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.”



  • Deacon Don

    Could you explain how the voting takes place? Why three rounds? I was sorry to see our Denver Archbishop was not elected vice-president but I am sure he wasn’t pursuing the position either. He is a great Archbishop and teacher! We in Denver have been blessed with him as our shepherd!

    • Nathan

      With 10 candidates, it can take a few rounds to gain a majority of votes. I consider Archbishop Chaput a friend of mine, and I too would’ve liked to have seen him win the VP. It might simply be coincidence, but the last two runners-up to the VP slot were eventually sent to cardinalatial sees–and Rigali just so happens to be waiting for Rome to accept his resignation. Just sayin’. Regardless of where he is, Chaput is going to speak the Truth, and that’s why we love him. That and because he’s an extraordinarily kind man!

  • cool beans

    So, does this mean orthodox Catholics (aka “Catholics”)
    can come out of the closet now?
    We take heart but remember that
    The “Battle for the American Church” isn’t over yet!
    Let us pray . . .

  • JPII

    Is there any way to see how a particular Bishop voted?

    • Scott W.

      It’s a secret ballot, so no.

  • Arnobius of Sicca

    I was expecting to have to write a blog on just because Kicansas was elected, it did not mean it was proof the whole Church was turning modernist.

    So glad I don’t have to do that :)

  • Diane at Te Deum Laudamus

    Oh yeah… meant to convey an interesting Tweet out of Italian journalist Paolo Rodari:

    “Also in the Vatican great surprise for Dolan’s election… in the secretary of state were waiting for Kicanas”

    Read that, “expecting Kicanis”.

    Here is his feed:

  • Diane at Te Deum Laudamus

    I don’t know if someone already posted it… didn’t have time to look at all comments.

    But… Rainbow Sash is now throwing a nutty with their new PDF reaction.



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