Sow the wind, reap the "Wuerl" wind.
It was announced today that the Most Reverend Donald Wuerl, Bishop of Pittsburgh, would succeed the retiring Theodore Cardinal McCarrick as Archbishop of Washington. People have speculated over varying degrees of changes to the archdiocese, and an improvement in bearing public witness to the Faith.
I have to admit, I was troubled by statements Cardinal McCarrick made, about not refusing Communion to Catholic politicians who favored "a woman's right to choose" (which generally means choosing abortion, as opposed to what car to drive), and prayerfully invoking the name of "Allah" in the context of a meeting with Muslims. Now, Wuerl has published some excellent catechism material, and he usually says the right things. If he does nothing else, maybe he'll use a bit more sense than the last guy.
Wuerl has been asked if he would refuse Communion to pro-abortion politicians. "I think that the first task of a bishop is to teach," was his reply. Asked about warning against seeing movies like "The Da Vinci Code," he said he was "'not in the business' of telling people what entertainment was right or wrong for them."
There is a story of an incident at the ancient Olympic games. An old man arrived late, and was looking up and down the rows of the arena for a seat. In the midst of a group of men from Athens, a lone viewer from Sparta recognized the man's plight, and offered his seat to the old man. His gesture was met with applause by those around him. The elder looked upon them and replied, "Yes, you Athenians know what is right, but it takes a Spartan to do it."
Call me a cynic, but I'll believe what a man does.
[UPDATE: There are reports coming in. One is found in the comments at Rorate Caeli, where "Sacerdos15" (a priest who is forced to remain anonymous, as he holds an important inside-track position in his diocese), gives a balanced summary of Wuerl's recent history. "Brother Alexis" refers to a page from the Christ or Chaos newsletter (scroll nearly halfway down), which is a scathing yet detailed review of Wuerl's performance in Pittsburgh. Matt Abbott has more. But perhaps the most blogospheric coverage -- hey, I just made up a new word! -- comes from American Papist.]