Bsp. Wuerl Goes to Washington

Well, apparently the rumors were true this time. I guess you can’t refuse promotion forever.

"Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Bishop Donald W. Wuerl to succeed Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick as archbishop of Washington."


" Archbishop-designate Wuerl will continue to serve as bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh until his installation as archbishop of Washington on June 22, 2006."

Bishop Wuerl had the following to say about his promotion.

"The decision of our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, to transfer me to the Archdiocese of Washington, DC, is one I embrace in the context of faith in God’s providential care. Although I am greatly aware of my own limitations, I find strength in the Pope’s trust in me and also in the prayerful support I have always found from the Catholic faithful I have attempted to serve here in the Diocese of Pittsburgh."

Here’s a summary of his pastoral letters.

Here’s what St. Blog’s Parish has to say about him.

I wonder who’ll replace him. Will an auxilliary bishop be elevated? Will someone be transferred from another diocese? Will the replacement desire more indult masses? In a perfect world, Father Bryan Summers would be elevated, but this is not a perfect world. 😉

What are your thoughts on possible replacements?

Addendum: American Papist has links to more coverage than you can shake a crozier at.

Comments 9

  1. Emily T wrote:

    I thought I heard somewhere that auxilliary bishops aren’t typically elevated.

    It’d be nice to have the next bishop bring some good religious orders into the area. I think Pittsburgh could be set on fire with some solid orders.

    Someone more like Chaput than Trautman and I’ll be happy. 🙂 We should pray.

    Posted 16 May 2006 at 12:48 pm
  2. edey wrote:

    bishop gomez, the former auxilary bishop of denver got his own See. he’s now archbishop of San Antonio.

    some of the solid religious orders aren’t ready to branch out yet, though. for example, the sisters of life and the dominican sisters of Mary, mother of the Eucharist have been invited to other places, but want to become more “established” first. so, you never know. wuerl *could* be inviting orders but just hasn’t invited ones who are ready yet. unlikely, but possible.

    chaput or burke would be nice…or bruskewitz. ok, so chaput and burke aren’t gonna come…but maybe bruskewitz. 😉

    i’m with eric, tho, Fr b for bishop 🙂 (i know that’s not gonna happen either)

    Posted 16 May 2006 at 2:35 pm
  3. Tom Smith wrote:

    With religious orders, I think it’s typically the other way around: they desire to move to a particular place, and need the bishop’s indult to do so. . . though I may be wrong.

    Posted 16 May 2006 at 8:16 pm
  4. edey wrote:

    i think it depends on the order. maybe more established orthodox orders like the nashville dominicans (or–if they have the numbers–some heterodox orders), but the “young” (aka less than ~20 years old) orders seem to want to become more established before “branching out” and when they branch out they want to do so at a reasonable pace so they dont’ spread themselves too thin. that’s what i’ve noticed from talking to a few bishops and a fair number of orthodox women’s orders.

    Posted 16 May 2006 at 8:23 pm
  5. rat wrote:

    Somewhat off-topic question (sorry): Does anyone know anything about today’s other episcopal appointment, Bishop Sartain to the Diocese of Joliet? Obviously Bishop Wuerl heading to Washington is bigger news, both locally and nationally, but the Joliet Diocese is where I grew up, so I’m kinda curious… I know next-to-nothing about Bp. Sartain.

    Posted 16 May 2006 at 10:28 pm
  6. Anthrakeus wrote:

    Tom & edey, regarding religious orders, you’re both right. Some orders choose not to expand; some are not entirely welcome (depending on the diocese and the order). For the most part, however, bishops don’t micro-manage these things. If they see a particular need, they fill it. That’s why Bishop Wright brought the Oratorians to Pittsburgh, it’s why Bishop Tobin brought the FSSP to Youngstown. However, by and large, the situation in America rarely requires new orders (at least in the mind of bishops). Everything’s getting taken care of (again, in the mind of bishops).

    Bishop Wuerl tended not to like male religious in his diocese (so they weren’t getting an invite). There are a reasonable number of women’s religious in Pittsburgh. You may not like them, but that’s another matter.

    Emily, generally auxiliary bishops don’t succeed to the sees in which they are auxiliaries because those sees are usually quite large and important. Too much for a first time appointment. Pittsburgh just happens to be small enough that it could happen. Oddly enough, while only Bishop Leonard was an auxiliary before becoming the ordinary, Phelan, Canevin and Cardinal Dearden all succeeded to Pittsburgh after being made coadjutors (which more or less gives a bishop automatic succession).

    I’m all for Bishop Summers (hey we have an auxiliary bishop Winter- let’s go for the match set). I recommend we call the Vatican. Does any one know a few curial cardinals who owe a few favors?

    Posted 17 May 2006 at 1:47 am
  7. rat wrote:

    Emily T said – “We should pray.”

    I completely agree – it’s fun and all to engage in speculation, but don’t forget that now’s a great time for some old-fashioned prayer and fasting. Both for Archbishop-Designate Wuerl, and for the Church in Pittsburgh as she awaits a new shepherd.

    I had the good fortune to briefly talk to Fr. B today – but I forgot to mention the people’s desire to see him in a Bishop’s mitre 😉

    Posted 17 May 2006 at 1:15 pm
  8. The other Emily wrote:

    Again, I ask: Where is the bishop of Youngstown? Youngstown has been waiting for another shepherd for more than a year, since the end of March 2005. We continue to pray, but some people in the diocese have been very discouraged as other sees (made vacant more recently) have received bishops before Youngstown.

    Kyrie eleison…

    Posted 20 May 2006 at 7:31 pm
  9. cosmas wrote:

    Other Emily,

    There are quite a few dioceses, in fact 7, in the United States right now that are vacant…Youngstown, OH, and Birmingham, AL, have been vacant since about the time John Paul II died. Sioux Falls, SD has been vacant since Dec. 2004. Larger sees are filled more quickly, for example, right after Card. McCarrick’s retirment was accepted, a new Archbishop of Washington was named. I think that Pope Benedict will be very careful about whom he puts in Birmingham because he knows personally of history of the conflict between EWTN and the local ordinaries. Youngstown doesn’t have the same situation, but it seems like the Holy Father (and the new Apostolic Nuncio, Abp. Sambi) been careful with appointments and we need to be patient both in Youngstown and in the future in Pittsburgh.

    Posted 20 May 2006 at 10:57 pm

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