In what is a fairly stunning event, at least for U.S. Catholics, the Bishops of our country, currently meeting in Baltimore for their annual week of meetings, just elected Archbishop Timothy Dolan as their newest president.
The move is considered stunning in that the Vice President of the Bishops has almost always been elected to the role of Pres. but this year it was not to be. To be frank for a moment, I think that it is fantastic news. Archbishop Dolan, who just recently appeared on these pages via a video embed (see below) is a man of the Church. His opponent (the VP the last three years) was Bishop Kicanas from Tuscon, AZ. As Thomas Peters thoroughly recounts on his blog, the American Papist, Kicanas has an extremely troubling record, at least in the mind of most orthodox Catholics. One example that touched a personal nerve - instead of joining in the general boycott of all things Notre Dame by most Catholics and even Bishops throughout the U.S., Kicanas invited Notre Dame into his diocese to name three of his Catholic high schools as official Notre Dame feeder schools.
Anyways, my mood was kind of down today as I assumed that Kicanas would ascend to the presidency, but it sounds like it was not to be and that the big, jolly, intelligent and Church-loving bishop of New York has won the prize. May God bless him in his new role.
The new VP is also a fantastic man who I have personally met on a few occasions. He is Archbishop Joseph Kurtz from Louisville, and he came to St. Meinrad a few times in my final year and is just a fantastically kind, warm, and genuine man. He will do great stuff, and he also needs our prayers in his other role - head of the Church's defense of marriage in our country!