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.

More from Beliefnet and our partners