ARCHBISHOP NIEDERAUER: A Classmate's Joy
Mahony said today that Niederauer has a reputation as a deeply spiritual priest and bishop, who has made himself available to fellow priests.At the press conference, I'm told that Niederauer apologized for a letter he wrote a judge in his time as a spiritual director, asking clemency for a priest who had been convicted of abuse. A bishop's apology is a good way to start -- you don't see such things all that often.
"The people of San Francisco will be enriched with his wonderful spirituality," Mahony said.
Here's a further recap:
"I'm going to try to get past labels," he told a news conference at St. Mary's Cathedral Conference Center here. "I'm going to proclaim the good news of the church for the right, left and center." ...As Bush likes to say to his people after they speak at press conferences, "Good work."
Asked about the new Vatican guidelines that reinforce restrictions on gays entering the priesthood, such as remaining celibate for three years before entering the seminary, Niederauer said a candidate's sexual orientation was less important than his "effective maturity." "I'm not into labeling people," he added.
Like all Catholic bishops, he said he could not support same-sex marriage. "I have the conviction, as does the church, that marriage is a union between a man and a woman. It doesn't mean that I don't care about and want to serve everyone in San Francisco," he said.
In Utah, Niederauer did not endorse a state constitutional amendment that would have prohibited same-sex marriages. Niederauer said that he believed existing state law already prohibited such unions and that a constitutional amendment was unnecessary, according to Catholic News Service.
Underscoring his intent to make himself available to his new widely diverse archdiocese, Niederauer said, "I want to meet with anybody who wants to meet with me. There's nobody off my list, certainly not on the basis of a label."