in Harlem, Shock and Anger at Pastorís Removal

By Paul Vitello
The New York Times

August 5, 2008

It may not be the most heavily attended church in the area, but the imposing Roman Catholic church on 141st Street, St. Charles Borromeo, known locally as Harlemís Cathedral, has become known in recent years for such stirring triumphs and humbling lows that some people see it as a kind of tragic, if not bipolar, character residing in the neighborhood.

Pope John Paul II visited the church in 1979, and people still remember the pomp and pageantry it brought to the block. But the man most responsible for that visitation ó the churchís pastor at the time, Msgr. Emerson J. Moore, a rising star who in just a few years would become the first black bishop in the Archdiocese of New York ó died in a Minnesota AIDS hospice in 1995 after a long battle with cocaine and alcohol addiction.

And now, with another rising star at the helm ó Msgr. Wallace A. Harris, who gave an invocation at Gov. David A. Patersonís inauguration and like his predecessor, Bishop Moore, took a leading role in organizing the most recent papal visit to New York ó the pendulum has swung once again.


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