Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Prepping the Ground

So, looks like there was something to last week's rattling after all.

In a round-table interview with his archdiocesan TV station, Detroit's Cardinal Adam Maida spoke of retirement enough for one local outlet to dub it "impending."

While no credible rumblings of a transition at the helm of the 1.5 million-member Motor City fold are currently on the immediate radar, the latest well-sourced estimates have tipped the handover to occur shortly after the first of the year.

The reports are lent significant credence by the change of tack on the part of the 77 year-old cardinal, who has -- until now, that is -- consistently held the line that he had "no plan to go anywhere."

Asked to summarize his 17 years in Detroit, the cardinal said that "this good and faithful servant gave the best he could, the best he had."

The eldest active member of the American hierarchy, Maida will turn 78 in March. In the global church, only Bangkok's Cardinal Michael Michai Kitbunchu is older among active Latin-rite cardinals.

Made a cardinal in 1983 and head of the church in Thailand's capital since 1972, Kitbunchu turns 79 in late January.

PHOTO: Elizabeth Conley/The Detroit News