Skip to comments.Pope names Wuerl new archbishop of Washington DC
Posted on 05/16/2006 6:17:25 AM PDT by NYer
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Benedict on Tuesday named Donald W. Wuerl, bishop of Pittsburgh, to be the new archbishop of Washington D.C., one of the most prestigious posts in the American Catholic Church, the Vatican said.
Wuerl succeeds Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, 75, who is retiring after five years in the job.
The post of archbishop of Washington is one of the most influential in American Catholicism because of the regular contacts the prelate has with the White House and other branches of U.S. government.
Wuerl, 65, has been bishop of Pittsburgh since 1988. He was ordained a priest in 1966. Before moving to Pittsburgh, he served as assistant bishop in Seattle.
He speaks Italian, French and Spanish and earned degrees from Pontifical universities in Rome.
Traditionally, the archbishop of Washington is a cardinal, so Wuerl could likely be elevated to that high rank the next time the Pope creates cardinals.
I was hoping for Abp. Chaput.
Good thread on this topic hs already been started here:
Does he speak English? Sorry in this day and age one cannot assume all Americans can...
Wow, I'm stunned. I'm just catching it as 'breaking news' on local TV. I can't help but be a little disappointed. I was hoping for someone a little more conservative (or conservative at all) for Washington. Wow.
I remember when McCarrick was appointed from Newark, where he actually had a reputation as being fairly conservative. However, that was years ago, when "conservative" practically just meant that the bishop drew the line at clown masses and did not let clergy sign their names to pro-abortion petitions. I think perhaps our definition of conservative has evolved to something a little more demanding!
Bp. Wuerl sounds rather moderate, all told, but Freepers who live in Pittsburgh seem to like him. Maybe the Vatican was looking for someone who was solid but not very conflict-oriented; in addition, several people have posted that he is very adept at handling the media, which would certainly be necessary for DC.
Young might have hit the nail on the head.
I know very little about Wuerl other than I find his speaking style a bit dull (he has a program that pops up on Catholic TV sometimes), but I do own one of his books.
The impression I get from a distance is that he maintains McCarrick personability, while being a bit more prolific in his writing and use of media.
His Theology is probably a bit more on the orthodox side, but I don't think Georgetown is quaking, but I also don't think CU will be unhappy with him.
It may even lead to an bump in Vocations..though not so great you'd notice if you weren't looking for it.
I think the trend has been to appoint the more orthodox Bishops to smaller sees in the beginning to avoid to obvious a shift. It'll be awhile before you see a Buskewitz in someplace like LA, Boston, NY or Philly.
Though Albany is kind of backwater (no offense meant) so maybe when the time comes Hubbard's replacement will upset the right people (or should I have said "left people"?)
Search is our friend! Huh?
"It may even lead to an bump in Vocations..though not so great you'd notice if you weren't looking for it."
May it be so!
However, Cardinal McCarrick has done quite a bit in that regard. During his reign as Archbishop of Washington, priestly ordinations more than doubled, and are still trending upward. I'm crossing my fingers that our new archbishop can just maintain the trend.
I lived in the Neewark Archdiocese and was confirmed by Cardinal McCarrick, and never once have I heard someone say he was fairly conservative. Maybe not as explicitly liberal as some, but mostly liberl. Bishop Wuerl will be a great improvement.
"We don't have many orthodoxy issues in Philly"
This is true because Philly has consistently had orthodox bishops in the years during and following Vatican II to this day. Cardinal Krol, Bevilacqua, and now Rigali have all been awesome shepherds.
Unfortunately, it is the rare diocese today that claim such a consistent Orthodoxy. Most dioceses were put under the charge of hard or soft liberals following Vatican II, during which time most of the damages were done, and then the bishops which followed those liberals tended to be either status-quo (those who stop any more damage from happening) or milder liberals who slow down the damage. Recently, however, the trend has been improving.
I don't know much about the DC Diocese. Frankly, I am more concerned in who replaces Card. Keeler (turned 75 two months ago) in Baltimore, a major diocese that, in my view, has followed the typical pattern I noted above, and now needs an overhaul with a staunchly orthodox bishop.
Oops, wasn't meant to question Philly's orthodoxy, just referencing it due to it's size and prestige amongst U.S. Diocese.
Thanks for the information! As I said, he was "conservative" by the standards of a time that was used to the likes of "Bishop Ken" and Rembert Weakland (just typing his name makes me snicker).
So was I. He is the most articulate of the bishops who are willing to stand up for Catholic teaching.
I have a friend from Balitmore whose Catholicism is, shall we say, a little different from that of the Faith of the Ages. Whenever I used to comment on some bizarre understanding of hers, she would shrug and say, "hey, I'm a Baltimore Catholic." It sounds to me as if they need a bishop who could bring them out of bondage in Baltimore and back to the Church Universal!
hey, I'm a Baltimore Catholic."
Never heard of this expression, but it doesn't surprise me.
I lived in MD for 6 years and just recently moved to NJ for the sake of liturgical/spiritual sanity for myself and my family. Leaving that aside, I still remain in the dark about a lot of the recent history of Baltimore. What I do know is this:
1. Archbishop Borders (1974 - 1989) was never made a Cardinal, and has been noted to be a "steadfast promoter of Vatican II"...whatever that means.
2. Cardinal Keeler is more of a soft core liberal. He's definitely an "inclusive language" nut, and that shows in the feminist language employed among the pastors in various diocesan churches.
3. Way back when, Cardinal Gibbons was known to be a liberal (i.e. an Americanist) in his day vis-a-vis Popes Leo XIII and St. Pius X. So, it would seem that Baltimore has a long ingrained history of "liberal Catholicism."
Oh, one more thing...
Let's not forget the Pink Palace. A younger priest in Baltimore once told me that a lot of the priests at the time complained that incoming Cardinal Keeler was too conservative.
Heh, this means that Abp. Chaput is still in play for Dallas when Bishop Grahmann resigns in two months!
Hey, I can hope (and pray), can't I?
I doubt Bruskewitz will ever be promoted from his current diocese. He will retire there.
Anyone following the shift in the balance of the USCCB?
Remember that Skylstad was elected President with only 52% of the vote. All else being equal, by next year when his term is up, the makeup of the bishops should have shifted enough to finally change the course of the USCCB. Trautperson and his ilk should also be out of power too, I hope.
What is the shift?
I figure at least 5 liberal bishops who were voting members of the USCCB in 2004 are already gone. McCarrick, Gumbleton, Sullivan, the former bishops of KC and Joliet. There may be more, and so that is what I am asking. I guess the shift will be better known when we know who is replacing Wuerl in Pittsburgh and the other one in Joliet.
Next year, Cardinal George is in line. I think he, together with Wuerl, will be the leaders of the new "moderate" wing of the USCCB closely allied with the conservative wing to form a majority.
George is definitely Orthodox, but not a confrontational one. As for George leading the USCCB, never going to happen, HE DOES NOT WANT THE JOB.
If my calculations are correct, we have, hopefully at least, seen the last of the liberal establishment Presidents of the USCCB with Skylstad.
Rumors aren't worth much ... last week I heard a rumor that Myers was going to replace McCarrick. Maybe he will replace Keeler, instead.
What, is Myers stalking McCarrick?
Interesting. The USCCB is one of the biggest obstacles to orthodoxy in the Church in this country. If it's any consolation, most of the national bishops' conferences in other countries (at least in Europe) are likewise. These organizations, foisted on us after VatII to promote "collegiality" and give the feeling of national churches, are a real bane.
Yes, I agree. The USCCB is a waste of time, money...well a waste of everything. But, if we have to work with the stupid organization, we may as well better it.
Cardinal George elected bishops' conference vice president
By Jerry Filteau Catholic News Service
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- When the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops elected Chicago's Cardinal Francis E. George as vice president Nov. 15, it was the first time in 33 years that a cardinal has been selected as one of the conference's two top officers. Cardinal George, 67, has been archbishop of Chicago since 1997 and a cardinal since 1998. Every third year the bishops elect a new USCCB president and vice president from a slate of 10 nominees. A simple majority is needed for election. Bishop William S. Skylstad of Spokane, Wash., vice president for the past three years, was easily elected president, winning 52 percent of the vote on the first ballot. Cardinal George came in second with 23 percent, with the remaining quarter of the votes spread among the other eight candidates.
The bishops then turned to the vice presidential election, choosing from among the remaining candidates. In the first ballot, out of 232 votes Cardinal George got 83, or 36 percent, and Bishop Donald W. Wuerl picked up 66, or 28 percent. Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas of Tucson, Ariz., was a distant third with 21. On the second round of voting for vice president, Cardinal George moved up to 108 votes and Bishop Wuerl to 95. Between them they had 89 percent of the 228 votes cast. Following USCCB rules, the third ballot was a runoff between the two candidates with the most votes in round two. Of 230 bishops who voted in the final ballot, 118 voted for Cardinal George and 112 for Bishop Wuerl.
NYer, I know that your Maronite Bishop is young 'un. Do the Maronites tend to stick to the retirement at 75 rule, or is treated as "optional" as some of the other eastern Catholic churches do.
While 52% to 23% was still a wide margin, implicit in the numbers is the fact that 48% did not vote for Skylstad. 52% was and is an all time low percentage to win compared to the 60 % 70% range of the vote that all of the previous USCCB presidents garnered.
All it will take is for that remaining 48% plus the new bishops to unite as a force of opposition to the liberal establishment.
As for George and Wuerl, I see them as two of the same (both good bishops), so the fact that they split the vote so closely was because the choice was between an apple and another apple so to speak. I would say look for Wuerl to get the top post next time (and before he gets the Cardinal's hat).
Agreed. looks like the "liberals" had settled on one candidate while the Bishops more faithful to the pope split their votes among a few other candidates. hoping for a change in 2007.
We probably would find the impostor list contains the names Lynch,Friend,Hubbard,Clark,Mahony,Brown,Skylstad,Pilla,Pilarzyck,Imesch,Flynn,Ryan,McCormack,Graemann/(Dallas),Trautmann,Boland,a couple whose last names begin with K,the bishop of Gallup,N.M.,and some other remnants of the Jadot/Baggio antiChurch appointments. There are probably a few others who for political reasons knew from the beginning that the chances for Kikanes were slim and voted for someone who they considered the lesser of two evils. In any case they are a dying breed.
One thing that remains a mystery to me and caused me to be very disappointed was the nomination of Trautmann to head up ICEL from the floor. That was awful. The only reason I could come up with was that it was the final furious reaction to the realization that their reign was coming to an end. However,that doesn't explain the very large number of votes he got. Any ideas?
Unfortunately, the auxiliary bishops also get a vote each in these ballots. So that would include Gumbleton (out finally!) and Sklba (getting old too) in that 22 and likely Trautperson promoters.
If Trautperson gets his way w/ the translations, the overall finished product needs a 2/3 majority to approve, while the amendments need a simple majority. I know there are enough bishops to make 33% +1 to oppose his finished product if need be...just let's hope the true bishops stick together on this.
For that matter, "Ascension Sunday" passed by one vote above the 2/3 needed back in 1998. With the change in bishops since then, that vote would fail today if it came up for the first time. I am really disappointed that a lot of good bishops eventually caved on this and now transfer the Ascension to Sunday.