Countdown To A Successor....
Word had come from Washington that Cardinal McCarrick, who was scheduled to be out of town, had suddenly returned. And the alert had, indeed, gone up....
Last night, further grist for the mill came when the cardinal announced that Benedict XVI had conferred papal honors on seven priests of Washington, naming them Chaplains of His Holiness. Among the honorees are McCarrick's first DC secretary, now Msgr Charles Antonicelli, and the archdiocese's vocation director, now Msgr Robert Panke, whose work -- with his Boss' unequivocal support -- is paying off in the District's largest ordination class since 1973. Twelve new priests will be ordained on 27 May.
Next stop on the Appointment Express is the 1.5-million member archdiocese of Detroit, where Cardinal Adam Maida awaits Rome's call. Maida turned 75 in February, 2005.
The cardinal, who has served as archbishop of Detroit since 1990, will celebrate his 50th anniversary as a priest in early June. The naming of his successor is expected to follow shortly thereafter.
PHOTO: AP/J. Scott Applewhite