On the Homefront...
As I've come to be known as the ranking scholar of my cardinal-archbishop, here's my reply. Hopefully it gives a good synthesis of the Philadelphia situation at this point in time:
As for Cardinal Rigali and Philadelphia, he's taken to this town like a fish in water. He loves the culture and has been extremely supportive and affirmative of the cohesion here among the priests. He's made the auxiliaries work harder than they ever have in their lives by giving them both pastoral responsibilities over large areas of the archdiocese and vicarious control over particular sectors of the curia. (One, I'm told, was getting FedEx visits twice a day on his recent vacation!) And most of all, he's been extremely humble, sweet and kind with our people on his visits to the parishes and institutions. He'll talk with the gardener who nobody else approaches for 10 minutes or something like that -- it's just his quietly personable way, and it's been received with great acclaim.
That said, he's also realized that this is a culture which doesn't always accept the teachings of the Council in their fullness -- he is very much a Vatican II bishop, having taken part in the Council as a young priest. And reading his speeches, one can find a great emphasis on the Conciliar vision of the Church as servant and instrument of communio in the modern world. He hasn't yet gotten to the point where he's calling people on the carpet about it just yet, preferring the "you catch more flies with honey" approach -- which also fits his diplomatic side better -- but he's much more attuned to the work of Social Services, justice and peace causes, etc. than, say, [conservative prelate's name excised]. He knows the facts and figures of the international situation, and it's really impressive to watch. Rigali has long been a leader on this side of the pond in working to combat human trafficking, a cause dear to the heart of the Holy See and the JP "Culture of Life" ethic. We even had a Justice Department conference on it here in Philly thanks to Rigali's work on the cause. By contrast, when [conservative prelate's name excised] was asked about the issue, he looked at the interviewer as if he had six heads.... Justin really is a workhorse bishop. I don't always see eye to eye with him, and I rib him from time to time, but for all that, I am exceedingly proud and happy to have him here.
And that's the way it is.