Dec 15, 2005

Golden Gate Bishop

This morning, Pope Benedict named George Hugh Niederauer, Archbishop of San Francisco. Niederauer had been bishop of Salt Lake and is a classmate and friend of Archbishop Levada, the former Archbishop of SF.

This is an excellent choice in my opinion and I have heard many good things about Bishop Niederauer from folks who work in this diocese. Since San Francisco has a high population of homosexuals, it's been obvious that the issue of gays in the clergy would be center stage here. The new Bishop has been quoted by the Salt Lake Tribune to say:

"In every generation, there have been many celibate priests whose principal attraction might be to their same sex," and that a man with "lifelong" same-sex attractions could still be a viable candidate for formation and orders."

I would also like to point out that Archbishop Levada seems to be doing a great job in his new post as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (Pope Benedict's old job). Rumors out of DC state that he was the one who put the smackdown on Bishops saying that gay men are incompatible with the priesthood.

A second nice story about Archbishop Levada. At World Youth Day he met with those who has travelled to Germany for mass --really it was more of a good-bye mass for him. At the end of the mass, the group asked him if they could offer HIM a blessing, for all the many years that he has been blessing them. In an unprecedented move, Levada moved to the front of the altar and knelt down in front of the congregation. A humble moment for both Bishop and the flock.

Let's pray for SF's new Bishop and the man he has succeeded today as well as the people of the San Francisco archdiocese.

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