Thursday, April 10, 2008

5 new Bishops

Rocco from Whispers in the Loggia is reporting the following:
In the largest one-day blitz of Stateside appointments this decade, this morning Pope Benedict has named:
  • Bishop Richard Pates, 65, heretofore auxiliary of St Paul and Minneapolis, as bishop of Des Moines;
  • Fr Anthony Taylor, 53, pastor of Sacred Heart Parish and vicar for Ministries in the archdiocese of Oklahoma City, as bishop of Little Rock;
  • Msgr James D. Conley, 53, pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Wichita (and former official of the Congregation for Bishops) as auxiliary to Archbishop Charles Chaput OFM Cap. of Denver;
  • Fr William Justice, 65, vicar for Clergy of the archdiocese of San Francisco, as auxiliary to San Fran Archbishop George Niederauer;
  • Fr Oscar Cantu, 41, pastor of Holy Name Parish in Houston, as auxiliary to Archbishop Jose Gomez of San Antonio
Now the youngest American bishop by almost two years, Cantu's legion of devoted friends are likely in tears at this morning's news, which began circulating in Texas late last week. A proven communicator, seminary instructor, archdiocesan administrator and pastor, the quatrilingual bishop-elect -- a Gregorian-trained theologian -- is the youngest American hierarch to be elevated since Bishop Robert Carlson became a Twin Cities auxiliary in 1984 at age 39. Another Hispanic episcopabile who "everybody wanted," Cantu now switches off to Texas' senior archdiocese as Gomez's lone auxiliary for San Antone's 700,000-member fold; while the US church's "Latin seat" has had back-to-back Mexican-born archbishops, the bishop-elect is the first Hispanic auxiliary the Riverwalk's seen since Bishop Ricardo Ramirez CSB was promoted to Las Cruces in 1982. As this morning's appointee replaces Bishop Thomas Flanagan, who retired as auxiliary in late 2005, Gomez is expected to gain another assistant to fill the slot left open by Bishop Patrick Zurek's January appointment to the diocese of Amarillo. While Cantu's now-former archbishop likewise awaits more help at the helm of the 1.5 million-member Houston church, the largest Stateside church lacking an auxiliary is the largest see in the San Antonio province: the million-plus diocese of Dallas. But even so, between producing the nation's youngest cardinal in two decades and two of its three youngest bishops, it's even safer to say now that the Texas' junior province is the American church's fountain of youth. Cantu's ordination is tentatively set for 2 June in San Antonio.

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