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Who Will Be the New Bishop?

By Diogenes (articles ) | May 11, 2003

-- so Anthony Trollope titled the first chapter of Barchester Towers. The goods at stake in the Holy See's choice of a new Archbishop of Boston, however, go beyond sleepy Barchester's concern with Sunday traveling and marrying-off widows. The Globe interviews the usual suspects about candidates and qualities.

"When you ask people what type of person they want, the answer is Jesus Christ with an MBA from Harvard, and that's not all that helpful," said the Rev. Thomas J. Reese, editor of America magazine, a Jesuit weekly. But Reese and other observers say that for Boston, the Vatican will look for a bishop with strong administrative experience, a clean record of honoring his vow of celibacy and removing abusive priests from ministry, an unstinting doctrinal orthodoxy, and perhaps a patron in Rome.

Let's go shopping:

a) strong administrative experience
b) a clean record of honoring his vow of celibacy
c) a record of removing abusive priests from ministry
d) an unstinting doctrinal orthodoxy
e) a patron in Rome

Not a bad list, as lists go. That said, to employ Fr. Reese's categories, it would be good to see less emphasis on the A&E criteria (the Harvard MBA) and more high scorers on B-C-D (imitatio Christi).

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