Skip to comments.Bishop Wuerl Appointed Archbishop Of Washington D. C.
Posted on 05/16/2006 3:44:36 AM PDT by prisoner6
(KDKA) PITTSBURGH Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Bishop Donald W. Wuerl to succeed Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick as archbishop of Washington D.C.
Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio to the United States, made the announcement Tuesday morning.
Pope Benedict accepted the retirement of Cardinal McCarrick who had served in Washington since his appointment on Nov. 21, 2000.
Archbishop-designate Wuerl will continue to serve as bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh until his installation as archbishop of Washington on June 22.
"The decision of our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, to transfer me to the Archdiocese of Washington," Archbishop-designate Wuerl said, "is one I embrace in the context of faith in Gods providential care. Although I am greatly aware of my own limitations, I find strength in the Popes trust in me and also in the prayerful support I have always found from the Catholic faithful I have attempted to serve here in the Diocese of Pittsburgh."
Cardinal McCarrick described Archbishop-designate Wuerl as a "wonderful friend to me over so many years and I have watched with delight and deep respect and sometimes with more than a little envy the great things that the Church of Pittsburgh has accomplished under his leadership. I truly cannot think of a better choice for Washington than Bishop Wuerl."
Archbishop-designate Wuerl has been bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh for 18 years and will celebrate the 40th anniversary of his ordination as a priest later this year.
I am interested, but I know nothing about Bishop Wuerl. Can you tell me a bit about him?
A very important Catholic ping!
here's a quick bio...
DONALD W. WUERL
BISHOP OF PITTSBURGH Bishop Donald W. Wuerl was installed as the 11th bishop of Pittsburgh on February 12, 1988, where he is spiritual leader of some 800,000 Catholics in 215 parishes throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania.
In addition to his responsibilities as shepherd of the Catholic Church in the six counties that comprise the Diocese of Pittsburgh, Bishop Wuerl is involved in a wide range of community, ecumenical and interfaith activities, joining with civic and business leaders in educational and community-service initiatives. These include the Christian Leaders Fellowship and its many ecumenical enterprises, the Extra Mile Education Foundation which is responsible for a number of inner-city parochial schools, the Urban League of Pittsburgh and the United Way of Allegheny County.
To many Bishop Wuerl is known from the television program The Teaching of Christ broadcast on CBS, the Christian Associates cable channel, and through its national syndication. His best-selling adult catechism of the same name, now in its 28th year of publication, has been translated into more than 10 languages and is used throughout the world. His most recent publication, The Catholic Way, was published by Doubleday in September 2001.
Bishop Wuerl serves on numerous national and international bodies, is chair of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops editorial oversight board for the U.S. Catholic Catechism for Adults, a member of the USCCB Committee on Catechesis and past chair of the conference's committee on Education, chairman of the board of the National Catholic Bioethics Center and vice president of the executive board of the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center with extensive involvement in the Center's Intercultural Forum. He has a unique relationship to Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, as Distinguished Service Professor.
During the course of his 16 years as Bishop of Pittsburgh, he has been honored by numerous organizations, including the National Conference of Christians and Jews, the American Red Cross and B’nai Zion. He also received the prestigious Elizabeth Ann Seton award from the National Catholic Education Association for his ongoing work as a teacher and educator.
The bishop was born in Pittsburgh on November 12, 1940, and received graduate degrees from The Catholic University of America, the Gregorian University in Rome and his doctorate in theology from the University of St. Thomas in Rome in 1974. He was ordained to the priesthood on December 17, 1966, and ordained a bishop on January 6, 1986, in St. Peter's Basilica, Rome.
He's 65, and will be turning 66 later this year. He'll be in Washington for ten years at least.
Not sure if he is what we need, but B16 should be given a chance.
Wuerl: Catholic legislators should make own decision on communion
From the little I know, he's more conservative than McCarrick (who was a disappointment). The statements in that article were made a year ago, and I believe that since then the Vatican has made some more specific statements on the issue of Catholic politicians who "disagree" with the Church but wish to publicly present themselves as Catholics in good standing. There has certainly been a lot more enforcement of prohibitions on pro-abortion speakers from various diocesan or college events, etc.
Maybe - one hopes - Wuerl will conform to the stricter Vatican position as time goes by.
This is a big deal. I'm not Catholic, but Wuerl has been a significant presence around here for years--I'm sure many in Pittsburgh will be sorry to lose him.
I believe this is the bishop who helped clean up a mess in the Seattle? area a few years ago.
I hope he's a Catholic and not a politico-pandering, muzzie-pandering liberal like McCarrack!
Yep, just checked and in mid the 1980's, the Vatican sent Bishop Wuerl to Seattle to address some issues with Archbishop Hunthausen. From an article:
"Two years later, papal officials chastised Hunthausen for lack of vigilance in upholding church teachings on contraception, homosexuality, divorce and other issues."
"The Vatican stripped Hunthausen of authority in five key areas and sent Auxiliary Bishop Donald Wuerl to Seattle to oversee liturgy, marriage annulments, theology courses for priests and other areas of contention."
For more see:
Yup. Wuerl was sent to Seattle in the 1980's to make straight the ways of the liberal leadership there.
Very savvy with the media, a good teacher, by the book. We'll miss him.
I wish him good luck and hope that he doesn't take his Communications Director, Fr. Ron with him.
. That would be too much of a loss for the area.
I still have a scar on my hand from burning it while holding incence for him! I like him and will pray for him.
That's good news. One of McCarrick's problems, I think, was that he wasn't particularly good with the media. Furthermore, even though he was bishop of what should be one of America's most important sees, he kept a low profile. It seemed to me that he wasn't very good at handling either the politicos or the journalists.
Cardinal McCarrick, long time Archbishop of Newark, NJ, to retire.
From Catholic Hierarchy dot org:
|26.1||Ordained Priest||Priest of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA|
|30 Nov 1985||45.0||Appointed||Auxiliary Bishop of Seattle, Washington, USA|
|30 Nov 1985||45.0||Appointed||Titular Bishop of Rossmarkaeum|
|6 Jan 1986||45.2||Ordained Bishop||Titular Bishop of Rossmarkaeum|
|26 May 1987||46.5||Resigned||Auxiliary Bishop of Seattle, Washington, USA|
|11 Feb 1988||47.2||Appointed||Bishop of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA|
|25 Mar 1988||47.4||Installed||Bishop of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA|
So it appears that he has a good pedigree.
As I said, hopeful...
I am a Catholic for many decades and I take exception when articles like this refer to the Pope as "Holy Father".
Mainly because Bene XVI knew of all of the Abuses of Children during his job in charge of the congregation of the doctrine of the Faith and he did nothing.
And now they put in Skylstadt another very questionable "leader".
McCarrick was a Phoney from the getgo.
Seems okay - nice article he wrote here:
"What it Means to be Catholic"
Bishop Donald W. Wuerl
What makes a person Catholic? Is it because someone is baptized in a Catholic Church? Is it enough occasionally to attend Mass? Can it be simply because a person identifies himself or herself as Catholic? Or should we look at how the Church herself identifies her members, invites them into her sacramental life and calls them to accept and to proclaim in word and deed the living gospel of Jesus Christ? ....
I'm sorry, but I disagree strongly with you. Cardinal McCarrick has been very media savvy while here in Washington. It seems like he was in the local papers on TV almost continuously. His profile was MUCH higher than that of Cardinal Hickey or Cardinal Baum. Of course, Cardinal O'Boyle lived in a different era, altogether.
As for handling politicians, are you kidding? Cardinal McCarrick was the FIRST invited guest to the White House after President Bush was inaugurated. Cardinal McCarrick worked behind the scenes to get a limited voucer program for Washington, DC public school kids, actually getting some of the looniest moonbat Democrat politicians in this region to climb aboard the voucher bandwagon, or at least to keep their stupid yaps shut, and not oppose it.
It may be that Cardinal McCarrick used neither the media nor politicians in a way that pleased you, but he knew what he was doing, and often got precisely what he wanted, for better or worse.
That is his title. I understand the sentiment though. It isn't completely true that then-Cardinal Ratzinger did nothing.
Wow, I'm in northwest PA, just catching it on TV, WTAE. I'm stunned. Up here, we understood him to be less liberal than our own bishop, but I'm not as familiar with him as I thought, after reading some of the posts on this thread. We were struck, when spending time in the Burgh, by the 'odd' Masses we attended in the area. Perhaps it was the Churches we chose. Odd in this way - some 'old fashioned' traditions, some 'new' things, both existing happily unlike my area where there was friction. Organ music and traditional songs mixed with hands in the Orans position for the Our Father by some. Also, we were delighted and a little surprised by how warmly we were treated, as visitors, by other Church members.
Thanks for the correction. McCarrick didn't have a very high profile outside of DC, though, and he often came across as ambiguous in his statements (to the world outside of DC, at least). Again, that's my view from the outside, but people who live there probably have a better idea. In any case, I hope your new Bishop Wuerl is going to work out well, and I'm sure he'll have a big job ahead of him.
What's this Bishop's trackrecord on 'Illegal Aliens, Pro Abortion Politicians and pedophile priest?
How does he compare to Cardinal Mahony & McCarrick?
Agree. McCarrick is a good, honest and likable guy who was gracious and interesting everytime I saw him speak - and that included many gatherings with mixed political mindsets. The uninformed people who call him a "liberal" have never met him or heard him speak at length. I would not call him a "conservative" either - I guess if you do not check every box in the political conservative menu to hell and perdition with you.
Overall, I have been glad to have had Cardinal McCarrick as our archbishop. He has brought a sense of vitality and vision to the archdiocese. He has been a prodigious fundraiser. He has built new parishes. The number of Catholics has grown in absolute terms during his time here, and the number of Catholics assisting at Mass appears to have grown, as well.
He has MORE THAN DOUBLED vocations here in Washington. We are ordaining TWELVE priests this week. This is the largest ordination class in over 30 years. I beieve the last ordination class from Cardinal Hickey's era as five men ordained as priests. And the trend line is still up. I hope that soon-to-be Archbishop Wuerl can continue what Cardinal McCarrick started.
Every time I have ever heard Cardinal McCarrick speak in person, he has proclaimed the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the love of God, that we will want to avoid sin because of God's love for us. And every time I have ever heard Cardinal McCarrick speak in person, he has invited every young person in his audience to contemplate becoming a priest or religious. He has always spoken about the joy of being a priest of Jesus Christ.
Yes, there are many good things about the cardinal.
However, I wasn't at all happy how he (mis)handled the question of what to do with pro-abortion "Catholic" politicians.
I was less unhappy that I disagreed with his approach than I was that he didn't accurately represent then-Cardinal Ratzinger's letter on the subject to his brother bishops. Honest disagreements I can handle. Dishonest representation of those disagreements is wrong.
"Father" is a title which, while especially connected with the Pope, can be used of any spiritual father. St. Paul tells us: "For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many Fathers, For I became you Father in Christ Jesus through the Gospel"(1 Cor. 4-15)
As for "Holy": only God is the source of holiness; people, places, and things can be called "holy" only because of their association with God: holy Scripture, holy rosary, holyday, holy church, Holy Father.
It's emphatically not true that Josef Ratzinger "did nothing" about abuser-priests in his role as head of the CDF. CDF does not have a long enough arm, or the resources, to deal with every accusation and every case everywhere. The CDF has far less funding and staff than the District Attorney's office for a small American city --- and it's dealing with 1.1 billion Catholics speaking 30 or 40 major languages on the 6 inhabited continents.
As head of the CDF, Ratziner showed the approach that would be adopted under John Paul II for dealing with canonical sanctions: namely, to pursue a few major clerical offenders on every continent, and then put pressure on bishops to deal with abusers and other evildoers in their own dioceses, which is where the principal responsibility must be placed.
The CDF disciplined prominent theologians who were pushing heresies, such as Fr Tissa Balasuriya (Asia); Fr. Ernesto Cardenal (Central America); Fr. Leonardo Boff, Sr. Ivone Gebara (South America), St. Meinrad Seminary Professor Sr. Carmel McEnroy; U.S. Jesuit Frs. Michael Buckley and Edward Glynn; former Dominican priest Matthew Fox; former Jesuit John J. McNeill; Fr. Charles Curran (USA); Fr. Hans Kung and Fr.Edward Schillebeeckx,(Europe), and Abp. Emmanuel Milingo, the former archbishop of Lusaka, Zambia (Africa). At least four Catholic leaders from Brazil alone were silenced, including a bishop, Dom Pedro Casaldaliga.
Scores of lesser-known Catholic clergy, such as Benedictine Zen master Fr. Willigis Jäger and Conventual Franciscan theologian Fr. Josef Imbach, were silenced or censured.
The point is that the CDF has primary responsibility over "the Doctrine of the Faith." The very limited resources of the office were used to curb those who were falsifying the faith and morals of the Church. Each investigation mentioned above required a careful examination of writings and repeated interviews with those accused of doctrinal error, and the list was sprawling. In this context, the CFD told the bishops: "We're doing our job protecting the doctrine; you do your job in rooting out corruption, including abusive priests, in your own diocese."
As chief "doctrine enforcer," Ratzinger wasn't in a position to appoint new bishops. Now he is. He's 79 years old and --- knowing his time is limited--- he is undoubtedly choosing his priorities carefully.
Pray for him.
I was expecting either Wuerl or Michael Sheehan from Santa Fe, who is also skilled at dealing with politicians and political issues.
We should pray for Bishop Wuerl, as he will now be the spokesman for the Catholic Church in the United States.
From the little I know, he's more conservative than McCarrick....
That is what I was hoping to hear. McCarrick is too leftist, and his position in the nation's capital gives him a good deal of visibility and, therefore, a fair amount influence.
(I am not in his diocese, but, because of my last job, I had familiarity with his work.)
Wuerl's a perfect choice!!
McCarrick is hardly a leftist, unless everyone to the left of Fabian Bruskewitz is a leftist.
That's ridiculous, saying that he knew of all the abuses. One might say he knew there were problems, but I'm sure he didn't know of all the abuses. God might know of all the abuses. But even He left it to the local bishops -- for now.
It's also ridiculous to say he did nothing. You have no idea what he's done.
However, I guess I'm less sanguine about both the outgoing and incoming bishop.
You know that I personally like Cardinal McCarrick, but I believe that when his liberal politics came into conflict with his episcopal office, he compromised too much his duties as shepherd of his flock. It was outrageous how he misrepresented Cardinal Ratzinger's letter to the American bishops on the topic of the Eucharist and pro-abort "Catholic" politicians. It was wrong how he soft-pedaled the apostasy of folks like John Kerry, Arnold Scharzenegger, Rudolph Giuliani, Chappaquiddick Ted Kennedy, and a list of others too long to name.
Unfortunately, at least on that subject, soon-to-be Archbishop Wuerl looks little better. As well, it appears that then-Auxiliary Bishop Wuerl was not up to the challenge of cleaning out the pig sty created by Archbishop Hunthausen out in Washington state.
Calling either of these men "outstanding bishops" might be a bit of hyperbole.
But I'll hope and pray for the best.
The US Conference of Catholic Bishops is on record as being in favor of generous immigration reform. McCarrick is reflective of the vast majority of US bishops.
McCarrick just turned 75. Interesting to see the Holy Father accepted his retirement. I am really liking this Holy Father.
Cardinal McCarrick actually turned 75 last July.
However, to accept a cardinal's resignation ten months after it's proffered does seem a little quick.
That sounds a lot like the Diocese of Charlotte :-).
bye, bye teddy
Sitetest has got this one right, livius. McCarrick is a media hound. One of my minor irritations with him when I lived in Metuchen was that he would knock down little old ladies to get photographed with my son, who has Downs, as his altar boy, although he cared little for my son personally. If the papers were going to be there, you could bet my sons would be serving at a Mass McCarrick was celebrating.
With an approach like that, McCarrick must have gone to the Roger Mahony School of Bishopry. Sort of like Hogwarts but not as pretty.
Weurl's a humble man, media savvy but not starstruck. He had an evening call-in show about faith on KDKA-AM for many many years. I don't find him to be wildly liberal, and he's certainly not conservative.
He's the archetype of the USCCB.
10) He always celebrated Holy Thursday Mass at a local men's prison. Part of the reason for this was that he allegedly did not want to wash women's feet as part of the cermony, it being against the rubrics, though he was unwilling to enforce the rules on his Priests as Bishop.
Perhaps Weurl is being the servant he was commanded to be by washing the feet of the outcasts and the forgotten in prison.
I'd be surprised if concern about washing women's feet even enters into his consideration.