Having soldiered via this final year carrying an unprecedented double burden – the every day life of a booming 1.eight million-member archdiocese (a single at present below civil investigation) and the elected leadership of the US’ biggest religious physique amid a season of epic crisis – Houston Chancery released the following statement at 7pm Central tonight, announcing a important well being scare for Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the President of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops:
Cardinal DiNardo was taken to a Houston hospital final evening [Friday, 15 March] just after experiencing the symptoms of what tests now have confirmed was a mild stroke. The Cardinal is resting comfortably and conversing with associates, physicians and nurses. It is anticipated that Cardinal DiNardo will stay hospitalized for a handful of much more days of testing and observation, followed by a transfer to yet another facility for rehabilitation. he is grateful to the physicians and nurses for their amazing care and for continued prayers throughout his recovery. Cardinal DiNardo mentioned, “With so substantially to do, I am searching forward to finding back to perform as quickly as achievable.”
According to a separate statement circulated privately to the US bench and obtained by Whispers, as the USCCB by-laws give that the bench’s “Vice President … shall have such powers and carry out such other duties as may perhaps be assigned him by the President,” as of tonight, DiNardo “has assigned [Los Angeles’] Archbishop [José] Gomez, as Vice President, to help in executing the day-to-day responsibilities of the Presidency” for the period of his recovery.
In other words, for all sensible purposes, the Mexican-born, 68 year-old head of the biggest diocese American Catholicism has ever identified is all of a sudden the Acting President of the US bishops – even on a pro tem basis, the very first Latino ever to lead an episcopal bench north of the Rio Grande.
Just when you believed items weren’t eventful sufficient. Then once again, lest anyone forgot, this was a “joint presidency” from its outset.
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Just shy of his 70th birthday in late Could, DiNardo – the very first cardinal ever developed in the American South – is in the residence stretch of his 3-year term at the bench’s helm, which’ll finish with the election of the new Executive in November.
More than the practically 5-decade history of the contemporary Stateside conference (rebooted as it was in the wake of Vatican II), not in memory has a Vice-President been referred to as to publicly “help” at the body’s helm as Acting Chief.
Then once again, as the Presidency requires at least a third of its occupant’s power in a standard time – generally starting with a very first-issue hourlong get in touch with from the Washington headquarters each morning – lest anybody forgot, these days are something but “standard.”
Possessing served as the US bench’s delegate to final month’s abuse summit in Rome, DiNardo was stricken just just after returning residence from this previous week’s USCCB Administrative Committee meeting in Washington, which set the agenda for the bench’s June meeting in Baltimore and its anticipated program to vote on 4 big documents enhancing the accountability of bishops, each in terms of direct allegations against them and/or their handling of abuse situations.
As a single Whispers op relayed from the Admin talks, DiNardo appeared “ashen and tired” more than the two-day DC meeting, echoing weeks of concern from inside his inner circle more than the unrelenting workload.
When the put on-down ultimately caught up with him, a Houston op reports that the cardinal was presiding more than a Friday evening Stations of the Cross in the Cathedral he devoted ten years ago subsequent month (above) – a rite especially held in reparation for the current scandals – when DiNardo became unsettled at the Seventh Station (per tradition, the moment recalling when “Jesus Falls the Second Time”) and required to be taken out in a wheelchair.
Per early reports from Astroworld, the president is in intensive care in a neighborhood hospital his rehab and initial recovery period will take at least six weeks, therefore maintaining DiNardo – head of the US’ fifth-biggest diocese beyond his national function – out of commission via Holy Week and Easter.
In his final big public look just before this weekend’s turn, DiNardo headlined an early February seminar at his alma mater – Washington’s Catholic University of America – exactly where the bench chief cited Pope Francis’ January get in touch with to the US bishops for “a new ecclesial season” in the scandal-hit Stateside church… focusing specifically on the laity’s function in it:
Establishing – much more to come.