BALTIMORE, Md. (WSAU) – In a surprise move, former Milwaukee Archbishop Tim Dolan was elected today as the president of the U-S Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Normally, the bishops give the vice president a promotion. But Dolan out-polled the current vice president, Tucson Arizona Bishop Gerald Kicanas, 54-to-46 percent on the third round of balloting.
The vote came at the bishops’ annual meeting in Baltimore.
The 60-year-old Dolan will serve a three-year term, replacing Chicago Cardinal Francis George.
Kicanas has taken a more conciliatory approach to some of the controversies that have split Catholics in the recent past. He urged Arizona voters to oppose gay marriage. But he also rejected calls to sanction Notre Dame’s president for honoring President Obama, because of his support for abortion rights.
Like Kicanas, Dolan does not support the denying of Communion to Catholic legislators who vote against church doctrine. But observers say Dolan is stricter in defending Catholic orthodoxy, and he’s not afraid to show it.
Dolan was Milwaukee’s archbishop from 2002 until the spring of last year, when he became the Archbishop of New York.