Semi-surprising news, and good news, today from the USCCB.  Breaking from longstanding practice, the Bishops voted to bypass the sitting Vice President, Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson, and instead elected the Archbishop of New York, Timothy Dolan (St. Louis native) as the new President of the Conference.

I say that the news was “semi-surprising”, because although Bishop Kicanas has been the subject of controversy concerning his handling of an ordination of a known homosexual who later was convicted of molestation, the USCCB has not always been known to take decisive action in addressing these types of issues in the past.

By electing Archbishop Dolan, the Conference gets a President in the line of Past-President Cardinal George– solid and orthodox.  Of course, don’t look for the new President to call for the implementation of Summorum Pontificum in every parish.  But then again he won’t have the obvious difficulties that Bishop Kicanas might have had in speaking out on issues involving the Church’s teachings on priestly celibacy and the sanctity of marriage.

And thus not only is a major public relations disaster averted; more importantly, it is a step in the right direction in the ensuring the clarity of moral teaching by the U.S. Bishops.