Shock & Awe: Archbishop Dolan elected President of USCCB! {Updated}

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.”



  • MarB

    Why are people so thrilled at the prospect of Dolan leading the Bishops?

    He does not obey Canon 915 (i.e. he will not refuse Communion to pro-abort. “Catholic” politicians).

    He just announced that he is closing THIRTY ONE Catholic schools in NY.

    He allows Parishes in his Diocese to promote their militant gay agenda – even going so far as to celebrate Mass in June at St. Francis Xavier – a notorious actively-gay driven parish. He lets this thrive.

    Dolan has proven himself more of a politician than a faithful Catholic Bishop.

    Is he better than Kicanas? Maybe. But he’s no Burke.

  • Marchan

    Yes abortion is murder. It is good to give voice to those who are defenseless, under assault, and cannot speak for themselves. But not to the extreme to publicly deny Holy Communion to Catholic politicians who support abortion rights, warn Catholic voters they should never vote for a candidate who supports abortion rights under any circumstances and reining in prominent dissenters in their dioceses. Its good to think that a person or institution have to be free from error or sin to speak truth. Some priest consider that politicians deluding others into believing that abortion is okay is a sin. Still other priests do not consider it a sin. Publicly endorsing unjust wars shows that one isn’t in communion with the Church. Because the Pope said in 2003 that all recourse must be tried to keep the peace and not go to war. But I think that people who do not agree with the statement of the Pope can receive communion. So I think that any of us who thinks that war is just and that we are defending United States from evil is not following church teachings. Remember Jesus Christ said not to judge others. Love your neighbor like you would like to be loved. And love your enemys.

    • Bruce

      Marchan, you have not answered the questions from your previous post, which was a copy of what you have above. So far, it has been shown that you have little understanding of the faith you claim to profess. Please answer the questions on the following page if you would like to be considered remotely credible.

      • Marchan

        I just answered the questions of the previous posted comment. So Am I credible? God only knows. Faith. I think you have faith. Lets’ keep hope, compassion, humbleness and charity as our focus of being catholic.
        God bless you.

        • Bruce

          Perhaps I missed it, but could you show me where you answered my questions on the previous page? As for faith, let us explore that topic a bit, if you will. (1) How do we know what are matters of faith?

    • wtrmute

      Good, if you agree that condoning abortion is a sin, then you can understand that those politicians are in a state of mortal sin for having condoned it. Now, never mind “publicly”, do you agree that allowing anyone who’s in a state of mortal sin to receive communion causes them grievous damage? If so, then it is obvious that we (and by “we” I mean Abp. Chaput and the priests of the Diocese of DC) must prevent them from causing themselves such harm. A little embarrassment is secondary to the salvation of their eternal souls, isn’t it?

  • TJM

    Archbishop Dolan is an inspired choice. The Holy Spirit is at work!!!

    ps: If Father Reese is unhappy, than I’m really happy

  • Kathleen

    Praise be Jesus Christ! Our Lord has heard the cries of His little ones!

  • Michelle

    YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What a gift to the Church in the USA – Joy and jubilation indeed. Everyone better be ready for some moving and shaking of the conservative kind. I yet have to hear him speak and not be captivated by his gifts – He is a very Holy Man and one every bishop should strive to live like. He is bold, yet kind. He can draw crowds but is yet very humble in his service to the Church. His book “Priests of the New Millennium” is a wonderful read for those considering the priesthood. Reform of a good kind will come!

  • Gina

    This is such great news–and real evidence that the Church is truly guided by the Holy Spirit, and that the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church, just like our Lord Jesus promised.



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