Pope’s Appointment to Archdiocese of San Francisco is Strong Defender of Marriage
From Whispers in the Loggia:
A “major announcement on the future of the archdiocese” already set for 10am local time at St Mary’s Cathedral, at Roman Noon the pontiff named Bishop Salvatore Cordileone, 56—the San Diego-born head of the neighboring Oakland church since 2009, and lead hand behind the US bishops’ national effort to defend the traditional definition of marriage—to succeed Archbishop George Niederauer, who reached the retirement age of 75 in June 2011.
After a half-century of occupants accused by conservatives of soft-pedaling church teaching in favor of a more conciliatory approach toward constituencies ranging from gays and lesbians to Nancy Pelosi—a group of prelates among which even the recently-retired lead guardian of church doctrine, Cardinal William Levada, was not exempt from stinging criticism—the move delivers the long-desired “Holy Grail” of the American Catholic Right firmly into the faction’s hands, in the form of a prelate already known widely both for his forcefulness and a stringent doctrinal cred almost unequaled among his confreres on the national bench.
For liberal Catholics, meanwhile, the appointment is likely to be received as something akin to the city’s Great Earthquake of 1906, or even more apocalyptic events. In a nutshell, an appointment of this dramatic, potentially explosive nature is enough to make even last year’s blockbuster move in the States—likewise a final US move of the Curia’s annual work-cycle—appear almost mild by comparison.
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