Is this any way to run a railroad?

The Church’s revenge on journalists? The paranoid in me suspects that’s what is at work in the never-ending, almost-here, gotta-be-today anticipation of the announcement of a new New York archbishop. Today was DEFINITELY it. Rocco expected it: “Good morning…you might want to keep refreshing the page.” Gary Stern was preparing for it–and bupkis: “I got up early, fed the dog in the dark, and all for nothing.”
The word was to come down in the Vatican’s daily Bolletino, or bulletin, released at noon in Rome, 6am here. TV crews were on standby at St. Pat’s, and everyone expected the new guy to be Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan.
Now what? At USA Today, Cathy Grossman explores alternates.
Meanwhile, like the good journo he is, Gary Stern had his lede ready yesterday:


NEW YORK–Countless priests, media people and Catholic Church watchers of all sorts slumped in front of their computers this morning, exhaling slowly and letting out a faint moan, as they realized that the announcement of a new archbishop of New York was not to be.
After two years of trying to guess the identity of the next archbishop, some feared that they could not wait another day.
“I just want the speculation to end, however it ends,” one priest said. “Please. Just say it. Say it…”
I wouldn’t write that. But I could.

Go for it, Gary. I’ll back you up. Meantime, while the search for someone to replace Cardinal Egan starts to look like Obama’s quest for a Commerce Secretary, one begins to ask: Is this any way to run a railroad? Just as the Vatican is trying to get its communications and management strategies in order after recent debacles, we run into this with NYC. Too much secrecy can be as perilous as too much transparency, perhaps. I hope it winds up being Tim Dolan for many reasons, not least of which I pity the poor guy if he winds up not getting it.

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Casey Khan

posted February 17, 2009 at 12:52 pm

“I hope it winds up being Tim Dolan for many reasons, not least of which I pity the poor guy if he winds up not getting it.”
This kind of comment illustrates a major problem most Americans and American Catholics have in discussing the calling of the priesthood. Being Archbishop of New York is a calling to be the Shepard of the See of New York, not some resume building moment. And as of right now, Archbishop Dolan is the prelate of Milwakee, a place that will be missing a prelate for a time should he leave. Maybe Archbishop Dolan is going to be called to remain in WI to help Christ’s precious flock there, and maybe not. But his dignity and his office does not hinge on taking care of a bunch of self-obsessed northeasterners.
This delay in announcement should remind New Yorkers that, inspite of their delusions of grandeur, it is Rome who still rules. And while it is no way to run a railroad, when you rule the Church, you must think like the Church whose timetable is not minutes but millenia.

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posted February 17, 2009 at 3:17 pm

Good grief. How lame are you people? Who cares which man is going to lead the pedophile ring in New York?

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Charles Laster

posted February 17, 2009 at 3:25 pm

I think Pope Benedict needs to learn how to google!

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Casey Jones

posted February 19, 2009 at 1:22 pm

“Is This Anyway To Run A Railroad?” ANSWER: No, unless you are trying for a total train wreck, with all on board dead.

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