In a stunning (and welcome) upset, the assembled bishops of the United States elected Archbishop Timothy Dolan to be the President of the USCCB for the next three years. Here is how the ballots played out…
On the first vote, Bp. Kicanas led the count with 104, Abp. Dolan – 84, Abp. Chaput – 20.
On the second vote, Abp. Chaput’s supporters went mostly for Dolan: Abp. Dolan 118 – Kicanas 111.
By the third vote, it was all over: Abp. Dolan 128 - Bp. Kicanas 111.
Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville was also elected as vice president.
This is a very encouraging development and if you want to know why I am so pleased by it, read what I wrote earlier about the Kicanas conundrum. A big thank you to all who joined me in praying for the best outcome. Praise be to God and the Holy Spirit.
UPDATE - here is what Rocco wrote about +Dolan’s surprise appointment:
For the first time in the history of the US bishops, a vice-president standing for the presidency has been denied the top post, losing a stunning election to the archbishop of New York.
… Overturning a half-century of tradition for the bench, the result represents a seismic shift for the leadership of the nation’s largest religious body, and a mandate for a continuance of the outspoken, high-profile leadership shown by Cardinal Francis George over his game-changing term at the conference’s helm.
There will be a great deal of commentary written over the coming days, trying to decide what Archbishop Dolan’s election means. Let me get in front of all the spin: The majority of American bishops believe that Abp. Dolan is the best choice to lead them and represent the Church to the American people over the next three years. It’s that simple.
Or, as Rocco reports one young bishop put it the other day, +Dolan “inspired us as priests, before we became bishops”… and the sentiment won the day.
UPDATE 2 – for once, I agree with Fr. Thomas Reese (the only person Laurie Goodstien of the New York Times could find to interview on this news. Laurie – update your Rolodex!):
The Rev. Thomas J. Reese, a senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Seminary at Georgetown University and a liberal Catholic commentator, said, “The two vice presidential finalists were the two most conservative on the ballot. That says something about where this conference is going.”