Friday, November 19, 2010

Winds Of Change

Remember that old song by The Scorpions? It was about the Fall of Communism in East Germany. That's not what this post is about.

Instead, I'm talking about the election of Archbishop Dolan of New York as President of the USCCB. Whispers has been doing a fine job of keeping track of all this, and I hope you've been following. There are some major points to be considered here.

First, this was a big deal. Note Rocco Palma's comment:

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 tenure at the conference's helm.

Like any cut that goes against the grain, somebody was going to get a bit embarrassed. By all accounts Bishop Kicanas of Tucson should have been the guy. Not that he felt this way, but there certainly was at least an aura that he was entitled to the job. After all, any of the prior elections would have elected him without much fanfare. My point is that the election of Archbishop Dolan was a deliberate and emphatic response. The big question is "Response to what?"

I'll get to that someday.

Second, you've got the reaction to the vote. Fr. Z produced a nice summary here. In a nutshell, a bunch of whackjobs went ape poop. I'm not sure how this can be interpreted as anything other than good.

Third, there's the ongoing role of the USCCB. I'm going to get some stuff up tomorrow about Bishop Vasa's recent comments that hearken back to Bishop Martino of Scranton. Just what are these guys going to do besides hold a bunch of meetings? Considering Archbishop Dolan's decision to step into the public square and punch the New York Times in the face, I think maybe (just maybe), there might be a decent role for the Conference going forward.

Anyways, make sure you also hit Rocco's update on the situation.

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