.- Catholics in San Francisco are thrilled that their archbishop has been named prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Archbishop William Levada was named to the current Pope’s former post on Friday. He is scheduled to leave for Rome Aug. 17. With this nomination, Archbishop Levada becomes the highest-ranking U.S. bishop in Church history.
According to a report published in the San Francisco Chronicle, Catholics in the city believe their archbishop is well suited for the job. They also feel that this gives them a special connection with Rome.
Deacon Nate Bacon at St. Peter’s Church told the Chronicle that the archbishop’s appointment would help the U.S. bishops “be better understood in Rome.”
Chris Lyford told the newspaper that the archbishop’s new appointment is “a very good match.” The 45-year-old father had stopped in at St. Mary's Cathedral to say a prayer for Archbishop Levada. Lyford had also been a parishioner in the Archdiocese of Portland, Ore., when Archbishop Levada headed that see.
“He is well respected as a theologian,” Lyford was quoted as saying. “He's someone to count on to keep the conservative line."
Fr. John Balleza of St. Patrick's Church told the daily that Archbishop Levada is “perfect for the job.”
“He's always been a teacher, and not only of our faith,” said the priest, who first met the archbishop in 1981 in Rome during his seminary studies. “As a bishop he's always been called upon to clarify policy over difficult situations."
He spoke of the archbishop’s success at dealing with sexual abuse cases “on a human level.”
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops also expressed their joy in the appointment and their confidence in the San Francisco archbishop. The president of the USCCB assured Archbishop Levada of the prayers and best wishes of all of his brother-bishops.
“It is a great honor for Archbishop Levada to receive this appointment. He is also taking on a tremendous responsibility, but he is well prepared for it intellectually and spiritually,” said Bishop William S. Skylstad of Spokane in a statement.