For et par dager siden utnevnte pave Benedikt erkebiskop Timothy Dolan (i Milwaukee) til ny erkebiskop (og snart kardinal) i New York. John Allen skriver at denne utnevnelsen ligner flere andre under den nåværende paven; en sentrum-konservativ teolog med et «menneskelig ansikt».
Han sier følgende om de fire typene biskoper som fins i verden (og skriver også mer om erkebiskop Dolan her):
* The right: Bishops willing to use disciplinary measures to enforce orthodoxy in both faith and practice, who put much of their political energy into pro-life causes, who form strategic alliances with the Republican party and the cultural right, and who tend to take a dim view of the U.S. bishops’ conference as a talk shop sometimes afraid to make tough choices.
* The center-right: Bishops who are temperamentally conservative but who prefer to set a tone rather than impose penalties, who give pride of place to pro-life issues but also devote energy to other social justice concerns, who are often more invested in concrete pastoral concerns rather than political battles, and who are willing to work within the bishops’ conference as an expression of collegial relationships with other bishops.
* The center-left: Bishops inspired by the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin of Chicago, pro-life but inclined to accent a “seamless garment” of social justice concerns, loyal to Rome but willing to tolerate some diversity in both pastoral practice and theological expression, often seeing their role as a unifier, and prizing the bishops’ conference as a vehicle for coordinated action.
* The left: Bishops steeped in the “spirit of Vatican II” who see themselves as heralds of further reform, emphasizing progressive social causes, leaning toward the Democrats, and often lamenting what they see as a decline in the willingness of the bishops’ conference to engage major national questions as it did in the 1980s with pastoral letters on war and peace and the economy.