Matt C. Abbott
'Gay Catholic' group wants Kicanas to be new USCCB president
By Matt C. Abbott
November 15, 2010

A group of homosexual activists claiming to be Catholic wants Bishop Gerald Kicanas elected as the new president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. And I'm not the least bit surprised — although the activists hardly need to bolster their influence in the U.S. Catholic Church, considering the "lavender mafia" pretty much runs the show in many dioceses.

The group, the Rainbow Sash Movement, has issued a statement (which clearly wasn't proofread, as you'll see) supporting the election of Bishop Kicanas. The statement, in PDF format, can be found here, but just in case it mysteriously disappears from the group's website in the next day or two, the unedited text is as follows:

    It is appropriate for the only LGBT Catholic Organization in the United States active within the parishes of the Church, and visible about that activity to add its voice to the Bishops election process for its next President. We understand Bishop Kicanas understands that Bishops are privately changing their position because input is bubbling up from the pews of our parishes in support of such issues as Gay Marriage, and Pro Choice.

    The not to distant past situation at Notre Dame was an attempt on the part of some fundamentalist Bishops to make a hard turn to the right in general, and the Tea Party in particular. The end goal was to turn Catholic support away from President Obama. Bishop Kicanas voice during this difficult situation called for moderation, and listening.

    The fundamentalist Bishops have also turned their sights on the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. The program has donated $290 million to groups combating poverty during the last four decades, according to Rainbow Sash Movement News. But the program has also attracted fierce church critics who are suspicious of anything that sniffs of socialism. These fundamentalist Bishops have gone as far as to form "Reform the CCHD Now" whose primary goal is dismantling the organization, rather than reforming it. At least 10 fundamentalist bishops have stopped CCHD collections in their diocese so much for the needs of the poor.

    Joe Murray the Executive Director of the Rainbow Sash Movement said "that while we have difficulties with Bishop Kicanas present position on Gay Marriage we are hopeful his position will evolve. We believe that Bishop Kicanas follows in the footsteps of the late Cardinal Joseph Bernadine, and will lead the USCCB to a position of common ground on issues that are deeply dividing the US Catholic Church. The impending election of Bishop Kicanas I believe is an attempt on the part of a majority of the Bishops to unravel a strangle hold that fundamentalism have on the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. "

    Murray further stated ." Fundamentalist Bishops are trying to tag Bishop Kicanas as being very vulnerable in the area of clergy sexual abuse. I believe that to be a red herring. It may play to the fundamentalist such as Archbishop Chaput and Archbishop Dolan, it does not play well among more moderate and reasonable Catholics, and most of their Bishops. Following this logic could not the same claim be made of Cardinal Francis George current President of USCCB.

    The Rainbow Sash Movement believes it is critical that Bishop Kicanas be elected to the Presidency of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to set the tone, and be a reasonable public voice and face for the country's Catholic bishops. It is time to start rebuilding the Church.

    Bill O'Connor
    Rainbow Sash Movement

A few points regarding RSM's statement:

First, I'm not sure why RSM is connecting "fundamentalist bishops" with the Obama debacle at Notre Dame and the existence of the Tea Party. The university chose to honor Obama, a pro-abort, despite the strong opposition of many faithfully-Catholic laypersons and a number of bishops. The Tea Party, to my knowledge, was never part of the equation.

Second, Reform CCHD Now was not started by "fundamentalist bishops"; it's comprised of — quoting from the coalition's website — "faithful Catholics who are concerned that the funds we provide to the National Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) in special annual Sunday collections have gone and continue to go to corrupt and partisan political groups, and even groups which sometimes work against the Church."

The CCHD is, in my view, beyond reform at this point; it should be abolished. However, pro-abortion, pro-sodomy, liberal "Catholics" and non-Catholics have a vested interest in keeping the CCHD going. And, quite frankly, I don't see it being abolished any time soon.

Lastly, RSM's assertion that Bishop Kicanas "follows in the footsteps of the late Cardinal Joseph Bernadine [sic]" is, I'm afraid, accurate. As an orthodox Catholic, that's the last thing I want to see, not to mention Bernardin's feet never really touched the floor anyway (ahem). If you have the stomach to read about the true legacy of Bernardin, see this column.

Related links:

"Homosexuality and the Church Crisis"

The Courage Apostolate

© Matt C. Abbott


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He also has an Associate in Applied Science degree in business management from Triton College. Abbott has been interviewed on MSNBC, Bill Martinez Live, WOSU Radio in Ohio, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's 'Unsolved' podcast, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) and WISC-TV (CBS) in Madison, Wis., and has been quoted in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, and other media outlets. In 2005 and 2006, he was among the first writers to expose former cardinal Theodore McCarrick's abuse of power with and sexual harassment of seminarians. He can be reached at

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