Episcopal speculations in Pittsburgh

Episcopal speculations in Pittsburgh

Countdown continues for naming of new Catholic bishop

It’s December and, given some public predictions that the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh would receive its new bishop by year’s end, speculation is rampant.

One of the most persistent rumors was that the new man would be named Friday. That seemed unlikely, given that the Vatican was closed for a holy day of obligation. There was a hotter rumor Thanksgiving weekend that the bishop would be named Nov. 28, but there are no discernible signs of incoming prelates.

“We have not been informed of any new appointment of any bishop to the Diocese of Pittsburgh,” said the Rev. Ronald Lengwin, spokesman for the diocese.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette previously has identified eight bishops considered strong contenders for the post. Each has a stellar reputation and is known to have support from various powerful sources within the hierarchy. Another three names also are receiving buzz right now: Bishop Paul Bradley, 61, an auxiliary bishop of Pittsburgh. ... Bishop John Gaydos, 63, of Jefferson City, Mo. ... Archabbot Douglas Nowicki, 61, of St. Benedict Archabbey, Latrobe.

Not sure where they’re getting their information from but (a) predicting when a bishop is going to be appointed is an exercise in futility; the Vatican works as slowly or quickly as it wants, seemingly according to whim, and (b) predicting who is going to be named is similarly pointless because odds are that until the eventual bishop is actually informed of the decision no one but Rome knows who is on the short list and all names are pulled out of the hat. In other words the names represent the wish lists of various pundits and don’t actually reflect reality. It doesn’t mean that the bishop won’t come from the 11 names listed, but it’s just as likely (and perhaps more likely) that he won’t.

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli