Gary Stern is the religion writer in my neck of the woods, and a very good one. Today I found a piece on the Gannett papers' website that puts the process of selecting bishops in historical perspective, Process for picking bishops mysterious, to which many of our saltier parishioners might say "No BLEEP, Sherlock."
In the article he harks back to the selection of Bishop Farley in 1902, traces the nature of the selection process through history and applies the historical insight to the selection of Cardinal Egan's successor.
"Don't forget, the Holy Spirit plays an important role," he said. "People tend to forget that. People see this as something similar to politics. The church is something different than a political organization. It has existed for 2,000 years. What political system can say that?"Father Eugene used to remind us very frequently of the matrix of divine mystery in which we move. Many forces are at work, forces that we judge as good and evil. No sooner do we invest someone with the white hat, then some tarnish surfaces. Likewise, good manifests itself from the acts of those we have branded as villains. No matter how hard we try to maneuver and control, mystery unfolds. Pray and remain open to the work of the Holy Spirit.