Sunday, July 17, 2011

Archdiocese of Philadelphia Awaits Pope Benedict's Choice This Week- It's On ( I place my bet)

Archbishop of Denver Chaput

Archbishop of Atlanta Gregory

UPDATE- I LOST THE BET See Archbishop Chaput to Become New Archbishop of Philadelphia (Links)

Whispers in the Loggia is reporting that this is the week with "Roman Noon" perhaps to be on Tuesday. See It's On.

According to Whispers Pope Benedict is supposed to have made his choice two weeks ago but as he mentioned anything can change.

It has been a rough few months in Philly ,and Cardinal Rigali as they deal with the valid perception that there was bad of the g sexual child abuse problem.

It's a situation where the media ,and some of the Faithful are outraged and with cause. On the flip side you have many Priests that are outraged, with cause, that it appears they will be thrown under the bus by any accusation.

Of course in the back ground of this is any Bishop that is appointed the new Archbishop will very likely be made a Cardinal and thus the stakes are huge.

Add to this other problems including the prospect of another hot election cycle coming up in 2012 in which the Keystone State is key and the politics are not for the lighthearted, the changing demographics that this area is combating , and various other issues one sees the need for the right choice.

There are several names mentioned as "likely" two of which are Archbishop Chaput of Denver and Archbishop Gregory of Atlanta.

Both men have dealt with the issue of Catholic Clerical sexual abuse quite well with Archbishop Gregory getting major big kudos as being head of United State Catholic Bishops during the time of reform. Further both men have had very good success with other parts of their "domestic" Church that they are the Head.

Chaput of course is quite a vocal voice for the Church in the public square ,and I am in the camp that would love too see him going to Philly. Both men would be a good choice in my view.

OF COURSE IT COULD BE NEITHER. In fact I would not be shocked if it was someone else at all. However these are teo big names that are mentioned by those that follow such things.

Rumors have had it that Chaput is likely to be the choice , but I think Benedict has have chosen Gregory.

Pope Benedict has a good relationship with Gregory dealing with sexual abuse issues when Cardinal Ratzinger was moving heaven and earth at the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith to get the Holy See to see the scope of the problem.

We have reliable reports before Dinardo (and thus Houston) was elevated to a Cardinal See that Pope Benedict considered (Gregory and thus Atlanta) for this honor and position.

On the flip side there are two other factors (among others) that perhaps would indicate that it would not be a good time to move Gregory.

Archbishop's Catholic " Hotlanta" is growing and has good vocations. However a significant part of that Church , that being the Latino population, is feeling under siege by the States related immigration laws that have just been enacted. Is this a time for the See to be vacant? ( I am not sure how much the actions of the Georgia State Government is on the Holy See's radar) .

Add to this the good Archbishop Gregory has had a cancer scare in the past and one can question if it would be wise or even "fair" to put move him into this needless to say tough and challenging situation. We do know that stress at times cannot be great for a past cancer victim. Of course I am not a doctor , and I think it is thought that Gregory is , despite that successful cancer fight, in good health all things considered. Still....

Last but not least, It is largely thought that in the future that Atlanta will receive a Red Hat so why not just keep Gregory there.

I am personally rooting for Chaput because I think in the future he will be a better fit there ( and by implication the American Church) as we deal with more assaults on the Catholic and Christian faith in the public square. However various voices in the Holy See might not see it that way including in the Sec of State's office perhaps.

However with that being said Benedict might also be seeing a move ahead in his appointments of Bishops ( and indeed perhaps future Cardinals chess game) . While the immediate crisis is in the Archdiocese of Philly is of the prime concern one would be negligent not to think of the future.

A Gregory move to Philly would allow perhaps Benedict to install a Latino Bishop Archbishop in Atlanta. One those Latino Bishops that er likes that has a history of being a Shepherd to both the emerging Latino population but has worked the Anglo side of the street too.

Again there are other people that are in the running besides the two I have focused on. However if I HAD to make a bet I would Gregory (a good choice) though my heart hopes that Chaput gets it.

I also think it would be wise to keep Gregory in Atlanta for other reasons. First if Atlanta is elevated to the RED HAT having the first African American Cardinal in ATLANTA and thus in the South would be huge important symbolism.

Further it is apparent to me that evangelicals , including the powerful Southern Baptist, are about to make a huge push into non Anglo areas in the South. This is one reason Southern Baptist leadership made a push on getting their recent Convention to endorse comprehensive immigration reform and elected as their VP an dynamic and popular African American Pastor from New Orleans . This new push will includes both the black, Latino, and other ethnic segments of the population. It might be good to keep Gregory there that knows the lay of the land as to that. I am under no illusion though that the Holy See is aware of these pending evangelical moves in the American South as those on the ground here are.

As to Chaput this would this would seem an very APT time to make the move to put him in the position of the Red Hat and put a good competent and Holy man in a See in Crisis.

No matter what the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and it's new Archbishop will need our prayers.

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