Thursday, September 16, 2010

And So It Begins With Sartain

This morning's appointment of Joliet Bishop Peter Sartain as the new Archbishop of Seattle (succeeding Archbishop Alexander Brunett) is the first U.S. bishop appointment following the traditional summer slow-down at the Vatican. Archbishop-elect Sartain's appointment is also the second appointment of a bishop in the state of Washington in less than three months, the last being the June 30 appointment of Rapid City Bishop Blase Cupich to the Diocese of Spokane.

The remaining bishop in that state, Bishop Carlos Sevilla, SJ, of Yakima, turned 75 last month.

This morning's appointment is also the first U.S. appointment to drop under the leadership of Rome's new Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, who was also appointed June 30. The Congregation for Bishops is the Vatican committee that consults with papal nuncios and advises the pope on bishops' appointments worldwide.

With this morning's appointment, the number of U.S. bishops serving past the retirement age of 75 decreases by one, and the number of vacant U.S. dioceses increases by one.

Currently serving past retirement age are:
  • Archbishop Eusebius Beltran of Oklahoma City
  • Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia
  • Bishop J. Kevin Boland of Savannah, Georgia
  • Bishop John M. Smith of Trenton, New Jersey (whose successor, coadjutor Bishop David O'Connell, has already been named)
  • Bishop Carlos Sevilla, SJ, of Yakima, Washington
  • Bishop John McCormack of Manchester, New Hampshire
  • Bishop Joseph Adamec of Altoona-Johnstown, Pennsylvania
  • Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Bishop Victor Galeone of St. Augustine, Florida
Dioceses currently vacant are:
  • San Antonio, Texas, since the April 6 appointment of Archbishop Jose Gomez as coadjutor Archbishop of Los Angeles.
  • Orlando, Florida, since the April 20 appointment of Archbishop Thomas Wenski to Miami.
  • The Ruthenian Archeparchy of Pittsburgh, since the June 10 death of Archbishop Basil Schott, OFM.
  • Rapid City, South Dakota, since the June 30 appointment of Bishop Blase Cupich to Spokane, Washington.
  • Joliet, Illinois, since the September 16 appointment of Archbishop-elect James Sartain to Seattle.

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