Local Seattle columnist already giving “advice” to Bishop Sartain

By JOEL CONNELLY
SEATTLEPI.COM STAFF

… Our state’s Catholic governor spoke last year at a NARAL Pro-Choice Washington luncheon, while a pastor and bevvy of right-to-life activists recited the rosary on the street outside the Sheraton.

Western Washington used to be a hotbed of ecumenism. Outgoing Archbishop Alex Brunett has served as Vatican point-man on dialogue with Episcopalians and Anglicans.

But ordination of gay and lesbian Episcopal bishops has circumscribed cooperation. Bishop Sartain will need to work his way through lots of political correctness and relativism to carry out his pledge of “meaningful fruitful dialogue” with the Protestant brethren.

The Catholic Church here has championed social justice on a range of fronts, its bishops particularly outspoken on immigration.

Catholic clergy led the first mass immigrants’ rights march through downtown Seattle. When the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill requiring social service agencies to report illegals, Brunett responded with a blunt Lenten message: We will rat on no one.

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Submitted by Detty D.

Bishop Sartain of Joliet, IL to become new Archbishop of Seattle, WA

In a move that’s as much masterstroke as surprise (at least, to many), the Pope has named J. Peter Sartain, 58, bishop of Joliet since 2006, as archbishop of Seattle.

Envisioned by many as an optimal choice to replace Cardinal Francis George in Chicago after the outgoing Bench-Chief reaches the retirement age in early 2012, the much-celebrated prelate instead succeeds Archbishop Alex Brunett, who passed the canonical age-limit in January 2009. Founded in 1850 and made an archdiocese in 1951, today’s Emerald City church encompasses all of Washington State west of the Cascades — some 25,000 square miles — and a Catholic population that, by the chancery numbers, stands in excess of 900,000.

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