Belief Beat

Catholic and secular media outlets alike blared the news yesterday: in a surprise upset, New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan is the new head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) — the first time in decades that the group’s sitting vice president, in this case Bishop Gerald Kincanas of Arizona, won’t get the job.

Could this be considered a victory for clergy abuse victim advocates, including the Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests (SNAP)? On the one hand, SNAP never seems to like any bishops, and even issued a statement against Dolan, but the group really had a problem with Kincanas. (Meanwhile, Pope Benedict has called on cardinals from around the world to convene at the Vatican on Nov. 19 to discuss the abuse scandal, so stay tuned for those headlines next week.) Or is this just another form of anti-incumbent sentiment in American politics?

Different articles stress different aspects of the USCCB decision — GetReligion already has a blog post up about the coverage and an open thread for comments — so check out these links for a complete picture:

Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

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