Levada, Newly-Proficient at E.mail, Sends Heads-Up Home
The Rev. Monsignor Harry Schlitt, head of administration for the San Francisco Archdiocese, received an e-mail from William Levada, the former archbishop of San Francisco who is now the second in command at the Vatican, saying an archbishop will be named by the end of December and installed in January. Levada did not list candidates, as the process is highly involved and confidential. Instead, the names are circulating within clerical circles, Schlitt said.San Francisco the most liberal diocese? That's news to me -- and I doubt I'm the only one who would take issue with that.
Schlitt said Monday that the rumored top candidates for the job of ninth archbishop of San Francisco were Bishop Stephen Blaire of the Diocese of Stockton; Bishop Daniel Walsh of the Diocese of Santa Rosa; and Bishop George Niederauer of the Diocese of Salt Lake City.
The next archbishop of San Francisco will preside over the most liberal diocese in the nation, which serves more than 425,000 Roman Catholics in San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo counties.
[Archdiocesan public policy director George] Wesolek, who has been with the archdiocese since 1985, said he hoped the next archbishop would "hold Christlike behavior, be very pastoral and clear about church doctrine." He believes this is especially important, as certain Catholic views are in the minority in San Francisco.To sum it up, Danny Walsh spoke, saying "Oh, the gossip is great," Blaire sent out a spokesperson, and as for our friend in Salt Lake....
"I think one of the basic issues the new archbishop will face will be the declining number of families in San Francisco," Wesolek said. "There is an atmosphere that is almost unfriendly to families, with the lack of affordable housing and the difficulties in the public school system. That is a big challenge." ...
Bishop Niederauer, who is 69 and said to be a longtime friend of Levada's, could not be reached for comment. He became the eighth bishop of Salt Lake City in November, 1994. The diocese serves more than 100,000 Catholics. In 2004, he received the Gandhi Peace Award from the Gandhi Alliance for Peace.And what Catholic San Francisco needs most is a man of peace.