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.
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