Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Wednesday's Whack O' Changes

Moving quickly to fill the church's top post in the land of the Pack, the Pope this morning named Bishop David Ricken of Cheyenne as the 12th bishop of Green Bay.

A former staffer of the Congregation for the Clergy and Wyoming's bishop-at-large since 2001, the 55 year-old prelate succeeds Bishop David Zubik, who was returned to his native diocese of Pittsburgh a year ago next week. Though the dioceses of Knoxville and New Ulm have been ahead in the queue of Stateside sees awaiting new heads, the Wisconsin church of 350,000 was fast-tracked on the docket to relieve Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan of double-duty as apostolic administrator as quickly as possible; the metropolitan had been named to temporarily oversee Green Bay by Rome following Zubik's departure. Also chair of the board of trustees of the American College Louvain -- his alma mater -- Ricken will be installed in his new charge on 28 August, the feast of St Augustine.

In the morning's top-line appointment on the global front, as expected in the Italian press for some time the Pope named Archbishop Angelo Amato SDB -- his former #2 at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith -- as the church's top Saintmaker, replacing the retiring Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins as prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. The promotion places the 70 year-old Salesian -- widely tipped as ghost-author of the former "Holy Office's" controversial 2000 decree Dominus Iesus -- in line for the red hat.

To take Amato's place, B16 named the Spanish Jesuit Fr Luis Francisco Ladaria, who's served since 2004 as secretary-general of the International Theological Commission. Per the Curia's custom, Ladaria, 60 -- a dogmatic theologian who's likewise spent more than two decades as a professor and administrator at the Greg -- was elevated to the rank of archbishop.

As always, more to come.