As already reported, Papa Benedict and Cardinal Ouellet have done the Church a great service by elevating a faithful priest to the rank of Archbishop of Montreal.
There’s a double blessing at work here. Not only will Canada’s second largest diocese be led by a man entirely in line with Church teaching, but his nomination further confirms that the criteria for selecting bishops have radically changed.
The new Archbishop, Christian Lépine, seems rather ordinary in many respects. When you peruse his resume, he doesn’t stand out as having any spectacular credentials. He’s no dunce, of course, but he doesn’t hold multiple fancy degrees like some brainiacs out there. He doesn’t appear to have remarkable pastoral experience either. He has a relatively ordinary track record, mostly as a parish priest.
And now he’s the Archbishop of Canada’s largest diocese. Just like that. Move on up, Father. In less than a year, he went from incognito to auxiliary bishop to Archbishop of Montreal.
This is just another confirmation that the rules of the game have changed. This priest may appear ordinary, but he’s apparently a very holy and faithful man. That’s all that matters to the Vatican these days. Praise God. The era of the ladder-climbers and professional Catholics has gone the way of the hula hoop. This humble and holy priest, a relative “nobody”, just leap-frogged right over a bunch of other clerics that have more seniority, accolades, degrees and credentials than him.
This is a source of great joy and consolation. Praise be to God.