Here We Go Again...
Let's face it: after a while, wild speculation stories about the appointment of bishops become farcical and nothing more than a showcase for ideological fantasies. With this story, it has become a secular political campaign.
Cardinal McCarrick hasn't even turned 75 yet, but a certain group has already seen fit to hijack the news cycle with an eye to creating momentum toward its desired inevitable -- i.e. loading the good Cardinal Ted into a rocket, shooting him off into outer space and crowning Chaput in St. Matthew's Cathedral. Why is the poor archbishop being dragged into the conservative bloodlust for McCarrick's scalp, again?
Arrogance of the kind being shown doesn't serve Chaput or the church well at all. It serves conservative interests of ecclesiastical domination, no question, and unfortunately sublimates the other two "C's" to it.
Did somebody say "Napoleon"?
In the process, bishops are kept from doing what they need to do because the press is coming after them about a theoretical, potential, possible move which is months, if not years, in the future, which can't be spoken about in any case -- because they don't know.
And some want to accuse me of bad journalism? The same people are loving these very gossip-y stories....
A chessboard mentality built on biased, unfounded speculation commodotizes bishops. It's not helpful to the life of local churches -- but then again, ideological fervor rarely is. If you really love Chaput, lay off the DC (or anywhere else) stuff, please, and let the man keep at the job he already has. From Denver, he has become a prominent voice for the church in the US, and he is genuinely happy there. He gets to drive his '87 Chevy, do his movie nights, etc. and still be a presence in the public square.
To put him in Washington means chauffeurs, press insanity, horrible traffic, and the height of the "celebrity" aspect of the episcopal office which gives him great discomfort. (Prophetic voice, yes. Rockstar, no.)
Commoditizing of bishops, in effect, waters-down the significance of the office and increases politicization among the bench. It also dehumanizes these men and turns them into vehicles of political affinities as opposed to real people, real shepherds. Now that is a scandal to the church.
Suffice it to say, there is a big difference between Denver and the District. And the rationale for a man's appointment there is not solely his political finesse and contacts -- Cardinal McCarrick is not Cardinal Hickey, and McCarrick's successor will, in all likelihood, not be as immersed in the political as Uncle Ted is.
Keep that in mind....