Friday, December 29, 2006

A Check of the Chessboard

In early September, the former bishop of Pittsburgh said he expected the appointment of his successor to come "later in the year."

Well, here we are. It's year's end, and....

If the Donald can't peg it, friends, how on earth do you expect me to?

All's seeming quite quiet on the Steel City front. As buzz swirls that the report on one long-standing vacancy just made the trip across the Pond within the last couple weeks, it's looking as if the 'Burgh'll be waiting a bit longer than many thought at the outset.

Then again, as the locals there will readily and gladly -- gladly -- chime in: they may not have an ordinary, but they do have a bishop... and are more than happy to defer to Lake Charles (where the faithful are getting angry), Youngstown (where the faithful are getting curious) and Salt Lake (where the faithful are getting Wester... so they say).

Ten US bishops will reach the mandatory retirement age of 75 in the 2K7. While seven of these lead dioceses, the year's first succession is already in the bag: Bishop John Nevins will turn the reins of the diocese of Venice over to his coadjutor, Bishop Frank Dewane, shortly after the former hits the canonical age-barrier on 19 January. (The former undersecretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Dewane spent his first episcopal Christmas in Rome with family.)

Other dioceses going up for grabs in the New Year for reasons of age include the metropolitan churches of Omaha and New Orleans, the suffragan sees of Kalamazoo, Syracuse, Fort Wayne-South Bend -- and, of course, la Gran Manzana, New York. Three auxiliaries -- Dougherty of Scranton, Chavez of San Diego, and Quinn of Cleveland -- will also have to turn in their letters.

On top of the twelve US diocesans currently remaining in office with their resignations on the table (including the A-list sees of Detroit, Dallas, and Mother Baltimore), the eight openings still pending, a flood of auxiliary requests piled up, and with the Ratzi-Sambi Revolution in full swing, we are in for a blockbuster year, folks. And here's to it.