Tuesday, November 12, 2019

And Now, The Vote

(Updated 10am with election results)

BALTIMORE – Nine years ago on this Election Morning, as the leadership of the nation's largest religious body hung in the balance, this scribe asked a favorite op what he thought would unfold as we headed onto the Floor... and Bishop Morlino of Madison (now gone to his reward) shot back in imitable form: "I really don't know what's gonna happen, but I'm gonna make like Chicago today – 'Vote early and vote often!'"

To be sure, this body has never lacked for characters. Still, no take on this edition of the Making of the President will be as memorable as that.

Of course, that 2010 vote produced a shock result, upending a half-century of precedent to give the bench's helm not merely to a figure other than the sitting vice-president, but the archbishop of New York. That trajectory is virtually set to continue today as, for the first time, the bench chooses the head of the nation's largest diocese as its elected leader.

As for the rest, the rule of thumb holds – namely, no one knows until everyone shows up... and this time, that's all the more the case.

With the voting set to begin shortly after 9am Eastern, here's the livefeed:

...and all the rest as it ensues.

SVILUPPO (10am ET): To no one's surprise, history came – and with a sizable mandate....
With the vote, Gomez represents several "firsts": beyond being the first Latino to lead the bench – and, again, the first bishop ever to hold the nation's largest diocese and the presidency at once – the Opus Dei numerary is the first chief (¿o jefe?) to be chosen from Southern California, now home to nearly one in seven American Catholics, the largest regional concentration of the faithful on these shores. (He is not, however, the first Californian president, all told: that was John Raphael Quinn – the "godfather" of the post-Conciliar progressive bloc – who stormed to the post in 1977, months after being named archbishop of San Francisco.)

For the Vice-Presidency, meanwhile, with Detroit's Archbishop Allen Vigneron having bested Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Miltary Services in a 151-90 vote, the outcome bears a notable curveball – with the incoming #2 currently 71, Vigneron would be 74 (read: a year short of the retirement age) at the next executive vote in 2022.

In the lone prior instance of the scenario, Cardinal John Carberry of St Louis, then the incumbent vice-president, declined to stand for the presidency in 1977, when he was 73. Ergo, the next executive cycle could well bring an open contest for the top slot for the first time in nearly a half-century.

As ever, more to come.