a leader in a time of scandal

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Mar 03, 2007

Score one for Rzeczpospolita. The Polish daily reported on Thursday that Pope Benedict had already chosen the new Archbishop of Warsaw. The appointment was announced on Saturday, before the Holy Father emerged from his Lenten Retreat, so the Rzeczpospolita story was obviously accurate.

The selection of Bishop Kazimierz Nycz is not a surprise; he was one of the three prelates consistently named as finalists for the Warsaw post. Among those three, Archbishop-elect Nycz stands out for having strongly resisted the Communist secret police. Given the current climate of poisonous suspicion in Warsaw, it will be a relief for everyone to know that the incoming archbishop has already been cleared of the suspicions that brought his predecessor, Archbishop Wielgus, to grief.

It makes sense, doesn't it? When you're trying to recover from a scandal, it's wise to choose a leader utterly untainted by that scandal-- and better yet to find someone who earned notice for rejecting the moral compromises that led others astray.

Here in the US we have seen the appointment of new bishops who were untouched by the sex-abuse scandal. Good; fine. But wouldn't it be nice to see the first appointment of a cleric who, when others were covering up abuse, had the courage to blow the whistle?

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