Wuerl in DC?

Wuerl in DC?

There’s been some talk on other blogs recently about Bishop Donald Wuerl of Pittsburgh being considered to replace Cardinal Theodore McCarrick in Washington. The rumor may or may not turn out to be true (which is the nature of rumors, is it not?), but I have to note that Wuerl has been rumored for nearly every significant episcopal appointment since 1989. I’ve heard his name mentioned in connection with Denver, Boston, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, St. Louis, you name it.

Somebody really likes Wuerl and wants to promote. So far, it hasn’t been Pope John Paul. Maybe Pope Benedict has a different view. We’ll see. In any case, I think it would be an improvement for DC.

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
11 comments
  • Wuerl was mentioned the last time there was an opening in DC. Must be the same rumor mill. If it’s an improvement, I hope it’s because being younger means more intestinal fortitude. We could use it in what is politely called “the Nation’s capital.”

  • If you think about it, among the American Cardinals, only one is a theologian scholar: Cardinal George (I presume that DC will remain a Cardinal See).  Bishop Donald Wuerl is Patristics scholar and it is a very important subject.  I think Pope Benedict would be open to having another theologian advisor from the U.S.

  • We need a Church leader (i.e. Cardinal) in Washington since it is the most powerful political capital in the world.  The Church needs a really strong voice there.  Despite it’s status as the first Diocese in the USA, Baltimore shouldn’t have a Cardinal before Washington (but I know it seems silly to have 3 Cardinals in about 100 miles Philly-Baltimore-DC).

    The best choice for Washington would be Archbishop Chaput.  He is one of the few bishops that are willing to be a teacher of the hard truths of the faith.  Second choice – Archbishop Dolan from Milwaukee.  Third choice – Archbishop Ed O’Brien from the Military Services (who is cut out of a similar mode to Cardinal O’Connor). 

    Wuerl seems like an ecclesiastical politician of the highest order.

  • Washington was created as a separate See from Baltimore in the 1940s (or was it earlier?), and Archbishop Curley was its first ordinary, in addition to remaining as Archbishop of Baltimore. It was only after a few years that O’Boyle was appointed as a separate ordinary for DC.

    It is not unusual for two major cities so close together to have separate bishops. It is even more the case in California, for example.

  • Baltimore is the first see to have been established in what is now the USA. It would traditionally be designated the “primatial see,” a privilege which it had at one time, I believe, before being revoked in the 19th century. Don’t remember why. In any case, this distinction alone merits the red hat.

  • The Archdiocese of Baltimore was granted by the Holy See “Prerogative of Place” on August 15, 1859, but they do not enjoy “Primatial Status.”

    I don’t think it is necessary.

  • “I don’t think it is necessary.”

    Neither do I, for any of them. But I had the distinct impression that they enjoyed that status at one time, and that its being revoked had something to do with that “Americanist” heresy thing.

    If you know more about this, Padre, please do tell.

  • People once suggested that Bruskewitz would be a good choice for DC. I think he would disagree.

    It’s one thing to bang the drum in the American heartland, quite another to do it on the East Coast. The obscurity of the location ensures a latitude not available in a highly visible see like Washington. Chaput would go where he is sent, I am sure, but I wonder if the Church is ready for such a dose of straight talk from the bully pulpit that is the Nation’s capital.

    I’d also wonder if any one man has the belly for the backlash.

  • Bender, division is an interesting topic.  Brings to mind a certain cardinal who presented information from the Holy See….oh, errr, presented his own views as information from the Holy See….at a USCCB meeting.  *That’s*  division.

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