Tuesday, November 16, 2010

In Bishops' Shocker, TIM WINS!

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.

By a 128-111 vote, Archbishop Timothy Dolan bested Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson on the third ballot at this morning's elections in Baltimore.

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.

The 60 year-old Gotham prelate will take office Thursday for a three-year term, along with his freshly-elected Vice-President, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville -- the leader of the bishops' push for the defense of marriage -- who won in another third-ballot runoff, 147-91, over Archbishop Charles Chaput OFM Cap. of Denver.

As ever, more soon.

SVILUPPO: More post-vote analysis here.

And in a special edition of his weekly Monday Memo, Kicanas has issued the following response to the vote's result:
A priest’s life is all about service – service to the People of God, service to the Church and its mission. I have been honored these past three years with the opportunity to serve our Church, its mission and the People of God as the vice president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. I have grown in my regard for the staff of the Conference, especially Msgr. David Malloy and the senior staff, for the untiring work they do on our behalf.

Serving as vice president has been a marvelous experience.

I respect the wisdom of my brother bishops in choosing their new president and vice president. I greatly appreciated their expressions of thanks to me for my service as vice president. Archbishop Timothy Dolan has been a long time friend since our seminary work together. I know of his great wit, jovial spirit, keen ability to relate to people in a deeply personal way and his exceptional leadership qualities. These will certainly serve the Conference well as he begins his term as president.

I look forward to continuing to do whatever I can to further the work of the Conference. I really look forward to being able to focus on the needs of our Diocese – supporting our priests, women and men religious, deacons and lay people in the Diocese of Tucson, whom I have grown to love deeply.