Monday, March 23, 2009

"Lion Heart" Meets "Space Egg"

Moving quickly to fill the chair in the nation's newest cathedral, the Pope has named Auxiliary Bishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Diego as bishop of Oakland.

A veteran of the Curia -- where he followed in the footsteps of his friend, Archbishop Raymond Burke, at the Apostolic Signatura, the church's highest court -- the 52 year-old prelate succeeds Archbishop Allen Vigneron of Detroit, who was returned to his hometown in early January.

An especially outspoken supporter of California's successful Proposition 8 (the state referendum banning same-sex marriage), the star canonist who came home from Rome as an auxiliary in 2002 has become a national name in church circles both for his unstinting pro-life advocacy and, even more, his support for the Tridentine Mass -- the appointee is shown at right wearing the mantelleta, the pre-Conciliar garb of a titular bishop, before celebrating a November Requiem Mass in the "extraordinary form" for a San Diego priest.

Home to 560,000 Catholics, Cordileone will be installed as Oakland's fourth bishop on 5 May at a noon liturgy in the freshly-launched Cathedral of Christ the Light. With this morning's move, the number of vacant Stateside sees falls to five, led still by the archdiocese of St Louis, where the appointment of Burke's successor is expected within days.