Liam broke the news here, and Deacon Greg includes a statement from the bishop-elect here. Our frequent commenter mentions that Pope Francis has avoided sending new bishops to places without personal connections. I’m sure anything written by someone other than the bishop-elect, his archbishop(s), or someone in Rome is sheer speculation.
Maybe sending a filmmaker to Hollywood is a no-brainer. I remember an America piece from last summer in which Jim McDermott described his aspiration to make films caught the attention of his Jesuit superiors. So they sent him to UCLA to learn how to do it. Perhaps Pope Francis has a secret plan to evangelize in southern California.
Maybe another auxiliary bishop is needed more in Los Angeles than in the Second City.
A combination of the above implies that some discernment went into this appointment, that Congregation of Bishops is actually putting some thought into assignments, and not just sending culturewarriors into liberal bastions just to shake things up.
I do recall that many folks have been agitating for this “promotion” for years. I wonder if they realize that we will soon find out if Word on Fire is more Robert Barron or more the Holy Spirit. I suspect it is more the latter, and we will see new presenters on the films produced.
I like his last request at the conclusion of his own statement:
Please pray for me and teach me how to be a good bishop.
Rocco has more on the other two bishops appointed, including this curiosity about David O’Connell:
Hailed as an exemplar of the priesthood in a 2002 LATimes profile as the clergy sex-abuse crisis made national headlines, the candid cleric likewise made a wave of a different sort in the piece with an indirectly cited statement that “women should be ordained and clergy should be able to marry.”
“If there had been some parents in there running things,” O’Connell said then in reference to abuse and its cover-up, “none of this would have ever happened.”
Those kind of statements would have been a disqualifier in previous recent decades. Even if only hearsay.
These three guys represent a small cadre of immense talent. Ecclesiastical gold for LA.