Doing the Vatican Shuffle

The Vatican announced today the appointment of two bishops to new posts in the United States. One of them, Bishop Donald Wuerl will be moving from the relatively obscure but heavily Catholic area of Pittsburgh to the metropolitan and politically charged Archdiocese of Washington. Wuerl, a former lieutenant of John Cardinal Wright, studied and worked in the Vatican before being ordained a bishop in 1986. Within Catholic circles, Wuerl has the reputation of an erudite, skilled manager who’s enforced the “No Tolerance” policy on sex abuse predators. We’ll have to wait and see what he does in Washington. As you know, his predecessor, Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, lobbied hard against any civil reforms in Maryland that would have helped victims of clergy abuse.
The other appointment comes in the wake of the retirement of Joliet Bishop Joseph Imesch. He will be replaced by J. Peter Sartain of Little Rock Arkansas. Imesch was recently embroiled in scandal for his mishandling of a clergy sex abuse case dating back to the 1960’s.