Go away for a few days, and look:
a new archbishop an existing archbishop is moved from a see without a red hat to one that has traditionally gotten one. And even more surprising, the red hat see gets a bishop who globe-trots, writes books, accepts high-profile speaking invitations, and otherwise gets his name out there while going after Democrats, dead or alive.
Rock has full coverage, I’m sure. But I don’t think he’ll ask the hard questions on his web site:
Is the new see getting a celebrity or a shepherd? In other words, is the new see in enough trouble that its new bishop will be spending more time with his presbyterate, in the parishes, and working with chancery staff to revive a battered Catholicism? Or is it just 2,000 miles closer to Rome?
Rumor has it at least one bishop turned down the pope on Philly. That’s got to sting, on a few levels.
The outgoing archbishop offered an American-style apology, notable by the words “if I have offended.” I guess it’s plausible deniability: if he doesn’t hear, if he doesn’t get out with the people, he doesn’t know. If the lawyers offer a muzzle, the good bishop doesn’t protest, just queries about black leather or brown. The Catholic Right seems happy enough they have a black-n-white guy movin’ on up.
Cardinal Rigali got a reprieve at the end of a five-month stint as a piñata. Archbishop Chaput can take the train to the White House now. The Catholics of Denver lose their second-straight ordinary, though this one’s not going half a world away. Colorado’s half a million Catholics now get their first collective experience as being a starter wife, ecclesiastically speaking.
Except for the usual cheerleader chants of the far right or left, what’s good and bad about this appointment?