Marquette Wire

New archbishop to be named any day

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The Archdiocese of Milwaukee may have a new archbishop as soon as Tuesday, said William Thorn, associate professor in the College of Communication and an expert on religious communication who has been a consultant to the Vatican. Recent appointments in Cheyenne, Wyo., Pueblo, Colo., and Providence, R.I., have raised the speculation that an appointment in Milwaukee is coming soon.

Milwaukee’s former archbishop, Timothy Dolan, moved to the Archdiocese of New York in April. Since then, Milwaukee’s archdiocese, which is the tenth largest in terms of Catholic population, has been operating under auxiliary bishop William Callahan, Thorn said.

Selecting a new archbishop involves intensive research into the candidates’ background, Thorn said. The process is very secretive, but things considered include the administrative needs of the new diocese or archdiocese and how well prospective candidates will fit in with the new diocese or archdiocese, he said.

Callahan is believed to be one of the four most likely candidates to replace Dolan in Milwaukee, according to Whispers in the Loggia, a blog that follows news from the Vatican.

The other candidates include bishops Gerald Kicanas of Tucson, Ariz., Blase Cupich of Rapid City, S.D. and Jerome Listecki of La Crosse, Wis. While these names have been mentioned the most, Thorn said Rome could always go off the board and select somebody else.

Kicanas is vice president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and has been bishop in Tucson for six years.

Cupich has the strongest Roman background of the four candidates, Thorn said. He has been Rapid City’s bishop since 1998.

Listecki started as an auxiliary bishop in Chicago and became La Crosse’s bishop in 2005. He also hosts a radio show in La Crosse, which could demonstrate that he can handle the media attention he would get in a large archdiocese like Milwaukee, Thorn said.

Callahan served as an auxiliary bishop in Milwaukee under Dolan. He is a conventual Franciscan and oversaw renovations at Milwaukee’s Basilica of St. Josaphat, 2322 S. 7th St., Thorn said. He also has the most experience working in Milwaukee and had worked closely with Dolan while he was archbishop here, Thorn said.

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