive of SNAP. I did a little further research and found them to be very critical of Bishop Kicanas in the past especially about his gay rights position. The question that is nagging at me is why did they really endorse Bishop Kicanas? I am beginning to suspect that that their endorsement fully understood it would be a dagger to the Bishop Kicanas hopes of being the next President of USCCB. and by endorsing him they would see him defeated.

    Does that sound a little paranoid, or do you think there may be something very devious going here that we are missing?

    November 18, 2010 at 9:09 am |
  3. Jack Anderson

    I can't believe no one has mentioned the endorsement of the Gay Catholic group "Rainbow Sash Movement" of Bishop Kicanas, and the part that may of played in electing Archbishop Dolan. When the endorsement was put on their web site sometime Sunday by Monday the entire Catholic Blog world and online Catholic Services . Endorsement seem to change radically the elections outcome. Just wondering if anyone here noticed that.

    November 17, 2010 at 7:48 am |
    • Frogist

      Actually no. I hadn't noticed that. it's only by your noting it yourself that I was prompted to look it up. Thanks!
      Here's a link that I found that also links to an interview with Kicanas about his knowledge of McCormack's actions while in seminary. It makes me wonder if this was the information that SNAP had objected to. Frankly, if McCormack's transgression was that he had consensual adult se_x with other men, then I don't consider that a necessary precursor to the abuse of children. It does bring to light some important questions... what is SNAP's position on gays becoming priests? What is Rainbow Sash's position on child abuse? Considering how restrictive the church is about se-xual activity, should he have been ordained by Kicanas at all?

      November 17, 2010 at 10:49 am |
  4. Reality

    Why did today's pope, prelates, preachers and rabbis, so focused on society's se-xual sins, lose sight of clerical se-xual sins?


    Obviously ordination in any religion is not assurance of good behavior !!!!!

    Neither is coronation!!! e.g. Henry VIII, King David.

    Neither is marriage as 50% of those men convicted of pe-dophilia are married.

    Neither is being elected president of the USA!! e.g. Billy "I did not have s-ex with that girl" Clinton, John "Marilyn Monroe" Kennedy"

    Neither is possessing super athletic skill!!! e.g. Tiger "I am so sorry for getting caught" Woods

    Neither is being an atheist or pagan since pe-dophilia is present in all walks of life.

    If someone is guilty of a crime in this litany of "neithers" they should or should have been penalized as the law dictates to include jail terms for pe-dophiliacs (priests, rabbis, evangelicals, boy scout leaders, married men/women), divorce for ad-ultery (Clinton, Kennedy, Woods), jail terms for obstruction of justice (Clinton, Cardinal Law) and the death penalty or life in prison for murder ("Kings" David and Henry VIII).

    November 16, 2010 at 11:56 pm |
  5. Sum Dude

    Neither God nor Jesus created the Catholic Church.
    Paul is the schemer who started the Catholic Church.
    And this is evident by the fruits of the Catholic Church throughout recorded history.

    Pharisees. The CC is the shining child of the Pharisees given power by Satan, perhaps. It sure looks that way to me.

    I think Paul was probably the leader of the Pharisees when he was named Saul.

    The Catholic Church is a whitewashed cup hiding the filth within. Stir the filth and smell the reek.
    Who cannot smell that smell? The smell that surrounds the Catholic Church?

    It is evil incarnate. It is the place where Satan dwells as referenced in Revelation.
    No other place could possibly fit that description. A whitewashed cup. A church of Pharisees. The Catholic Church.

    November 16, 2010 at 8:15 pm |
    • eggs

      you yous a lot of fragments

      November 17, 2010 at 11:11 pm |
  6. david

    dear followers of the RC Church...it reallydoes not matter who leads your church here or in rome...really what you need to do is ask them to PLEASE read the BIBLE and get away from all of their traditions etc made up during the middle ages and before...
    the bible..the bible...go for it!!!!!!

    November 16, 2010 at 7:01 pm |
    • CatholicMom


      If we read the Bible we see that Jesus Christ commanded the Apostles to go out and teach and Baptize all nations and He said He was going to send the Paraclete to bring them into all remembrances of what He had taught them and to guide them in the future.

      By the time the Church had brought all the Books of the Bible together, we already had 5 Popes, successors of Peter, the first Pope. For those, almost 400 years without a Bible, Catholics lived and followed the Word of God as passed on to them by Jesus Christ; Jesus did not say that in 400 years you will have a Bible then you should throw out all Tradition. No, He said to hold fast to what He had taught them and He never mentioned that a Bible was in the making.

      Tradition is what the Faith is and how it grew; the Books of the Bible were chosen because the Magisterium [Pope and Bishops in Council] ‘saw’ the Church in the inspired Books and knew these were the Word of God because it matched up perfectly with what they believed already and what they knew was Truth.

      We must hold to Tradition, the Bible, and the Magisterium which will keep us on the very path that Jesus Christ laid out for us. Why would anyone throw out anything that Jesus Christ said and commanded in person? This is Tradition. Why would anyone throw out the Bible? This is the Word of God. Why would anyone throw out the Church? This is the pillar and foundation of the Truth!

      November 16, 2010 at 8:03 pm |
    • Gerald

      Rad the Bible cover to cover David. Yes the teachings of the Catholic Church were before the middle ages. Long before. Why don't you read the post apostolic early church fathers. From the first to 4th century. The weren't protestants. You guys didn't show up until the 16th century. THe gates of hell prevailed before that according to people like you. THe Church was very Catholic from the start and so is the Bible, despite your protestant traditions tellig you otherwise.

      November 17, 2010 at 8:42 pm |
    • Gerald

      Funny Paul doesn't agree with your bible alone theology. He said "Hold fast to the TRADITIONS you have recieved...." Funny.

      November 17, 2010 at 8:44 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      @CM and Gerald

      Any "traditions" to be found in the Bible are pretty limited in scope and not all that numerous.

      Contrast this with the CC of today. See any differences? Or are those delusions making you dizzy again?

      November 17, 2010 at 11:09 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Sum Dude,
      Everything is not in the Bible.

      November 18, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
  7. Pat in Jacksonville, FL

    @Fidelus. You missed the entire point of my posting. I do not have to include that in my resume. My IT degree is listed in that spot. My point was the Church setup the network that allowed this by giving mere Humans "godlike" worship. You are right it does happen in other religions – when Humans elavate themselves or others to God. Where they aren't to be questioned or confronted then this will happen. I stated I graduated 8th grade with honors to display I didn't "puke out" and quit but stayed to get my education,

    November 16, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      For a monotheistic religion, Catholics sure have a lot of demi-gods, eh?
      Aside from the trinity – which through complex doublethink can be rationalized as monotheistic, there are:
      Seraphim, cherubim, ophanim, dominions, virtues, powers, principalities, archangels, and angels as the heavenly creatures.
      Then there's the biggest of all – the Virgin Mary. All around the world, people supplicate themselves before her statues and pray, and yet somehow don't see it as breaking the commandment against idolatry.
      The Pope isn't exactly a demi-god – but he has superhuman powers! He speaks directly with and for God and cannot err in what he says!
      As a business venture, the Vatican is worthy of reverence!
      In 2000, they took in $22 million dollars from bishop's dioceses alone! (per Cardinal Edmund C. Szoka, the Vatican's "finance minister").
      In 1994, PriceWaterHouse did an independent audit of the Vatican (the first time that ever happened in history) and determined their net worth to be $430 million dollars.

      So the catholic clergy are not only closer to God than you, they're also richer.
      Strange dichotomy for a group that takes vows of poverty...

      November 17, 2010 at 1:50 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I can't believe I almost forgot to mention the more than 10,000 saints to whom people pray!
      But of course, the rationale to get around the whole idolatry thing is that Catholics say they pray WITH the saint, not to them.

      The leader of the Lilliputians from "Gulliver's Travels" could only be addressed through his "flapper" – a servant who would flick his ear with a bladder on a stick to get his attention.

      It seems that in the Catholic faith, God operates in the same way with layers and layers of flappers

      November 17, 2010 at 2:17 pm |
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