With today's big event being the installation of His Excellency, Charles Chaput as the new Metropolitan in Philadelphia, I thought it an opportunity to put it out there as to my thoughts as a potential successor for him in Denver.
But first, let's look at what kind of shoes would need to be filled. In the public sphere especially, Archbishop Chaput has been outspoken on the issues of the day, especially giving a strong voice to the pro-life movement.
During the 2008 presidential campaign, he was highly critical of then-candidate Barack Obama, and especially the messiah-complex that he seemed to garner from his supporters.
His book, Render unto Caesar, reiterates this point, encouraging all Catholics to take a more active stance in public life, and for standing up for the truths of the Faith.
He has been especially critical in fighting off the advances of same sex "marriage" advocates, and well articulating the positive position of the Church's teachings in this area, and highlighting the underlying agenda by those who would see that ideology advanced.
As if that weren't enough, he has in the past also publicly disagreed with the prevailing winds of the USCCB-- that is to say, he is not afraid to be his own Bishop.
In addition, ++Chaput is a sincere and personally holy man. I have had the chance to meet him and talk with him briefly, and he is a true pastor.
All of that said, who do I think would be an ideal successor to him in Denver?
There have been quite a few episcopal appointments in the area in recent years.
2002 -- Fr. Donald Kettler of Sioux Falls became Bishop of Fairbanks, Alaska.
2004 -- Bishop Raymond Burke of La Crosse became Archbishop of St. Louis and then in 2008 went to Rome
2004 -- Bishop Robert Carlson (formerly an Auxiliary in St. Paul-Minneapolis) left Sioux Falls for Saginaw and then went as Archbishop to St. Louis in 2008
2004 -- Auxiliary Bishop Jerome Listecki replaced Bishop Burke in La Crosse, coming from Chicago, and then today replaced Archbishop Tim Dolan, now in New York, in Milwaukee
2004 -- Bishop Daniel Di Nardo of Sioux City headed off to Galveston-Houston as Archbishop and soon thereafter as Cardinal
2006 -- Fr. Ralph Nickless came from Denver to fill the vacancy in Sioux City as Bishop
2006 -- Fr. Paul Swain came from Madison to fill the vacancy as Bishop of Sioux Falls that had been overlooked because of the similiarity of names, it is thought.
2007 -- Fr. Michael Hoeppner went from Winona to Crookston to fill the vacancy caused by the retirement of Bishop Victor Balke.
2007 -- Fr. Peter Christensen went from Nativity Parish in St. Paul to Superior to fill the vacancy caused by the retirement of Bishop Raphael Fliss.
2008 -- Bishop John Nienstedt, originally from Detroit, came to St. Paul Minneapolis from New Ulm as Coadjutor Archbishop. He succeeded in 2009
2008 -- Fr. John LeVoir went from St Paul Minneapolis to New Ulm to fill the vacancy caused by the departure of Archbishop Nienstedt.
2008 --Auxiliary Bishop Richard Pates in St. Paul Minneapolis went to Des Moines as Bishop
2008 --Auxiliary Bishop John Quinn came from Detroit to Winona to fill the vacancy caused by the retirement of Bishop Bernard Harrington.
2009 -- Fr. Lee Piche' became the Auxiliary Bishop in St. Paul Minneapolis
2009 -- Bishop Dennis Schnurr of Duluth went to Cincinnati as Coadjutor Archbishop and just recently succeeded.
2009 -- Fr. Paul Sirba just became Bishop of Duluth.