How does Pope Francis choose bishops of important dioceses? McElroy to DC?

How does Pope Francis choose bishops of important dioceses? [McElroy to DC?]

BishopMcElroyItalian vaticanista Andrea Gagliarducci writes regularly a column at his place called “Monday Vatican”. You should read him.

Today, however, he has a piece at CNA about how Pope Francis seems to approach the selection of and translation of bishops. HERE

Among other things, Andrea wrote:

Over the past year, Pope Francis has appointed 16 U.S. bishops, most of them in smaller dioceses or as auxiliaries. The major pending question is that of the successor of Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the Archbishop of Washington, D.C. Cardinal Wuerl is already 76 years old, more than a year beyond the normal retirement age.

The post in Washington, D.C. is a key post, as it involves both pastoral care and institutional relations with the U.S. political establishment. What will Pope Francis do?

An insistent rumor says that Bishop Robert W. McElroy of San Diego might be at the top of the list.

Bishop McElroy recently grabbed headlines for jumping into the discussion on LGBT issues that followed Fr. James Martin’s book, “Building a Bridge.” Bishop McElroy has defended the book, and Martin, in the face of criticisms of his work. [I wrote a response to McElroy’s statement that anyone who opposes a homosexualist agenda is like a “cancer” in the Church and that they should be “purged”. HERE]

He also recently took part in a Boston College conference on Amoris Laetitia, hosted by Cardinal Blase Cupich and Father James Keenan, SJ. During the conference, Bishop McElroy reported on the diocesan synod he launched on Amoris Laetitia, and said that Catholic teaching must take seriously the complexity of adult moral life.  [More on that Agitprop Conference HERE]

Among observers, he is considered a figure similar to Cardinal Blase Cupich, who was personally chosen by Pope Francis in 2014 to lead the Archdiocese of Chicago. This seems to suggest that he is a fit for Pope Francis’ model of episcopal leadership.

Of course, his appointment is simply a rumor, just as another rumor in Rome says that the Pope will soon call Cardinal Cupich to lead an important Vatican office in Rome.

Just so that you know what is going on behind the scenes.

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One comment on “How does Pope Francis choose bishops of important dioceses? McElroy to DC?


    McElroy To DC?

    My! How time flies! Not until I saw Father Zuhlsdorf’s [above] post did I realize that Cardinal Wuerl is 76 years old, one year past retirement age. Father Z, however, related a rather unpleasant rumor – that Bishop McElroy might be selected to replace the Cardinal.

    In this anthology of posts, I addressed some comments “to the readers who have the misfortune to call him their bishop”. Well, will that misfortune be foisted upon us? I’m not sure it really matters. On the one hand, should Wuerl retire, we can be certain that anyone whom the pope might pick will be very similar to Wuerl. McElroy would meet that requirement. Any differences between Wuerl and McElroy are at most, matters of style. [Including any “objective disorder” (or as Jesuit Fr. Martin puts it, “different order”)? – AQ moderator Tom]

    Frankly, I’m not sure Cardinal Wuerl is retiring any too soon. He’s been too helpful to Pope Francis as the latter pours progressive poison both in and on the Church.

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