Defending the bishops.

Author:O'Brien, Edwin F.
Position:Correspondence - Letter to the Editor

As a devoted reader of FIRST THINGS, I am aware that you have been critical of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on numerous occasions. Such criticism can be beneficial, but in the February issue this criticism went beyond what is helpful.

Among the many points I could cite, I will emphasize four. First, the description of the election of Bishop William S. Skylstad as president of the Conference is seriously uninformed. Bishop Skylstad has been active in the Conference for over twenty-five years. His election as both vice president and president resulted from the bishops' first-hand knowledge of his abilities and dedicated service to the Conference. Cardinal Francis George took the time to acknowledge this dedication from the podium shortly after Bishop Skylstad's election.

I am also surprised that FIRST THINGS would imitate the secular press by relying on innuendo instead of facts. The unfounded implication that Bishop Skylstad was irresponsible, if not worse, in governing his diocese is unworthy of FIRST THINGS.

So, too, is the claim that Cardinal Theodore McCarrick was less than straightforward at the...

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