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An intriguing bit of Catholic arcana

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles ) | Aug 08, 2003

Richard Ostling of AP caught me off guard the other day, when he called to get my reaction to his fascinating discovery: a good reason to believe that Boston's new Archbishop Sean O'Malley cannot become a cardinal.

Ostling had (as usual) done his homework. Barring an unexpected death, Archbishop Sean cannot become a cardinal until or unless a) the Pope breaks a very clear historical precedent, b) he waits until November 4, 2011, or c) Cardinal Bernard Law gets a new job in Rome.

It is, as I said, a fascinating story.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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  • Posted by: - Aug. 09, 2003 2:11 PM ET USA

    Archbishop O'Malley was reported to have invited Ted Kennedy and other pro-abort politicians to his "invitation only" installation. Even just the invitation missed a teaching moment, but what did or will happen when they present themselves for Holy Communion. From what I hear elsewhere in your news reports, he will not refuse them. Another teaching moment lost. What is a Bishop if not a truth-sayer? Are half-truths the truth? Dear God, please help us, is O'Malley one of them? Apparently !