Archbishop Timothy Dolan was recently selected to the head U.S. bishops. James Carroll regrets the choice:

Archbishop Dolan is popular with his confreres because his fierce fundamentalism on sexual morality comes clothed in what one bishop described as "that jolly outgoing personality." ... The election that made Dolan the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops was unusual because the favorite for the job, Gerald Kicanas of Tucson, was cast asidean unprecedented insult to a sitting vice president. But Kicanas was regarded as a "social justice" Catholic, one whose moral concern extended to more than abortion and gay marriage. His rejection by the American bishops was the real sound of something cracking. Timothy Dolan's job is to put the best face on the reactionary hierarchy's slow motion act of self-destruction. The surest sign of this crisis is the jovial conviction that there is no crisis.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.