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and waiting on deck,....

By Diogenes (articles ) | Nov 14, 2007

Let's get acquainted with the new vice-president of the US bishops' conference, since the odds are overwhelming that in another 3 years, he'll be elected president.

Bishop Gerald Kicanas now heads the Tucson, Arizona diocese. But he's a native of Chicago: another product of the powerful archdiocese that has already produced 4 presidents of the US bishops' conference (Bernardin, May, Gregory, & George) in the past generation.

But now he's in Tucson, and the Tucson diocese has just been through bankruptcy. You'd think that might be embarrassing to the USCCB, but then remember that the outgoing president, Bishop Skylstad, also presided over a bankrupt diocese.

So where does Bishop Kicanas stand on the all-consuming issue of sexual abuse? The Chicago Sun-Times caught up with man who was once seminary rector there, to ask him a few questions about the case of Father Daniel McCormack. It turns out, you see, that Kicanas was aware of three different incidents involving sexual impropriety by McCormack prior to his ordination. Did he therefore blow the whistle, and hustle the young man out of the seminary? Guess again.

"There was a sense that his activity was part of the developmental process and that he had learned from the experience," Kicanas said. "I was more concerned about his drinking. We sent him to counseling for that."

Drinking can be a problem, certainly. Especially if it's not part of a developmental process.

Just in case you've missed the headlines, McCormack is now in prison, serving a term for 5 counts of sexual molestation of young boys. But now, looking back from the post-Dallas perspective, surely Bishop Kicanas has second thoughts, right? Wrong.

"I don't think there was anything I could have done differently," Kicanas said.

They still don't get it.

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Show 13 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Nov. 16, 2007 10:25 PM ET USA

    no us bishop has been punished for his role in covering up this scandal. the popes have said nice things but put their heads in the sand when it comes to doing anything. the us bishops think they've gotten away with their episcopal negligence, i hope they enjoy explaining to the One who loves these children more than their parents why they did nothing to protect the weakest of the weak. let's pray for them and the pope.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 16, 2007 1:13 PM ET USA

    This is very disheartening. After all we've been through, I just want to grab some of these guys by the ears and rub their faces into the carpet. It makes me think of St. John Chrysostom's quote: "THE FLOOR OF HELL IS PAVED WITH THE SKULS OF BISHOPS." I'm sure this is because to whom much is given, much is asked in return. But take heart and remember Our Lord's words: "LO, I AM WITH YOU ALLWAYS, EVEN UNTIL THE END OF TIME." (in spite of lousy bishops, of course)

  • Posted by: - Nov. 15, 2007 8:50 PM ET USA

    In the old days, the only way that Bishops like this would "get it" was when a trebuchet was hurling 1 ton rocks at their residences.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 15, 2007 5:26 PM ET USA

    Uncle Di, I think they get it and they just don't give a damn. When a majority of the US bishops' conference votes for a guy who is a poster boy for what is wrong with the American Catholic Church after 10 years of public scandal, it's not a mistake. It's a statement.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 15, 2007 11:23 AM ET USA

    Uncle Di: You've got company. I'm still reeling, after reading your words. As has been said: "They still don't get it." Maybe some of them don't want to.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 15, 2007 9:24 AM ET USA

    would that it was as simple as they don't get it or can't learn. they did get it and have learned - they're just hoping they won't be caught! how long will it take for the lavendar maffia to fade away?

  • Posted by: - Nov. 15, 2007 4:57 AM ET USA

    "Mistakes were made [but not by me]" see NYTimes Best Seller list.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 15, 2007 3:29 AM ET USA

    “The priests, ministers of my Son, the priests, by their wicked lives, by their irreverence ..., by their love of money, their love of honors and pleasures, and the priests have become cesspools of impurity. ... are asking vengeance, and vengeance is hanging over their heads. Woe to the priests and to those dedicated to God who by their unfaithfulness and their wicked lives are crucifying my Son again!" Blessed Mother Mary to Melanie at Lasalette 1858. I can't improve on that.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 14, 2007 6:54 PM ET USA

    It is hard to see the picture when you are sitting in the frame.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 14, 2007 6:31 PM ET USA

    "Intellectually dishonest" maybe, or perhaps fatally compromised.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 14, 2007 6:31 PM ET USA

    God? Mammon? What's the difference?

  • Posted by: - Nov. 14, 2007 2:56 PM ET USA

    How sad, how very sad that they seem to be incapable of learning from experience or are they perhaps just intellectually dishonest.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 14, 2007 11:09 AM ET USA

    Christmas is coming for Bishop Kicanas as well and he better watch those post Midnight Mass dreams and that bit of undigested cheese lest he be visited by the Ghost of Joseph Bernardin past, rattling his chains and pointing a boney finger.

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