The heated debate over tomorrow’s election of a new USCCB president continues [note, we had the date wrong and have corrected it now]. Below are the highlights of the past 24 hours. But first, if you still want to tell your bishop to vote against Kicanas, even if you filled in our form before, we suggest you pick up the phone today and call the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront where they are staying. Or you can send a fax (see below)
The phone number is 410-385-3000. Just ask the person at the front desk to leave a message for [ “First name, Last name.”] (Yes, Catholic protocol says to also use their proper title such as Cardinal/Archbishop/Bishop, but the hotel is thinking last name and room number, not proper place in the church hierarchy] Give your name, and say, “Please do NOT vote for Bishop Kicanas in Tuesday’s election for USCCB president.” Say it is important to get this message to him today. (Note: Cardinal Sean O’Malley is not in Baltimore–he is in Dublin, Ireland).
Now onto the highlights of the past 24 hours.
1) The gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender Rainbow Sash group that calls itself “Catholic” endorsed Bishop Kicanas for the new USCCB President. If they are saying to vote “yes” then we think that pretty well confirms that the bishops should vote “no.” Here are a few excerpts from their statement:
It is appropriate for the only LGBT Catholic Organization in the United States active within the parishes of the Church, and visible about that activity to add its voice to the Bishops election process for its next President. We understand Bishop Kicanas understands that Bishops are privately changing their position because input is bubbling up from the pews of our parishes in support of such issues as Gay Marriage, and Pro Choice….The Rainbow Sash Movement believes it is critical that Bishop Kicanas be elected to the Presidency of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to set the tone, and be a reasonable public voice and face for the country’s Catholic bishops.
Here is the perspective of Catholic columnist, Matt Abbott, on their endorsement of Kicanas. Need we say more?
2) SNAP (the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) is opposing Kicanas and is urging Catholics to call George and other church officials to protest Kicanas’ expected appointment.
We question why they would want to pick someone who has a history of covering up for a child molester and someone who failed to warn parents about his problems,” said Barbara Blaine of SNAP.
3) The blog hears through well-placed sources that the reason Bishop Kicanas may have not disputed the “smoking guy” 2007 Chicago Sun Times news report directly to the newspaper at the time–the article which is now widely cited with Kicanas’ quotes–is because the newspaper reporter tape-recorded the interview, as is typically done with the knowledge of the interviewee. It seems that the published article might, coincidentally, not be inaccurate or out of context, as Kicanas claimed last week.
NPR has also now weighed it. You may want to visit the comments section of their website and share your thoughts.
What normally is a relatively sleepy election has gotten a fair amount of attention.
Meanwhile, our RedAlert is still open. It is now faxing letters to 30 metropolitan bishops at the Marriott. If you filled it out before, go ahead and fill it out once again to send a fax to the hotel.
Whomever is elected to the USCCB presidency will be the spokesperson during the next General Election in the U.S. and set the tone for what issues American Catholics ought to consider when voting. This is very important!
Keep praying today and this evening that God’s will be done. A Rosary between now and tomorrow mid-day would be a great idea.