View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Nobody expects the San Francisco inquisition

The word is out.

Archbishop William Levada of San Francisco is the new prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

I know little about the man other than what I've read in a few news articles. I knew he was involved with the CDF before, and that he helped to create the catechism. That was about it.

But then I went to some "conservative" sites (of The Wanderer wing - not of the rational conservatives). They are up in arms.


For now, I'm willing to give anyone who annoys them the benefit of the doubt.


Vatican, May. 13 ( - Archbishop William Levada of San Francisco has been named by Pope Benedict XVI to become the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

A May 13 announcement from the Vatican confirmed widespread rumors that the Pope planned to nominate Archbishop Levada to fill the key doctrinal post, which he himself had held for over 20 years. The Holy Father's choice of a successor at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) was the most critical appointment of his early pontificate.

With the appointment, Archbishop Levada becomes the most influential American at the Vatican today, and arguably the most powerful American prelate in the history of the Church.

As the official with primary responsibility for ensuring the preservation of doctrinal orthodoxy worldwide, he will rank second only to the Pontiff within the Vatican; the CDF is the only office that does not operate under the supervision of the Secretariat of State. Archbishop Levada is certain to be named a cardinal at the next consistory, and will be an important figure at the next papal conclave.

Several more prominent prelates had been mentioned as likely candidates for the CDF spot. Among them were: Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna, the principal editor of the Catechism of the Catholic Church; Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone of Genoa, the former secretary of the CDF underthen- Cardinal Ratzinger; Archbishop Angelo Amato, the current secretary of the dicastery; Archbishop Antonio Canizares Llovera of Toledo, Spain; and even the Italian theologian Bruno Forte.

Rumors about the appointment of Archbishop Levada had swirled around Rome since May 3, when the Pope received the American prelate in a private audience.


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