Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver was named yesterday to lead the Philadelphia Archdiocese. This is a great thing for Philly and a sad thing for Denver though Catholics in the Mile High City have long suspected that Pope Benedict would ask their beloved and admired leader to take on still greater challenges.
People in Philly may want to order Render Unto Caesar: Saving the Nation by Living Our Catholic Beliefs in Political Life. Their new spiritual leader has incredible gifts including intellect and good humor, andPennsylvania citizens may find themselves challenged from the pulpit in ways they hadn’t anticipated and on a wide variety of issues including immigration that they haven’t heard much about in recent years. The defenders of life across its spectrum will be celebrating, as will those who take seriously the development of vibrant, productive and healthy seminaries. Sadly the new archibishop is both a Steelers and a Broncos fan, proof that there is no getting everything right no matter how much prayer is involved.
Archbishop Gomez in Los Angeles was hailed by Catholic reformers as a great appointment by Benedict in 2010, and now the east coast gets just such an appointment as well. When Chicago’s new Archbishop is named in the next year or so, Benedict will have profoundly impacted American Catholicism for the next decade and in a wonderful way.