Three thousand people, many of them Pittsburghers, filled a huge basilica yesterday to witness the Most Rev. Donald Wuerl become archbishop of the nation's capitalVery high, indeed...so high that even those who advocate, promote, or defend the murder of innocent unborn children - even that of Partial Birth Abortion - are always welcomed to receive the Body and Blood of our Lord...Something which "far right" Catholics find abhorrent and repulsive. Such will be McCarrick's legacy, I predict.
"In an age that so desperately needs to hear the gospel of life, to witness the splendor of truth, and to live the challenge of faith and reason, the church -- you and I -- gathered around the successors to the apostles, one with Peter, must lovingly, persuasively and fearlessly reflect the light of Christ," Archbishop Wuerl said.
He turned to face his predecessor and offered praise to Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who was often a target of criticism by the far Catholic right for refusing to publicly condemn Catholic legislators who supported abortion rights, and for his bold stands in favor of justice for the poor worldwide.
"Cardinal McCarrick, you have set the bar very high -- very high -- as spiritual leader and pastor of souls and also as an archbishop engaged in the wider community, so that the work and voice of the gospel is always a part of whatever discussion occupies our community and our country," he said.
The symbolic highlight was when Archbishop Sambi and Cardinal McCarrick escorted him to his throne in the basilica. Archbishop Wuerl took his seat, Archbishop Sambi handed him the crozier, or shepherd's staff, of the archbishop, and Cardinal McCarrick moved back out of sight, to take his seat with the other cardinals.We should keep Archbishop Wuerl in our prayers as he assumes his new assignment. May he, with God's help and blessing, lead those in Washington to the fullness of the faith.