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Two-Minute Teaching

26 January 2020

The Selection of Church Leaders

[ver abajo para español]

This past week, Philadelphia received a new archbishop, Bishop Nelson Perez from Cleveland. It was an appointment that drew some attention as the retiring archbishop, Charles Chaput, is known as a conservative critic of Pope Francis. Archbishop Chaput was archbishop of one of the largest archdioceses in the country, but he was never named a cardinal of the Catholic Church, which is unusual. Archbishops of the larger U.S. cities normally receive the red hat of the cardinal which allows them to participate in the election of a new Pope. But Archbishop Chaput never received his red hat, which may have added to his criticism of Pope Francis. Other archbishops who administer a large archdiocese are still waiting for their red hat, too, like Detroit and Los Angeles, as other examples.

Pope Francis has created a new standard for receiving the title of cardinal. Traditionally, large cities with many Catholics have an archbishop who is also a cardinal. What are some of those larger cities? New York, Houston, Washington DC, Boston, and a few more. But Pope Francis is interested in acknowledging church leaders known for their compassion and pastoral service to the People of God, not simply because they are the archbishop of a large archdiocese. Cardinal Joseph Tobin, for example, is the cardinal of Newark, New Jersey which has never had a cardinal before. But Pope Francis chose to recognize Bishop Tobin for his work with marginalized people, such as the LGBTQ community.

It is a change that has upset some church leaders who looked to become a cardinal. But it also is a change that is reshaping the character and ministry of leadership in the Catholic Church in America.


La semana pasada, Philadelphia recibió a un nuevo arzobispo, el obispo Nelson Pérez de Cleveland. Fue una asignación que llamó la atención pues el arzobispo que se retira, Carlos Chaput, es conocido como crítico conservador del Papa Francisco. El arzobispo Chaput era arzobispo de una de las más grandes arquidiócesis en el país, pero nunca fue nombrado como cardenal de la Iglesia Católica, lo cual es raro. Los arzobispos de las ciudades más grandes en los Estados Unidos reciben el sombrero rojo del cardenal que los permite participar en la elección de un nuevo Papa. Pero el arzobispo Chaput nunca recibió su sombrero rojo, lo que quizás agregó a su crítica del Papa Francisco. Otros arzobispos quienes administran una gran arquidiócesis todavía están esperando su sombrero rojo, como Detroit, y Los Ángeles, y otros ejemplos. 

El Papa Francisco ha creado un nuevo estándar para recibir el título del cardenal. Tradicionalmente, las ciudades grandes con muchos católicos tienen a un arzobispo quien es también un cardenal. ¿Cuáles son algunas de esas ciudades más grandes? Nueva York, Houston, Washington DC, Boston, entre otras. Pero, el Papa Francisco es interesado en reconocer a los líderes en la Iglesia por su compasión y servicio pastoral al Pueblo de Dios, no simplemente porque son el arzobispo de una gran arquidiócesis. El Cardenal José Tobin, por ejemplo, es el cardenal de Newark, Nuevo Jersey, la cual nunca ha tenido a un cardenal antes. Pero el Papa Francisco le escogió al reconocer al Obispo Tobin por su trabajo con las personas marginadas, como la comunidad LGBTQ.

Es un cambio que ha molestado algunos líderes de la Iglesia quienes querían ser cardenal. Pero es también un cambio que está remodelando el carácter y los ministros en la Iglesia Católica en América.

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