In the weeks since Mitt Romney selected Paul Ryan to be his running mate, there has been a lot of talk about whether Ryan will face problems with Catholic voters over the fact that church leaders have repeatedly criticized his budget for its extreme cuts to social programs and “fail[ure] to meet moral criteria.” But there has been very little discussion about the much bigger problem Ryan poses for the U.S. Catholic bishops themselves, especially the man who offered the benediction Thursday night after Romney’s acceptance speech—Cardinal Timothy Dolan. Dolan is both the president of the U.S.
Rarely do the words “unprecedented” and “Catholic bishops” land in the same sentence. But, last week, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) laid aside a precedent when they declined to elevate the body’s vice president, Tuscon Bishop Gerald Kicanas, to the presidency. Instead, the bishops selected New York’s Archbishop Timothy Dolan by a vote of 128-111. This choice set alarm bells ringing.