|Freshly "snipped" from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia at 6:00am this morning|
Update: July 20, 2011 - See the embedded video just added from the presser with Archbishop Chaput's statement. Also, if you read anything, read the two interviews, one by John Allen, the other in the list at the bottom by Sandro Magister.
Savannah, Georgia wakes up to the news that Franciscan, Rev. Gregory John Hartmayer, OFM will become it's next bishop, and the people of Philadelphia got confirmation that Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Denver will succeed the outgoing Cardinal Justin Rigali.
Archbishop Chaput had been rumored more than once to be headed to a cardinalatial see from his Denver post which he has held since 1997, and it finally happened this morning with his appointment today to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia by Pope Benedict XVI. He will be installed on September 8, 2011 - the day on which we celebrate the Birth of Mary. At the same time, the Holy Father accepted the resignation of Cardinal Justin Rigali who held that post since October of 2003. The two will be at a 10:00 press conference which can probably be watched live at the diocesan website.
I, like other Catholic bloggers, was watching the rumor mill swell until it finally could not contain itself any more yesterday and the near certainty was winding it's way through Philly papers and the blogosphere before the embargo which would have been Noon time today in Rome.
The Philly-bound bishop was the second Native American (Prairie Band Potawatomi Tribe) to be ordained a bishop in the United States, the first Native American to be archbishop, and God-willing, the first Native American to become a Cardinal. It is unusual for a bishop to be named Cardinal while his predecessor is still alive, and under 80. Upon reaching the age of 80, they are no longer considered among the Cardinal Electors who chose the next Pope. Cardinal Rigali just turned 76 a few months ago. Archbishop Chaput would be likely be elevated to Cardinal in a consistory at some point after April of 2015 if Philadelphia keeps it's red hat, and depending on other limitations there may be on overall numbers and distribution.
You can read Archbishop Charles J. Chaput's full bio and curriculum vitae at the Archdiocese of Denver website.
"A Conservative Bishop"?
That is a label for Archbishop Chaput you will see in many sources. But, how would people describe "conservative"? Is he politically conservative, socially conservative, liturgically conservative?
In looking around the web this morning, I found an exclusive interview that reporter, John Allen had with Archbishop Chaput about his appointment to Philadelphia. In that interview they talk about everything from politics, to baseball, and the Latin Mass.
Why, oh why is this respectable reporter still writing for the dissident rag, the National Catholic Reporter. Now, considering that the NC Reporter has writers advocating everything from liberation theology to abortion I recommend looking at the reaction of their readers in the combox to the news of Chaput's appointment. The dissident wing of the Church is throwing an absolute nutty. Thomas J. Reese, SJ, of the Woodstock Theological Center [I'm not making that up], had this reaction in Philly.com:
"I think that with Chaput you will see a much more politically active archbishop than we saw with Cardinal Rigali," said the Rev. Thomas Reese, former editor of the Jesuit magazine America and author of numerous books on the Catholic hierarchy.
Reese described Chaput as an "in-your-face" leader who is "going to be a real pain in the neck for the Democratic Party."
It's not the Democratic Party that Archbishop Chaput is confronting; rather it is Catholic Democratic Party politicians and other democrats who exploit their "catholicity" for agendas that are contrary to Catholic teaching which he confronts.
In an article written yesterday by Allen, he had this to say:
Despite the fact that Chaput has been rumored to be in line for virtually every major opening in the American church in recent years, his appointment to Philadelphia nonetheless comes as something of a surprise.
Speaking on background, sources told NCR that Chaput was a highly personal choice by Pope Benedict. Most insiders considered Chaput a long-shot for Philadelphia, regarding Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., a Pennsylvania native and a prelate with a reputation for brokering compromise, as the favorite.
Benedict, however, tapped Chaput, solidifying his profile as a papal favorite.
In recent years, Benedict turned to Chaput to handle two other sensitive assignments: Chaput was part of a team of bishops tasked with conducting a review of the Legionaries of Christ, and he was also entrusted with a visitation of the Toowoomba diocese in Australia under Bishop William Morris.
That latter investigation led to Benedict's decision to sack Morris, in part because Morris suggested openness to women priests in a pastoral letter.
One way to learn about someone is through their writings. You can find a boatload of them linked at the bottom of this page since Archbishop Chaput is a prolific writer on a number of topics.
More articles and blogposts are below. Some of these were written yesterday or early this morning, before the official announcement, but contain interesting notes and background.
I am providing a variety of resources here - some seemingly favorable, others not, and others just reporting facts. Here again, I recommend sampling some of the comments that can be found in the blogs. I would not recommend paying much attention to comboxes of secular news sources since there are many non-Catholics, mostly secularists, who tend to dominate those discussions.
THIS LIST WILL BE UPDATED LATER
- Archbishop Chaput to lead Philadelphia Archdiocese (Vatican Radio)
- From the Prairie to the Atlantic Coast. The New Bishops Stateside (Sandro Magister)
- Chaput to Philly (Thomas Pringle)
- Render Unto Chaput -- Sources: Denver's Capuchin = Philadelphia's Revolution (Rocco Palmo)
- Pope accepts Philadelphia archbishop's resignation; Chaput named successor (Allentown Morning Call)
- Archbishop may become Cardinal (the Coloradan)
- Michael Sean Winters (NCR Blog) is throwing a nutty
- It won't be Rigali, Part 2 (Philly.com)
- Great 2008 Interview with Archbishop Chaput (Regnun Novum)
- Tom Peters, the American Papist will be at the 10:00am Presser, Tweeting (Catholic Vote)
- Chaput to Philly (The Anchoress)
- Philadelphia needs it's new archbishop (Matt Archbold)
- Of course, the New York Times would rely on the "Woodstock Theological Center" for comment
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