Thursday, December 15, 2005


"San Francisco has a new archbishop, and those in the know aren't surprised," runs the lede on KGO810 in the City By the Bay.

It doesn't hurt that "those in the know" speak in the person of your humble writer. As Will Ferrell once said while conjuring Harry Caray, "It's not rocket science -- just say yes and we'll move on."

I was the go-to analyst for KGO on the morning of Archbishop Levada's appointment to the CDF. And true to form, we hooked up again this morning for the early feed on the choice of Levada's San Fran successor, 69 year-old Bishop George Niederauer of Salt Lake City.

We did about eight minutes on tape with all the incumbent goodies of an appointment of this magnitude. And yet again, as it was the last time we spoke, I'm running on two hours' sleep. I was working late and didn't crash until after 5.30am. But, in his goodness, God told me something was going to drop today, so I roused myself from sleep around 7 and, lo and behold....

However, unlike on that memorable May morning, champagne was not popped -- for no other reason that there's none on the premises here at Loggia House.

It being San Francisco, the one bit that actually aired was the part in which I spoke about Niederauer's pragmatic approach, particularly his take on the Homosems Instruction and his implication that circumstances still exist under which a man who has had what the Salt Lake Tribune called "lifelong" same-sex attraction may still be admitted to seminary formation.

I called West before 7am Pacific time to wake some friends of the archbishop-elect with the happy news. One cleric, who kidded Niederauer in May about heading back to California, was downright thrilled, saying, "And now, all the pieces come together...."

Indeed, they do.

Once the installation date is announced by the archdiocese of San Francisco at a press conference later today, the spokesperson for "those in the know" will start planning a pilgrimage. Suffice it to say, I'm looking forward to my Love Parade.