Friday, November 09, 2012

Benedict Remembers His Own – Pope's CDF Aide Named Boston Aux.

A month after the Pope shuffled the Vatican's chief prosecutor on clergy sex-abuse cases out of Rome, this morning another member of Cardinal Ratzinger's CDF squad charged with tackling the scourge was likewise named a bishop.

This time, though, he gets to remain in place.

At Roman Noon, Benedict XVI named Msgr Robert Deeley, 66 – who returned to his native Boston last year as vicar-general to Cardinal Seán O'Malley – as an auxiliary of the 2.4 million-member archdiocese.

One of two Sox Nation brothers who'd go on to become priests, Deeley will be ordained on January 4th, the feast of St Elizabeth Ann Seton. With the nod, the Boston church will again have six active auxiliaries, five of them named in the last six years.

A Gregorian-trained canonist who served both in Chancery and parish work, the bishop-elect was recruited in 2004 to serve on loan to CDF as the office headed by the now-Pope continued to pore through the thousands of abuse files sent from dioceses around the world, in order to reach resolutions on the cases. Working in tandem for a time with another American import – Msgr Charles Guarino of Rockville Centre, who returned home in 2006 – Deeley remained alongside the "district attorney"for the cases, now Auxiliary Bishop-elect Charles Scicluna of Malta, until last year, returning to Boston's suburban office-park Chancery as second-in-command. As O'Malley's second vicar-general, today's nominee succeeded Fr Richard Erickson, a career Air Force chaplain who reportedly left the field to accept the reins of the Boston Curia on the condition that his name not be submitted for the mitre which each of his predecessors had received over the last several decades.

Notably, Deeley is the third past president of the Canon Law Society of America to be named a bishop by B16, joining Bishops Randolph Calvo of Reno, who held the one-year post in 1995, and Mark Bartchak of Altoona-Johnstown, the CLSA president in 2003. The bishop-elect was the group's chief in 2000. 

In addition, Deeley is not the first alum of Ratzinger's CDF to be made a US bishop. In early 2005, as John Paul II's health waned, another of his future successor's staff, Msgr Michael Jackels of Lincoln, was named bishop of Wichita at age 50... and, of course, an LA-born priest who only served a few months under the German prefect in 1982, then-Msgr William Levada, would quickly become archbishop of Portland, then San Francisco, and eventually the newly-elected Benedict's choice to succeed himself at the congregation's helm, making the Angeleno the highest-ranking American in Vatican history.

Set for 11am Eastern, Deeley's Appointment Day presser is slated to be livestreamed. And with the USCCB November Meeting publicly opening in Baltimore on Monday – but informally getting underway tomorrow – we now return to our Fall Classic Prep, already in progress.