Why did the pope decide to make San Diego’s bishop a cardinal? What did he see in Cardinal-designate McElroy, specifically, that inspired him to take this historic step? What does it all mean for the Diocese of San Diego?
Cardinal-designate McElroy has his own take on these questions.
At the diocese’s fifth annual Pentecost Mass for All Peoples on June 4, he jokingly credited his selection to the fact that San Diego is the U.S. city “closest to having the climate of heaven.”
However, four days earlier, during a press conference at the diocesan Pastoral Center, he offered a more substantive reflection on the pope’s possible rationale.
He said he believes that the Holy Father wanted there to be a cardinal on the West Coast of the United States. He noted that there are currently no cardinals west of Houston.
Another reason, he suggested, is that San Diego is a border diocese with a large immigrant population — something that Pope Francis, given his well-known focus on the plight of immigrants and refugees, would find significant.
As a final explanation for the appointment, Cardinal-designate McElroy acknowledged that the pope also might view him as an ally on various issues.
“I do think it says that Pope Francis has a series of initiatives that he’s trying to bring to the life of the Church and that I have tried to take those initiatives and plant them here in the Diocese of San Diego,” he said. “So, I think it’s a positive statement that he wants to nurture those.”
These initiatives include the promotion of environmental stewardship, as well as “a more pastoral orientation rather than a strict doctrinal orientation within the life of the Church as a whole,” the cardinal-designate explained.
Under his leadership, the diocese has answered Pope Francis’ call in “Laudato Si (On Care for Our Common Home),” his environmental-themed encyclical published in June of 2015. Parishes and schools throughout the diocese were strongly encouraged to install solar power systems on their campuses to reduce greenhouse emissions like carbon dioxide.
He called for the establishment of a Creation Care Ministry to raise awareness of climate change, coordinating with a network of parish-based ministries to promote sustainability.
In late 2021, around the same time the Vatican unveiled a worldwide, seven-year Laudato Si Action Platform designed to provide a roadmap to protecting the environment, the San Diego Diocese released its own 55-page action plan with concrete steps that local families, parishes, schools and other organizations could take to better care for creation.
Cardinal-designate McElroy has supported Pope Francis’ worldwide synods, or consultative gatherings of bishops, by holding diocesan synods. At these, local Catholics, including young adults, reflected on the challenges in question and recommend ways to address them.
Cardinal-designate McElroy said his service as a cardinal may require him to travel more frequently to the Vatican but that he’s happy to be able to continue to serve in San Diego….
Cardinal Blasé Cupich of Chicago told the National Catholic Reporter that Cardinal-designate McElroy is “one of the most gifted bishops in the United States.”
“I think that his nomination today is a sign of the esteem that he has in the life of the Church, which is held by the Holy Father,” Cardinal Cupich said.
Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro, who serves as editor of the Rome-based La Civiltà Cattolica and is considered to be a close advisor to Pope Francis, said the pope’s decision to elevate Bishop McElroy to cardinal sends “a strong and clear message for the Church in the United States.”
Dr. Victor Carmona, assistant professor of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of San Diego, was sleeping on May 29 when a fellow theologian on the East Coast called with the news that Bishop McElroy was a cardinal-designate.
“I didn’t stop smiling for hours,” said Carmona, a consultant of the commissions guiding a synod currently under way in the diocese.
“His appointment confirms the need for us all to be attentive to the borders of our world and the margins of our societies because they keep us grounded in our service to the Good News of God’s compassionate love,” he said. “Bishop McElroy’s episcopal ministry in San Diego has demonstrated a commitment to nurturing that challenging practice here.”
The above comes from a June 26 story in the Southern Cross.
“…McElroy acknowledged that the pope also might view him as an ally on various issues. Bingo.
In short, McElroy was a “good sycophant” to the Pope…
It was the pope’s consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart that caused this to happen.
Solar panels …. Definitely the solar panels.
Will MacElroy implement the pope’s new encyclical Desideratio Desideravi?
Of course! Must get rid of beautiful Sacred Liturgy, Sacred Music and worship of God rather than the “community”. Balloons, priest blessing congregation with his guitar instead of crucifix, grooving to “Celebration ?” — so pastoral!
Episode 1 and 2 are out of the Mass of Ages. Watch here: https://latinmass.com/watch This is uplifting worship of God.
Pachmamas on Altars in some churches and nothing said. What is our church coming to. Talk about idolatry.
I don’t think that there is anything you can do but pray for people like this.
God doesn’t like this. Please pray for all those Catholics that are confused or scandalized.
I know someone who is being “Just talking about it”-ed by a member of a schismatic parish (declared schismatic not just my opinion) and they are using this kind of stuff as a wedge to make him doubt the True Faith. This talker has lived a bad life, too. Manipulators always try to suck you in with this kind of stuff.
As I said before, Bishop McElroy is a Clone and an Echo of Chicago Cardinal Archbishop, Blase Cupich.
You can bet your bottom dollar it is a Cupich thing.
Nobody really believes in the Holy Catholic Church, do they?
He was made Cardinal because God wills it so.
Did priests abuse boys because God willed it so?
God never wills sin.
“O necessary fault, that won for us so great a Redeemer.”
If you are saying that God willed the fall of Man, no.
At the Easter Vigil when the Exsultet is sung, we hear the words O happy fault, O necessary sin of Adam, which gained for us so great a Redeemer!
O truly necessary sin of Adam,
destroyed completely by the Death of Christ!
O happy fault
that earned so great, so glorious a Redeemer!
I have always loved the “Exsultet” sung at the Easter Vigil! Many medieval poets also wrote beautiful religious poetry on this same subject, “O felix culpa!” (O happy fault!)
People who commit sin disobey God’s Will.
Oh– I see that two other commenters also used the moniker, “God’s Will.” One used a question mark.
But unless Judas had betrayed Jesus he never would have died on the cross, and there would have been no salvation. So Judas’ sin was necessary and willed by God for the sake of a greater good.
And haven’t you heard that everything happens for a reason? Sin is included in that. God wills sin in order to bring about a greater good.
No, sin was not “willed” by God. God simply has all-lnowkedge of all things and people that He created, and knew that Judas would sin and betray Jesus. But Judas was also given Free Will by God. His sin was his own choice. The religious writers of texts that contain phrases like “O happy
fault,” simply mean that God can bring great good out of even the most evil situations. God even brought great good– our salvation—- out of the evil and unjust death of His oen Son, Jesus Christ. That is why the day on which Christ died is dubbed: “Good Friday.” From Christ’s death comes supernatural Divine Life, Love, and Healing graces, flowing abundantly for mankind! The blood of Christian martyrs likewise, paradoxically, always brings great conversions and healings.
In about the sixth srentence of my comment of July 2 at 6pm, there is a misspelled word– “own.” It should read, “… death of His own Son, Jesus Christ.”
God’s primary will is the things he wills.
God’s secondary will is the things he permits, including sin.
But it is never accurate to so that God willed Judas’ sin.
God willed our salvation. He did not will sin. It is not Judas’ sin that caused our salvation. It was the obedience of Christ to His Father’s Will even to the point of death. His Father’s Will was not the sin. It was the obedience.
This appointment may bring great joy to Bishop McElroy and to others who think, speak, and promote as he does. Instead of looking at others, Jesus gives advice to Peter at the end of the gospel of John. John 21:20-22 Peter turned and saw the disciple following whom Jesus loved, the one who had also reclined upon his chest during the supper and had said, “Master, who is the one who will betray you?” When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about him?” Jesus said to him, “What if I want him to remain until I come?* What concern is it of yours? You follow me.” I take Jesus’ advice, ad will follow Jesus in His thinking, His speaking, His promotion from the Holy Bible and from the infallible magisterium based on the Lord’s own life. This will bring great joy to me.
Fr. Richard, we miss you. I hope you will be celebrating Mass in North County this summer.
An article from San Diego
Theintelligentsia of the Church had their naughty Vatican II, and affirmed (or was it pretended?) it was the work of the Holy Spirit. No more stern religious, moral, and intellectual discipline to obey. Everyone decides for themselves. No more religious fights with Protestants. No more Catholic leaders being laughed at, in the modern world– for being outdated. Fr. John Courtney Murray, S.J. (whose views were formerly condemned by the Vatican) was brought back and vindicated, for the needs of the Council– he was a huge Council architect for religious freedom and religious pluralism, for the modern Church. His views, particularly for the U.S. Church, were good– but I think his ideas were implemented so wrongly, at Vatican II He actually paved the way for a huge Catholic rebellion, climaxed in recent years, by the evils of McElroy, Cupich, Pelosi and Biden…to name a few. Our holy religious Faith and Morals are a huge responsibility to God.
There should be a space separating the first two words in my comment of July 2, at 1:26am. I see that the editor slso removed quotation marks around words like “naughty,” “pretended,” etc. A couple of exclamation points were also removed. One was at the end of the sentence “…but I think his ideas were implemented so wrongly, at Vatican II!!”
I think you misunderstand the message of Vatican II which emphasized above all, the call to holiness of all the People of God and the Eucharist as the source and summit of Christian life.
“Will MacElroy implement the pope’s new
encyclical Desideratio Desideravi?”
i thought it was called Desideratio Depravity.
The Pope’s latest encyclical, Desiderio Desideravi, “On the Liturgical Formation of the People of God”, nods at those who complained after Traditionis Custodes last July that Rome had tightened the screws on the old rites—which are invariably celebrated with meticulous rubrical fidelity—while seeming to turn a wholly blind eye to liturgical abuses of the gravest degree in celebrations of the new rites. The Holy Father now makes clear he expects “every rubric to be observed”, and identifies two negative tendencies in the liturgical landscape of today: “the non-acceptance of liturgical reform”, and “a superficial understanding of it.”
His Holiness calls, in response, for a “serious and dynamic liturgical formation” to deal with these tendencies. Some of the points Pope Francis makes are not unreasonable, especially the need for liturgical formation for a generation of Catholics formed largely by liturgical praxis marked by inconsistency in application, a lack of doctrinal substance, and a disconnection from liturgical history. Unfortunately his proposed remedy seems doomed to fail in the goal he sets for it.
The Holy Father seeks a full acceptance of the liturgical documents of the Second Vatcian Council Vatican II. Yet the programme he sets forth—a renewed and deepened liturgical catechesis—is precisely what has led so many (especially young) Catholics to question the equation of the modern liturgical rites as they have experienced them with the actual liturgical documents of Vatican II. In short, many discover a divergence between Vatican II’s constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium and the rites later developed by a committee acting in its name.
The problem is primarily ecclesiological. I do not see how it is possible to say that one recognizes the validity of the Council—though it amazes me that a Catholic might presume not to do so—and at the same time not accept the liturgical reform born out of Sacrosanctum Concilium, a document that expresses the reality of the Liturgy intimately joined to the vision of the Church so admirably described in Lumen Gentium.
A constant repetition of the mantra that the modern rites are the liturgy that Vatican II actually called for is no longer sufficient to garner acceptance. The difference between them is too great and too obvious for those who have undertaken already the liturgical formation that His Holiness now rightly advocates. For example, anyone who has studied the Order of Mass of 1965, the first significant conciliar reform, will find the clear conformity with the conciliar decree that cannot be found in the new Mass of 1970.
Full acceptance of the modern liturgical forms cannot be definitively secured by the “serious and dynamic liturgical formation” Pope Francis calls for in Desiderio Desideravi, and this is its fatal flaw. You can have a proper liturgical formation, or you can accept the modern liturgical rites as being those mandated by Vatican II; but you cannot have both. Perhaps unintentionally—although one never quite knows with the present Successor of Peter, on whose feast day the latest papal document appeared—the Holy Father has opened up a fundamental question.
Are the modern liturgical forms actually those that the Council mandated, or a new creation entirely? The fuller and deeper liturgical formation that that Pope now calls for may not necessarily secure the answer he seems so fervently to desire. His Holiness may be able to enforce—to some degree—an external acceptance of the modern rites, but in doing so he may risk further alienating those faithful Catholics who find much beauty and grace in the historic rites of the Church.
Dom Hugh Somerville Knapman is a monk of Douai Abbey