RED ALERT: Sex abuse lurks behind upcoming USCCB election

Sunday November 14 UPDATE: for those reading this post on November 14, you can take action by either clicking on the RedAlert graphic, or even better, by calling the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel where your bishop is staying right now (phone: 410-385-3000) to leave him a short message.  “Please do not vote for Bishop Kicanas for USCCB President.”

If you have not yet read our pieces on diocesan deception in the hiring of the new development chief and in Catholic school admission policies, please do check those out.  Now for even more very urgent and time-sensitive news.

This is impossible to do in a short post.  Please take 2 minutes to read the whole piece today.Your help is urgently needed. Click on the RedAlert button to the right to sign the letter to the U.S. Bishops.

In about 5 days,  our U.S. bishops meet in Baltimore to elect a new president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.  Unfortunately, the lead candidate for the new national leader–namely the current Vice President of the USCCB–is a bishop known to have enabled a priest convicted of child sexual abuse who is now defrocked and jailed.

We think this election is important enough for the future and credibility of the Catholic Church in the U.S. that everyone reading in Boston–and in other parts of the country–should be on “Red Alert.”

In short, the lead candidate, Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tuscon, was rector of a seminary in the 1990’s where he approved ordaining a seminarian even after receiving 3 allegations of sexual abuse.  After that ordained priest went on to abuse as many as 23 boys and was jailed and defrocked, in 2007 Bishop Kicanas looked back in hindsight and was quoted in the Chicago Sun Times as saying “It would have been grossly unfair not to have ordained him…There was a sense that his activity was part of the developmental process…I was more concerned about his drinking.”

We are not making this up.

Here are a few excerpts from articles published elsewhere that may leave you with your jaw on the ground. Once you pick your jaw up from the ground, we will tell you what you can do to help.

From WBEZ Chicago’s recent piece, “Sex abuse lurks behind Catholic election“,

The nation’s Catholic bishops will choose a new leader next month [now this weekend]…If the election goes as expected, it’ll provide ammunition to people who argue there’s no accountability for bishops who protect abusers.

Daniel McCormack went to prison in 2007 for abusing boys when he was pastor of St. Agatha’s, a parish in Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood. To learn more about McCormack, I sat down with a father whose son attended the Catholic school next to the parish.

The father says his boy started acting out around age 11 after joining a basketball team McCormack coached. “You would try to get to the bottom of it but there was no real way to figure out what was going on,” he says.

The father didn’t find out what was going on until recently. His son’s now 20. “He was, like, ‘Dad, there’s something I want to talk to you about,’ ” he says.

The father says McCormack was fondling his son at basketball practice. The abuse didn’t stop there.  “He would have the children doing tasks around the building,” he says. “He’d pay them.”

“There was one incident specifically,” the father continues. “It had started raining. My son was out in the yard, doing some yard work. He had gotten muddy. After getting done with what he was told to do, out in the yard, he went inside. Dan told my son to get out of the clothes: ‘Go and take a shower.’ As my son was getting out of the shower, he would bend him over…” [It gets worse but we will stop here].

The man says McCormack abused his son for more than three years…

The father says he’s never heard of Gerald Kicanas, now a bishop of Tuscon, Arizona. Kicanas helped get McCormack’s career off the ground in the early 1990s. Kicanas was rector of an archdiocese seminary where McCormack studied.

Here’s what happened: Kicanas received reports about three McCormack sexual-misconduct cases, one involving a minor. But Kicanas still approved McCormack for ordination.

“How do you do these things in the name of God?” the father asks.

I tell him how the Chicago archdiocese assigned McCormack to various parishes. McCormack attracted more accusations, but Cardinal Francis George promoted him in 2005 to help oversee other West Side churches.

Around that time, Chicago police arrested McCormack on suspicion of child molestation but released him without charges….It wasn’t until McCormack’s second arrest—more than four months after the first—that George finally yanked him.

But George’s peers still elected him president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2007. And who did the bishops elect as vice president? Kicanas, the man who approved McCormack’s ordination in the first place.

Now U.S. bishops are getting ready to elect a president to succeed George. If they stick with tradition, they’ll elevate the vice president—Bishop Kicanas, the former rector of the seminary McCormack attended.

From the National Catholic Register’s November 11 article, “Elections Do Matter: Especially Among Bishops

As a hierarchical body, the Catholic Church doesn’t often have elections, but when it does, they’re important.

If the USCCB goes with reigning practice, they’ll choose current vice president Tucson Bishop Gerald Kicanas. His selection, however, is not a foregone conclusion. There are a host of other names included among those being considered…

Whether or not Bishop Kicanas is elected, will be next week’s story. If he isn’t elected, the story will be why the bishops parted with recent practice. If he is elected, the story will be how the bishops treat their own, and the message the bishops are sending to society about their willingness to prevent sexual abuse. If Bishop Kicanas is elected it’s likely to strain the USCCB’s credibility.

The bishops, and their spokesmen, can repeat over and over that this gathering is not about the sexual abuse crisis, but if the media makes it about sexual abuse – and one can be sure that it will – then whether or not it’s on the official agenda, it will be the topic foremost on the minds of American Catholics.

To give some indication of what’s likely to follow Bishop Kicanas’ election, one only has to look at a couple of stories that have already been reported – one from Spero News, and the other from WBEZ, Chicago Public Radio. Bishop Kicanas’ election is a potential powder keg.

In his story, “Sex Abuse Lurks Behind Catholic Election,” Chip Mitchell tells the horrific story of Father Daniel McCormack, who molested at least 23 boys. The story demonstrates that Bishop Kicanas, while rector of Chicago’s Mundelein Seminary, was aware of accusations of sexual misconduct against McCormack, but chose to ordain him anyway.

Asked about it, Bishop Kicanas essentially said that he would do it again.

“It would have been grossly unfair not to have ordained him,” Bishop Kicanas said shortly after being elected as vice president of the USCCB, in a quote that appears in the deposition of Cardinal Francis George. “There was a sense that his activity was part of the developmental process and that he had learned from the experience,” continued Bishop Kicanas. “I was more concerned about his drinking. We sent him to counseling for that.”

The Spero story goes even further. In “Catholic Bishops to Elect Enabler of Child Molester as National Leader,” writer Mary Ann Kreitzer goes so far as to say that Bishop Kicanas’ election is “fitting” for what she describes as that “vile bureaucracy.”

If these are the two stories that have been written prior to the election, what can we expect following the election, and for the next three years?

While the bishops may not have a good mechanism for fraternal correction within their ranks, one mechanism that bishops do have a great deal of control over is whom they elect as their leader.

The WBEZ Chicago piece went on to say the following about the justification offered for the prior treatment of McCormack–namely, that the Church used to take the advice of lawyers and psychologists in earlier decades, and that has now changed:

A church audit found U.S. bishops received fewer clergy sex-abuse accusations in 2009 than in any year since 2004. Most of the alleged incidents happened decades earlier.

But that’s why McCormack stands out. He was abusing the North Lawndale boys just five years ago. And just three years ago, a newspaper quoted Bishop Kicanas saying he was right to allow McCormack’s ordination.

Here is the newspaper article from the Chicago Sun-Times, dated November 14, 2007, “Bishop: I Was More Worried About Priest’s Drinking” which quotes Bishop Kicanis saying he knew about three reports of “sexual improprieties” against then-seminarian McCormack yet still approved his ordination.  The same article quotes the Vicar General for the Archdiocese of Chicago (who also worked at Mundelein at the time) as saying McDormack should never have been ordained.

One reader, “Objective Observer”  recently commenting on a previous post here observed:

“…his election would erode all credibility of the whole USCCB. The PR disaster that would follow would be stunning for the damage it would do. It’s all the USCCB would get done for the foreseeable future… constantly let a story that got ahead of them beat them down.”

We hope and pray that all bishops who will be in Baltimore are aware of the background of Bishop Kicanis.  The mainstream media is not covering this story.  Why?  No doubt because they are waiting to inflict the PR disaster that Objective Observer suggested could occur.

Maybe some well-intentioned, solid bishops are genuinely busy doing God’s work and are unaware, so they could vote with incomplete information. We see it as part of our responsibility as faithful Catholics to keep them informed of our concerns. The Code of Canon law supports that viewpoint.

What can you do?  Several things:

  1. We have now launched our campaign to let Catholics email their bishops–in a courteous and respectful manner–to simply let them know about this background.  We are emailing primarily the ordinaries of 32 Catholic Dioceses in the U.S. Hundreds of people have sent messages already.  Click on the RedAlert button to the right to send a message.
  2. If you are in Boston and have a way of speaking with or emailing Cardinal Sean O’Malley, or our auxiliary Bishops Hennessey, Kennedy, Uglietto, Dooher, Edyvean, and Allué, please send them this blog post and ask them to vote for a candidate other than Bishop Kicanis for the good of the Catholic Church in the U.S.  We hope they already know about this, but just want to be on the safe side.  (If you have direct email addresses for these bishops, please send them to us at <bostoncatholicinsider(at)gmail.com> or post to comments).  If you don’t know how to reach a bishop, call or email your pastor and ask him to pass it on up the hierarchical food-chain.
  3. If you are in another part of the country, don’t wait on us.  Call the Baltimore Marriott (410-385-3000) and leave a message to not vote for Bishop Kicanas.
  4. Send this blog post to your favorite Catholic blogger and mainstream media outlet in whatever part of the country in which you live, and ask them to write about this.
  5. Pray.  If you are not a regular prayer of the Rosary, please try offering one each day from today through the election, which is expected to take place either Sunday or Monday.  If you can make it to Mass today, Friday, or Saturday, offer that Mass intention as well.

We will have more on to share this evening or Friday morning.

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30 Responses to RED ALERT: Sex abuse lurks behind upcoming USCCB election

  1. Catholic Data Nerd says:

    This is a noble cause. This would be a true scandal if Kicanas were elected.

    It might be tough to find email addresses but you can probably find phones and fax numbers for the 170-plus dioceses at:
    * Catholic-Hierarchy.org (click on each diocese and you get the fax/phone/website) – you might want to do a “bishop@” or “archbishop@” whatever the URL is, or “bishop(lastname)@” etc. It likely will work for at least half.
    * Kenedy Directory (Official Catholic Directory) – In one book, I’m sure you can find good data to use in this. Many parishes should have this.
    * The interactive diocese map from the diocese of columbus. Clicks directly through to each diocese’s website.

    Links: http://catholic-hierarchy.org/diocese/qview1.html

    http://www.cdeducation.org/oym/connections/dioceseusmap.htm

    You might want to organize a blast to Kicanas’ office, and the office of the general secretary of the USCCB, as well as the office of child protection – asking/demanding that Kicanas withdraw his name.

    bishop@diocesetucson.org
    gensec@usccb.org
    scyp@usccb.org

  2. Quality Guy says:

    Seems, patently, to prevent his election.
    the PR explosion will be VERY positive if rejected, terrible if he is elected.
    Pray , as well as inform.

  3. Mary says:

    I just wrote to the three addresses above. I had no knowledge of any of this. It was too sickening for me to read the entire post. This man must be stopped. Has he no conscience?

  4. Mary says:

    scyp@usccb.org>
    mail returned from this site as undeliverable.

  5. Angry Parish Council Member says:

    This situation is appalling and scandalous. Once again, thanks to BCI for bringing this to our attention. I believe that another commenter a few days ago suggested that Bishop Olmsted of Phoenix would oppose this move.

    The Phoenix diocesan website says you can contact him at:
    Contact-Us@diocesephoenix.org
    Include in the subject line: “A Message for Bishop Olmsted”

    I am writing to Bishop Kicanas this morning to ask him to withdraw and also passing this along to my family members out-of-state.

    Viva BCI!!

  6. Lapsed and Loving It says:

    If we have learned anything over the last 15 years in Boston it is that bishops live in an entirely different world and think they can operate under different rules. That will not change for generations. Hit them in the wallet, folks.

  7. Jack B says:

    Let them drown. Why are you lifting a finger to help protect and preserve an organization with so many members whose scurrilous behavior is so well known? (Vice-President Kicanas wasn’t elected three years ago because he was a Lone Ranger.)

  8. SAd Boston Priest says:

    Sorry to say, I agree with ‘Jack B.’ … The entire Conference has not brought anything good to Catholic Life in the U.S.A.

    Time for a complete change since this approach has proven to be more problematic than helpful.

    At times these Episcopal Conferences have assumed their ‘authority’ is equal to papal authority !!!

  9. Lazarus' Table says:

    I think it was Dorothy Day who often said, “The Church is the cross upon which Jesus is crucified,” and we see His Passion continue today through the administration of the archdiocese which finds His words “too hard to endure”.
    There is no schism; the administration and their coterie are apostates who have long ago abandoned any credible witness to Christ. Look at the trail of brokenness they leave behind. The only thing in their favor is that many (most?) Catholics could not care less, while secular society salivates at the sight of the heralds of the Gospel proving the Gospel to be irrelevent. May God have mercy on us.

  10. Mary says:

    gensec refused the email…it was just returned after multiple tries at delivery…think they do’t want to hear from me?!

    • Mary, I think there may have been an error in the email address posted (an extra “c” in “usccb”). Try again with gensec@usccb.org. Ours went through with no problem.

    • In response to several people who basically said “Why bother?” our best response is to share an expression (I believe from Edmund Burke), “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

      We have heard people criticize us for blogging about the Archdiocese of Boston and suggest what we are doing will not result in change. Yet we see changes happening, and we will share examples of those soon. That you folks and many others are reading the blog–and occasionally contributing via comments–suggests you see some value in the exposure of corruption in the Church to the light of day. This is an extension of that which we have been doing already.

      On June 29 of this year, the Holy Father asserted that the “greatest danger” to the Church is not external persecution, but the “negative attitudes” of the world that can pollute and “infect the Christian community” from within.

      We agree with the words of the Holy Father and have been trying to expose some that “pollution” so that many others might see it and help exercise pressure to deal with it.

      As part of what comes with blogging, we accept that all readers will not necessarily agree with everything we say or do here on this blog. But we try as best as we can to operate from a Christ-inspired moral compass about what is right and wrong. Sometimes we make mistakes, and we acknowledge those.

      In this case, we are not going to sit by and risk letting evil triumph (or at least what appears like evil) without a fight. For those not interested in this particular battle, you may want to skip Friday’s post and come on back in another couple of days after the USCCB election is over.

  11. Anna Lynskey says:

    Please, all readers – the do nothin’ days are behind us. Let it die with the generation who has brought us the mess we are now in everywhere around us.

    As Michael said in another thread, it is time to stop wallowing in marose pity parties and start taking actions that will be meaningful to these Bishops.

  12. Jack B says:

    Your moral compass is fine but your horizon may be a bit short. Encourage the election of Kicanas. He will accelerate the essential and inevitable collapse. Only then can recovery begin. The present USCCB is no more able to rehabilitate itself than the Curia is.

    He will sit in office as a shining monument to his own memorably warped values and bad judgment now on the record. Many with him in the Conference remain notable for excoriating health-care legislation while appearing not to have read it enough to know what it actually said. The Bishop of Phoenix would have favored induced labor for a seriously ill, 11-week-pregnant patient he had never seen. The Bishop of Sacramento attributes the natural cycle of night and day to the earth’s revolution around the sun. (What planet is he from?) The Cardinal-Archbishop of Boston conceals abuser names supposed to be revealed, precisely as he did in his Fall River diocese. The Bishop of Manchester faces honorable retirement after serving Bernard Law for years as a senior aide in abuse coverup. The Bishop of Springfield, Ill. identifies the devil as the force behind sex abuse suits. Etc. Etc……..

    What benefit is expected from this existing ensemble, whoever may preside?

    • Credo says:

      I disagree, Jack B. It seems very unrealistic to hope that the USCCB will collapse completely. Even if Kicanas is elected, bad press comes pouring in, and the USCCB is rendered irrelevent in the eyes of Americans, they’re still going to exist as a conference of bishops. Plus, wasn’t the USCCB a result of recommendations from Vatican II? I’m not defending it, just pointing out that I would not set your hopes on it disbanding anytime soon. We just need to hope some better bishops step up, and wait for these liberal bishops to retire (which isn’t far off). Once the current wave of more orthodox bishops like Dolan, Nienstedt, and Slattery move up in the USCCB it will be a whole different ball game. In the meantime, lets just be realistic and do what we can with what is given to us.

  13. PriestsForTransparency.com says:

    Catholic Data Nerd is correct that there are 177 roman-rite dioceses in the United States. The 32 you reference are the Archdioceses/Metropolitan sees.

    I’d recommend we email as many bishops as possible. While it would be a “brutta figura” to not elect the V.P., these bishops aren’t dummies. They know the consequences of electing Kicanas, given his statements. Amazing that they are recent.

    If Kicanas made it to the final 2, I think, hope and pray there would be a major effort to vote for the other candidate. Please God – our Church doesn’t need another self-inflicted scandal.

    Here’s the list of dioceses in the U.S. should anyone be interested, courtesy of Catholic-Hierarchy.org (a great website). It’s in order of the Archdioceses (alphabetical) and then suffragan dioceses unter the metropolitan.

    1. Anchorage (Archdiocese)
    2. Fairbanks
    3. Juneau

    4. Atlanta (Archdiocese)
    5. Charleston
    6. Charlotte
    7. Raleigh
    8. Savannah

    9. Baltimore (Archdiocese)
    10. Arlington
    11. Richmond
    12. Wheeling-Charleston
    13. Wilmington

    14. Boston (Archdiocese)
    15. Burlington
    16. Fall River
    17. Manchester
    18. Portland
    19. Springfield
    20. Worcester

    21. Chicago (Archdiocese)
    22. Belleville
    23. Joliet in Illinois
    24. Peoria
    25. Rockford
    26. Springfield in Illinois

    27. Cincinnati (Archdiocese)
    28. Cleveland
    29. Columbus
    30. Steubenville
    31. Toledo
    32. Youngstown

    33. Denver (Archdiocese)
    34. Cheyenne
    35. Colorado Springs
    36. Pueblo

    37. Detroit (Archdiocese)
    38. Gaylord
    39. Grand Rapids
    40. Kalamazoo
    41. Lansing
    42. Marquette
    43. Saginaw

    44. Dubuque (Archdiocese)
    45. Davenport
    46. Des Moines
    47. Sioux City

    48. Galveston-Houston (Archdiocese)
    49. Austin
    50. Beaumont
    51. Brownsville
    52. Corpus Christi
    53. Tyler
    54. Victoria in Texas

    55. Hartford (Archdiocese)
    56. Bridgeport
    57. Norwich
    58. Providence

    59. Indianapolis (Archdiocese)
    60. Evansville
    61. Fort Wayne-South Bend
    62. Gary
    63. Lafayette in Indiana

    64. Kansas City in Kansas (Archdiocese)
    65. Dodge City
    66. Salina
    67. Wichita

    68. Los Angeles (Archdiocese)
    69. Fresno
    70. Monterey in California
    71. Orange in California
    72. San Bernardino
    73. San Diego

    74. Louisville (Archdiocese)
    75. Covington
    76. Knoxville
    77. Lexington
    78. Memphis
    79. Nashville
    80. Owensboro

    81. Miami (Archdiocese)
    82. Orlando
    83. Palm Beach
    84. Pensacola-Tallahassee
    85. Saint Augustine
    86. Saint Petersburg
    87. Venice

    88. Milwaukee (Archdiocese)
    89. Green Bay
    90. La Crosse
    91. Madison
    92. Superior

    93. Mobile (Archdiocese)
    94. Biloxi
    95. Birmingham
    96. Jackson

    97. Newark (Archdiocese)
    98. Camden
    99. Metuchen
    100. Paterson
    101. Trenton

    102. New Orleans (Archdiocese)
    103. Alexandria
    104. Baton Rouge
    105. Houma-Thibodaux
    106. Lafayette
    107. Lake Charles
    108. Shreveport

    109. New York (Archdiocese)
    110. Albany
    111. Brooklyn
    112. Buffalo
    113. Ogdensburg
    114. Rochester
    115. Rockville Centre
    116. Syracuse

    117. Oklahoma City (Archdiocese)
    118. Little Rock
    119. Tulsa

    120. Omaha (Archdiocese)
    121. Grand Island
    122. Lincoln

    123. Philadelphia (Archdiocese)
    124. Allentown
    125. Altoona-Johnstown
    126. Erie
    127. Greensburg
    128. Harrisburg
    129. Pittsburgh
    130. Scranton

    131. Portland in Oregon (Archdiocese)
    132. Baker
    133. Boise City
    134. Great Falls-Billings
    135. Helena

    136. Saint Louis (Archdiocese)
    137. Jefferson City
    138. Kansas City-Saint Joseph
    139. Springfield-Cape Girardeau

    140. Saint Paul and Minneapolis (Archdiocese)
    141. Bismarck
    142. Crookston
    143. Duluth
    144. Fargo
    145. New Ulm
    146. Rapid City
    147. Saint Cloud
    148. Sioux Falls
    149. Winona

    150. San Antonio (Archdiocese)
    151. Amarillo
    152. Dallas
    153. El Paso
    154. Fort Worth
    155. Laredo
    156. Lubbock
    157. San Angelo

    158. San Francisco (Archdiocese)
    159. Honolulu
    160. Las Vegas
    161. Oakland
    162. Reno
    163. Sacramento
    164. Salt Lake City
    165. San Jose in California
    166. Santa Rosa in California
    167. Stockton

    168. Santa Fe (Archdiocese)
    169. Gallup
    170. Las Cruces
    171. Phoenix
    172. Tucson

    173. Seattle (Archdiocese)
    174. Spokane
    175. Yakima

    176. Washington (Archdiocese)
    177. Saint Thomas

    Philadelphia (Ukrainian): Saint Josaphat in Parma (Ukrainian) (Eparchy), Saint Nicolas of Chicago (Ukrainian) (Eparchy), Stamford (Ukrainian) (Eparchy)

    Pittsburgh (Ruthenian): Holy Protection of Mary of Phoenix (Ruthenian) (Eparchy), Parma (Ruthenian) (Eparchy), Passaic (Ruthenian) (Eparchy)

    Other: Our Lady of Nareg in New York (Armenian) (Eparchy), United States of America, Military (Military Ordinariate), United States of America, Faithful of the Oriental Rite (Malankarese) (Apostolic Exarchate)

    Immediately Subject: Newton (Our Lady of the Annunciation in Boston) (Melkite) (Eparchy), Our Lady of Deliverance of Newark (Syrian) (Eparchy), Our Lady of Lebanon of Los Angeles (Maronite) (Eparchy), Saint George’s in Canton (Romanian) (Eparchy), Saint Maron of Brooklyn (Maronite) (Eparchy), Saint Peter the Apostle of San Diego (Chaldean) (Eparchy), Saint Thomas the Apostle of Chicago (Syro-Malabarese) (Eparchy), Saint Thomas the Apostle of Detroit (Chaldean) (Eparchy)

  14. Jack O'Malley says:

    I have been in a quandary about this issue of the potential election of Kicanas. On the one hand, he is the current VP and that alone should close the case (in other words, the corruption is already manifest). On the other, if he is stymied in his bid for the presidency, then that would send a powerful message to both the Catholic and non-Catholic worlds.

    But I am forced by dint of rationality to agree with the wise words of Jack B. The USCCB ought to implode. All bishops’ conferences are deleterious to the Faith. I would elaborate but to what end? Let the American Church destroy itself. Out of the ashes will arise a stronger and more faithful Church. The gates of hell will not prevail, as the Saviour promised, but he did not promise that Satan would not reign through his temporal henchmen. In the present case, that is the commissariat of the Connors cabal and its figurehead Seán O’Malley.

    As an aside, I am curious how many of the opponents of the chancery oligarchy who post and comment on this blog are also devoted to the TLM, dubbed the “extraordinary form” by Necktie Joe Ratzinger, who has yet to celebrate that ancient rite in his own diocese, the City of Peter, the Eternal City, Rome. I wonder if, when Benedict followed the wide arc of the Botafumeiro, he reflected on its historic antecedents in the reverent rite which antedated even that of Trent. And why he continues to permit the protestantised mass of that traitor Bugnini. Popes can and do err. Grievously in some cases..

    Or is all this bloggery a mere novus ordo VOTF factional fracas?

  15. Boston Catholic Insider says:

    Jack, the blog agrees with you that if he is stymied in his bid for the presidency, that would send a powerful message. That is the direction we are continuing to pray over and advance.

    We agree with Credo and respectfully disagree with you that faithful Catholics should just sit back and let Bishop Kicanas get elected so as to somehow then automatically cause the USCCB to implode as a result.

    Unhappy with the direction of the country? Do you knowingly elect bad politicians so as to have the government implode or come to its knees and have to start over? You may say “yes.” We would say, “no.”

    By your logic if the blog understands it correctly, there is no reason for this very blog to exist–instead, we should just sit back and let the Archdiocese of Boston implode. (That might well happen even with the blog, but that is a topic for another time).

    We do not claim to know what will solve the systemmatic sorts of problems with the USCCB that various commenters have mentioned. We simply present to you the background of this person and ask if he is a suitable candidate to lead the organization that exists today. We would say, no.

    You asked about Mass devotion on the part of the bloggers. Not sure why that is at all relevant to the blog or to this post, but we can assure you that there is no factional fracas-oriented agenda to worry about. (We prefer to stick to the topic at hand in the posts and comments but would be glad to discuss what Mass we attend offline).

    • Jack O'Malley says:

      A couple of points. No, I don’t think we should elect bad people to run the country. Nor do I think we should elect bad bishops to run the Church. What? We don’t elect bishops? So the analogy is flawed. The bishops are a secretive clique that is not answerable to anyone.

      Second, I don’t think that the USCCB will implode if Kicanas gets the nod. After all, there was hardly a chink in its armor when they made him VP. The bishops as a class don’t care a whit what the obedient little puppies in the pews think as long as they get their revenue stream. Turn off the faucet and parch them.

      Third, sorry for the admittedly off-topic remark about the novus ordo botch. It’s not relevant unless we seek to go beyond symptoms for the diseased Church and treat the cause.

      The stench gets worse and evidently the only solution is to hold your nose.

      • Jack, looks like we will just have to agree to disagree on this one.

        We all know that we do not elect bishops, nor do we even elect priests or pastors. But, the U.S. bishops are indeed meeting to ELECT the new president of the U.S. bishops conference. As long as they are meeting to ELECT a new president of the conference, we are saying that this should not just be thrown away, and instead, we should try to get the best person for the job–a shepherd of souls who will be an icon of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.

  16. SAd Boston Priest says:

    Every effort should be encouraged … indeed it is far better than DOING NOTHING in the face of evil…

    I do pray, however, that those who put their hearts, lives and thoughts ‘on the line’ do not give into discouragement if and when the hoped for outcome is not achieved.

    Remember it was the faithful remnant who welcomed home their brothers and sisters when they returned from their Babylonian captivity and Jerusalem rose again.

    We may well be that Faithful Remnant. Hold onto to the Lord and remain close to the Sacraments; He will not let your sufferings go unblessed!

    For the Peace of Jerusalem !

  17. Jerry says:

    I say raise a stink loud and far. And pray, of course.

    The problem is much bigger than Kicanas, but he’s a good candidate to focus on. The chanceries and seminaries need cleaning out, and Rome is part of the problem. But it’s never hopeless. Again, make a big stink!

  18. Warren says:

    His election will personify the incompetence of the USCCB.

  19. AHARD says:

    I will swear under oath, that I heard Bishop Kicanas say that homosexuality is a gift from God. When I reminded him that although every person is a gift from God, that homosexuality is a disorder and that God does not ‘gift” disorders. They are the result of sin. He refused to comment or continue the discussion with me.

    In the same conversation, he also said that it is acceptable to call God “Mother” because God calls himself Mother, without giving any reference to where one might find that. I commented that God says he would gather Israel under his wings like a mother hen, to say one would do something like another is a far cry from calling oneself the same as the other.

    The Bishop has also allowed the desecration, in many people’s opinion, of our sacred spaces and objects. From the following montage, one can pick out the pictures of a priceless 600 to 800 year old Crucifix which has been literally ruined rather than preserved and which the Bishop intends to place in the Cathedral. http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=5670080&id=125433121224#!/album.php?aid=245625&id=125433121224

    In my opinion, the Bishop lacks the judgment necessary to salvage whatever good to be found in the USCCB, the CCHD or the wider Catholic community.

    • concerned parent says:

      Kudos to the BCI bloggers.

      AHARD, what you have just shared is rather explosive in nature, especially in view of Bishop Kicanas’ most recent statements. Were there witnesses? Do you have some way of documenting this? Perhaps if you can share more publicly or with the BCI bloggers privately, they can use their proven investigative skills and writing skills to verify this information and get it out in a form that makes it more credible than just a comment on a blog.

    • Jerry says:

      To Concerned Parent et al,

      In the article I linked above, there is a 2005 interview with Rev. Donald Cozzens, a former seminary rector, who balked at the Vatican instructions on not having “gay” instructors at seminaries. His “survey research indicates that a quarter to half of all U.S. priests are gay.” He worried about a “culling of gay rectors and professors,” and extended his concern over “bishops who happen to be gay.”

      In other words, according to Cozzens, there are plenty of queer bishops. This explains Kicanas. The Lavender Mafia rules the USCCB. This has been so since Bernardin was president in 1976, and it will not change until Rome does something. (But don’t hold your breath. Recall that Abp. Levada, now CDF head, shuffled a molester and punished the whistleblower. And how many bishops did Cdl. Ratzinger punish in his 24 years at the CDF?)

  20. [...] ALERT: Take Action Today on USCCB Election As we wrote yesterday, in just 2 days  our U.S. bishops meet in Baltimore to elect a new president of the U.S. [...]

  21. I tried to contact the USCCB – they apparently shut it down:
    Below is what you get.

    This message was created automatically by the mail system (ecelerity).

    A message that you sent could not be delivered to one or more of its
    recipients. This is a permanent error. The following address(es) failed:

    gensec@usccb.org (after RCPT TO): 550 Invalid recipient (#5.1.1)
    Reporting-MTA: dns; mx-7.zoominternet.net
    Arrival-Date: Sat, 13 Nov 2010 16:09:34 -0500

  22. anna says:

    AHARD,

    I can not get over the butchering of the 800 year old Crucifix. They turned a piece of history into a effeminate-looking cartoon. I hope they don’t put a thong on Christ to give His garments an updated look.

    Discretion is truly frightening.

    Dennis,

    Maybe the email address was overloaded. It would take a lot of testosterone to block communications expressing concerns about electing a pederast coddler.

    We’ll have to try tomorrow.

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