Dec 23, 2005

Getting a read on Archbishop-elect Niederauer

Father George Niederauer, 1962

Last year Bishop Nierderauer published a book of "spirituality," Precious as Silver: Imaging Your Life with God. I just skimmed the pages posted on Amazon and I did not find anything particularly thrilling or controversial about the work. HERE is THE TIDINGS' review of the book.

The December 15 news conference that announced the appointment of Niederauer as the next archbishop of San Francisco revealed much more about the former L.A. priest who was ordained a priest with Cardinal Roger M. Mahony and is a life-long friend of current CDF prefect, Archbishop William Levada.

By all accounts, Niederauer is very bright, extremely well read and witty. Those qualities were in evidence as he handled reporters' questions with deftness and even charm. It appears that he was well liked in Salt Lake and seems to be held in high esteem among L.A. clergy.

When asked about the big issues, specifically "abortion" and "marriage," Niederauer said ...

"I want to say that I believe what my Church teaches and what I teach on behalf of my Church which is respect for life from its very beginnings to its to its very end and that in the context of hope for life forever with the Lord. I have to say that I have the conviction that the Church has in its teaching that marriage is a union between man and woman. But that does not mean I do not care about and want to serve everyone in the Church in San Francisco."
In response to a question about the recent Vatican instruction on homosexuality and priesthood, Niederauer referred to what he considered the single most important phrase in the document: "affective maturity." This, he said, is the sine qua non for determining who should be ordained to the priesthood. In this way, the archbishop-elect adroitly avoided the question of whether homosexual men should be priests.


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