US Catholic bishops meet this week…

Monday to Thursday, November 15-18. Here are some fun facts about our Bishops, courtesy of CARA (scroll down to “Knowing your bishops”).

“There are no liturgical items on the agenda,” the BCDW told me. We don’t know, of course, what the Bishops will discuss Wednesday and Thursday in executive (secret) session. Unless somebody leaks it…



  1. Well, there is also quite the campaign going on to prevent/protest the elevation of Bp Kicanis from VP to President, due to abuse-handling issues.

  2. Karl Liam Saur :
    Well, there is also quite the campaign going on to prevent/protest the elevation of Bp Kicanis from VP to President, due to abuse-handling issues.

    For a person with an MA in counseling, Kicanas has handled several personnel situations quite badly, listening to only one side & jumping to conclusions. He’s got enough problems in his own diocese to handle…he doesn’t need to take on the entire U.S. Do we need yet another Chicago bishop at the helm of the USCCB??

  3. The bishops behaved disgracefully when they rubberstamped the new translations, guffawing at Bp Trautman’s objections. This will come back to haunt them.

  4. The bishops sessions today and tomorrow are being televised live on EWTN. At first glance, it looked pretty exciting–with a gigantic “Welcoming the Roman Missal 3rd edition” poster as backdrop dominating the stage behind the speakers table in the ballroom. Says something like “Deepen, Nurture, Celebrate” at the bottom. Quite inspiring. Just looking at it quickens the pulse. (Now I see it’s what shows at upper right under the top banner at ).

    However, apparently all the discussion so far has be the usual administrative business. And now, having watched awhile, I see that the big “Roman Missal 3e” seen upon first tuning in is apparently just the default screen when the various committee PowerPoint presentations are not being shown.

  5. Interesting data, but they really scratch the surface. For beginners, I would like to see a breakdown of the bishops’ advanced degrees (for example, canon law, moral theology, liturgy and biblical studies). Then, how many are members of religious orders, and how many of those have a liturgical heritage (O.S.B. and others)?

  6. Gosh, the fun facts about the bishops are really scary. Never realized I had so much in common with them.

    They are about the same age as I am. Among first names, both John and Joseph are highly popular. The highest number comes from Pennsylvania. Most of them were graduates of Catholic colleges, many went to Jesuit colleges.

    Luckily I am not ordained and not appointed by B16! Really feel the need for a little more data distance from them, however.

    I guess I can presume that few are social scientists; or Ph.D.s. Finally some real use for all those years of study!

    But then there is the problem of being single, white and male. They didn’t even mention any of those fun facts.

    Data can really be disturbing!

  7. Much needed advice from Pope Benedict yesterday:

    The episcopal conference “must avoid becoming a parallel reality or substituting for the ministry of each individual bishop,” the Pope said. He added that “the counselors and structures of the episcopal conference exist to serve the bishops, not to replace them.” Stressing the duty and authority of each individual bishop within his own diocese, the Pope said that the conference should help each bishop to carry out his work more effectively.

    1. So, should the conference president be announcing when the new English missal is mandatory for everyone in the country? Or should each bishop decide which translation is appropriate in his diocese and when it should be implemented? Just asking.

      1. I’m no canon lawyer, but I know of no reason not to assume the date of implementation is one of those possibly few decisions that actually do lie properly within the province of the conference as a whole. Of course, some such decisions are delegated to conference officers or committees, and I don’t know what may have been done regarding this one. Perhaps some clarification will come this week?

  8. Would suggest that this quote needs to be put into context. Also, this is his opinion – his track record is already clear in terms of the weight he puts on this in contrast to the weight and explanation about conferences that the Vatican II bishops clearly desired and tried to implement.

    Eventually, we will see much that is written about the last 100 years and how the papal/curia have become overly centralized and imperial – we need ressourcement and curial/papal reform.

  9. And Ab. Joseph Kurtz (Louisville) as VP, and as a rising USCCB star a likely eventual successor (unlike Kicanas) to the presidency. As Bishop of Knoxville, he was a warm friend of our Latin Mass community, started with his strong support in pre-SP days.

  10. Well, all that this means is that one of the biggest bullies on the bench, albeit a personable bully, has been elected president, while a complete crawler has been elect VP. I wish them joy of each other.

    They should have elected Trautman as president (ho ho!) and Aymond as VP (seriously). We now know that the collective discernment processes of the Conference are next to worthless.

  11. As some commentators have suggested, this was a compromise vote. Dolan is well-liked by almost any “camp”; is currently so busy that it appears that the USCCB will just shift into neutral which is what most bishops desire; Dolan is not perceived as polarizing (wonder if George got old for some) but as a orthodox “good ole boy” who has Rome’s favor. He will not shake the apple cart; is not very innovative; doesn’t see the conference as a power-broker; has a mixed reception on sex abuse; will be three year pause with most USCCB Issues remaining as is and possibly seeing their newly elected president elevated to cardinal. It also moves away from perceived power centers e.g. Philly, Chicago. (Altho some see Rigali behind the Dolan vote vs. Bernadin’s Kicanas?) Puts NY See back into the spotlight. Wonder, too, if many wanted the current voting cycle to change – let it be a true election not preordained just because you have been VP.

    Only high point – Chaput went nowhere again. Low point – bishops such as Aymond have been left out. Continues the reality of white males; safe votes.

    1. Agreed.

      And this means there needs to be serious thought about who to promose as the “pastoral” option in 3 years time. Hint: it needs to be someone whose record on abuse cases is not equivocal. Among many other things.

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