Dan DiNardo gets a red hat–Rocco and a half dozen newspapers had it early, and you read it here before you saw it on the Houston Chronicle or Archdiocesan webpages. DiNardo will wear it well–in the manner of a renaissance cardinal (take that how you will).
Cardinal DiNardo … How about “Cardinardo” for short?
AP was surprised, but Catholic circles have been talking about the need of a red hat in the South for many years. The question was where–Galveston-Houston, New Orleans, Atlanta, or Miami. Katrina knocked New Orleans out of the running. Galveston-Houston is a century older than Miami and Atlanta, is the mother diocese of all the dioceses in Texas, is the fourth largest city in the United States–and DiNardo’s a politician with years of experience in Rome. Not at all a surprise when you put all those together.
My hope would have been that it would have gone to Joe Fiorenza before he retired, a man well-loved by countless folks.
Update: John Allen weighs in, and notes the surprise that Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, DC, did not get the red hat (neither did Archbishop Edwin O’Brien of Baltimore).
Update: Not everyone is happy.
David Clohessy of St. Louis, national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said DiNardo had an “abysmal” record dealing with clergy sex abuse issues in Sioux City, Iowa, and showed no improvement in Houston.
“We’re disappointed by this choice and believe Catholics should be disappointed, too,” he said.
What was he referring to? Probably this incident of a priest who was retired in 1992 after an allegation, but who continued to hear confessions and celebrate daily mass at the cathedral in Sioux City until 2002. Also, in 2004, he said he had suspended some priests, but failed to name them.
Update: Interview with DiNardo and his remarks at Wednesday’s press conference.