Advance bishop

U.S. Catholic

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Bryan Cones

Moving a bishop should be more than an ecclesiastical game of chess.

Climbing the corporate ladder in our business-driven culture is generally applauded. Who doesn’t want the corner office, the big salary, and the perks of joining the true “company men” (who are still usually men, after all)? Staying in the same job or with the same company for too long can suggest a lack of ambition, and it certainly doesn’t improve one’s marketability.

So influential is this supremely American and capitalist value that it may be creeping even into the church. Consider, for instance, the recent move of Bishop Salvatore Cordileone from “lowly” Oakland, California to his new post across the bay as archbishop of San Francisco. A number of observers have speculated about whether his ecclesiastical “ascent” may have been fueled by his outspoken opposition to same-sex marriage in California, and specifically his support of Proposition 8, the 2008 voter initiative that overturned a California Supreme Court decision that legalized such unions.

“Cordileone was the first to step up to the plate,” said Charles LiMandri of the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund in the Los Angeles Times. “That’s why his career has skyrocketed.” LiMandri worked closely with Cordileone on the Proposition 8 campaign.

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