As Marian Ronan noted yesterday, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ surprise election of Archbishop Timothy Dolan as its president signals an escalation of the USCCB’s engagement in culture war issues, particularly those surrounding sexuality and gender.
The leaders of Equally Blessed, a coalition of Catholics working for justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, put it more bluntly: that it signals continued “targeting of gay and transgender people.”
The coalition members of Equality Blessed are Call To Action, DignityUSA, Fortunate Families, and New Ways Ministry. Francis DeBernardo, Executive Director of New Ways Ministry, said in a statement that the election “sends an ominous message to LGBT Catholics and our families.” Bishop Gerald Kicanis, the presumed successor to the presidency, was “known to be more moderate on LGBT issues, ” said Nicole Sotelo, Program and Communications Director at Call To Action, in the same statement released by Equality Blessed. Dolan’s election “signals that the bishops are targeting families with loved ones who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.”