Pope Benedict XVI is set to announce a new Archbishop of New York to replace Cardinal Edward Egan, an informed Vatican source tells Newsmax.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the source says the decision was made today and an announcement is expected “within the next week to ten days”. He says Cardinal Egan’s successor is from the “conservative and orthodox” wing of the Church.
Speculation on the next leader of the New York Archdiocese, one of the most important posts in the U.S. Roman Catholic Church, has been going on for some time among church-watchers.
Cardinal Egan, 76, submitted his resignation in 2007 when he reached the mandatory retirement age of 75, but the Pope asked him to stay on in the post. Many commentators saw Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to New York last year as a final farewell to the cardinal.
Names often cited as Egan’s possible successor include Archbishop Harry Mansell of Hartford, Archbishop Timothy Dolan of Milwaukee, Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta, Archbishop John Myers of Newark, Archbishop Roberto Gonzalez Nieves of San Juan.
Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has also been named as a potential candidate in the past, however the new archbishop will not be him, according to the source.
The Pope has chosen an archbishop who is “dynamic, conservative and orthodox”, he says – traits which Vatican watchers say best match those of Archbishop Dolan. The 59 year old prelate is said to be good with the media, genuine, and intelligent. He also has Irish ancestry, a common characteristic of previous archbishops of New York.
However, he may be considered too young for the post. The archdiocese of New York also has a fast-growing Latino community which may favour an Hispanic candidate such as Gonzales Nieves who was born in New Jersey.
The appointment is a crucial one for the Pope. Church observers say his choice will provide a further important indication of the direction of his pontificate.
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