The Boston Catholic Insider blog has launched a “Red Alert” campaign asking the U.S. bishops who meet in Baltimore this weekend to NOT elect the lead candidate for the new national leader (current USCCB Vice President Bishop Gerald Kicanas, since he is known to have enabled a priest convicted of child sexual abuse who is now defrocked and jailed.
Boston Catholic Insider asked us for help with quickly staging their campaign, so we shared the approach and Web technology we used in the past. Here is their blog post.
In short, the lead candidate, Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tuscon, was rector of a seminary in the 1990′s where he approved ordaining a seminarian even after receiving 3 allegations of sexual improprieties, including abuse of a minor. After that ordained priest went on to abuse as many as 23 boys and was jailed and defrocked, in 2007 Bishop Kicanas looked back in hindsight and was quoted in the Chicago Sun Times as saying “It would have been grossly unfair not to have ordained him…There was a sense that his activity was part of the developmental process…I was more concerned about his drinking.”
Here is the letter they have posted at the website www.usccbelection.com.
I am writing to respectfully ask that you vote for a candidate other than Bishop Gerald Kicanas for the new president of the USCCB.
Many bishops may not be aware that Bishop Kicanas was rector of Mundelein Seminary in 1992 when he approved ordaining a seminarian, Daniel McCormack, despite knowing about three cases of homosexual “sexual improprieties” including one with a minor. Fr. McCormack went on to abuse 23 children and was defrocked and jailed.
After McCormack’s history of child sexual abuse was known, in 2007 Bishop Kicanas was quoted in the Chicago Sun Times saying, “It would have been grossly unfair not to have ordained him. There was a sense that his activity was part of the developmental process and that he had learned from the experience. I was more concerned about his drinking. We sent him to counseling for that.”
In view of this information, I feel his comments and actions represent a moral, spiritual and pastoral disaster for souls under his care, people affected by sexual abuse, and the whole Catholic Church. Beyond that grave scandal, electing Bishop Kicanas as USCCB president would also seriously harm the credibility and fund-raising ability of the U.S. bishops and Catholic Church.
I respectfully request that you vote for as president a candidate who will be first and foremost a shepherd of souls in imitation of Christ, and that Bishop Kicanas also voluntarily withdraw his name from consideration.
Yours in Christ
According to this article, Bishop Kicanas was aware that McCormack abused 23 children–including the homosexual rape of a boy who he ordered to undress, take a shower and then bend over–and his observation in 2007 when he looked back retrospectively was that this was “part of the developmental process”! This is scandalous! If this is the judgment of Bishop Kicanas in 2007, five years into the sexual abuse crisis, then he should not be in charge of even a diocese, or a parish, let alone president of the U.S. Bishops Conference.
If you’ve been reading this blog, you know what you have to do. Click on the graphic to the right to get to the campaign web page, fill in the blanks with your name and contact information, click “send the letter,” confirm your information is correct, and then click submit. It will take less than one minute. For more information, see this Boston Catholic Insider post from yesterday or today.
Boston Catholic Insider urges you to also please forward this to friends and relatives, and also contact your local bishop and leave a message saying you want them to NOT vote for Bishop Kicanas. If you do not know how to reach your local diocese, click here for a map and contact info.