February 23, 2006

Red hat for Boston

Boston Globe

February 23, 2006

THE ELEVATION of Archbishop Sean O'Malley to cardinal shows the importance that Pope Benedict XVI attaches to the Boston Archdiocese and his high regard for O'Malley's 2 1/2-year tenure as its leader. The Catholic Church in Boston is still recovering from the sexual abuse scandal, and the archdiocese will require most of his attention as he assumes an influential position in the worldwide church.

Since 1911, Boston archbishops have been regularly elevated to the College of Cardinals, but some Vatican watchers doubted that O'Malley would be honored so soon. Cardinal Bernard Law, his predecessor, is active in Rome, and Americans are disproportionately represented in the college.

Once he became archbishop in July 2003, O'Malley settled the bulk of the abuse cases, selling archdiocesan headquarters in Brighton to raise the needed funds. And he moved on to a parish closing and consolidation initiative. When angry parishioners staged sit-ins, he had the good sense to appoint a new commission to recommend the reversal of several closings. Reflecting his background in the Franciscan order, he demonstrated a more pastoral inclination than Law.

Posted by kshaw at February 23, 2006 08:48 AM