The expression "dissident Catholic" has never made sense to me. If you don't believe what the Magisterium of the Catholic Church says, then why are you a Catholic? I can understand how someone can be a "dissident Protestant": With over 30,000 Protestant denominations, if you disagree with the one you're in, you can always find another one ready at hand more to your liking.
But a "dissident Catholic"? Where do you go? There's only one place to go: out the door.
Not being too familiar with the panoply of bishops--arch and otherwise--I wasn't sure at first what to think when I saw news reports that Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York had been elected to head the U. S. Catholic Conference of Bishops.
But I took great comfort when I saw that "dissident Catholic" groups were upset about it. One of the redeeming things about groups you disagree with is that in many cases, all you have to do to know what to do about something is to look to see where the groups you disgree with stand, and then do the opposite.
For example, if the NEA comes out against some piece of federal education legislation, then you know it's a good bill. If one of our states two major newspapers endorses a candidate, you know not to vote for him. If the a gay rights group announces that it is pushing some policy intiative, you know to oppose it. It's almost all you have to know.
Well, now that I know that "dissident Catholic" groups, among which are numbered "DignityUSA" and the secular gay rights group, the Human Rights Campaign are upset that Dolan was elected to head up the Conference of U. S. Bishops, I can rest easy knowing that it mus be in good hands.