Monday, May 22, 2006

The (too) quiet Wuerl

The Washington Post (link above) and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Ann Rodgers have both filed profiles of Bishop Donald Wuerl and both have come to the same conclusion -- he's a quiet man, one for talking in the background and not taking public stands unless he thinks it's absolutely necessary.

Which isn't very often.

And it shows.

Over the years, the Pittsburgh Diocese, despite its reputation as an orthodox place, has been losing priests. Indeed, this year His Excellency ordained all of one priest, an event which made the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. In contrast, and despite Cardinal McCarrick's less-than-orthodox and even bad man reputation for the accusations of sleeping with (though not doing anything to) seminarians at his beach house, the Archdiocese of Washington will be ordaining 12 priests.

Now, I have no idea how well-qualified those priests are. Are they on a par with the other much-touted "John Paul" priests, known to be orthodox, faithful, firm and willing to take a stand? Or are they more in line with their avuncular leader who is on his way out? I simply don't know. But the fact that His (less than) Eminence is able to attract more men to the priesthood than His (too quiet) Excellency may spell ill winds for the Archdiocese when it comes to priestly vocations there over the next 10-14 years.

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