BALTIMORE — It was a hail and farewell moment at a tumultuous time for the Roman Catholic Church
. More than 200 bishops rose to their feet Monday and gave a protracted standing ovation to Cardinal Francis George, a former president of the bishops’ conference, who will step down next week as the archbishop of Chicago.
Among those applauding in the conference room was the man who will soon be installed in the powerful Chicago seat, Bishop Blase J. Cupich. Pope Francis
has never met him, but plucked him from the obscure diocese of Spokane, Wash., passing over archbishops considered rising stars under the two previous popes.
Change is rattling the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church
, as the American bishops hold their annual fall meeting here this week. The vast majority of them were appointed by Francis’ two more conservative predecessors, and some say they do not yet understand what kind of change Pope Francis
envisions and whether it is anything more than a …More