Had John J. Myers become Newark archbishop a few weeks sooner, he could have witnessed the terrifying collapse of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, from the tower of Sacred Heart Cathedral.
He took over as head of the nation’s seventh-largest Roman Catholic archdiocese while his new territory was still under the pall of the fires smoldering across the Hudson River. He found a flock dazed with grief, searching for answers.
…For those looking for answers, his is a voice of clarity.
For those seeking change, it is the voice of adversity.
Above all, say both his critics and his supporters — Myers is the voice of Catholic orthodoxy, a man deeply and unapologetically committed to the Vatican hard-line.
…Already he has restricted eulogies at the funeral Mass, banished reform groups from church property and reiterated that anyone who even favors discussion of abortion, noncelibate priests, women’s ordination, homosexuality or other hot-button issues is “not fully with the Catholic Church.”
None of this should be a surprise coming from a man who is the highest-ranking American churchman affiliated with Opus Dei, an influential and deeply conservative Roman Catholic group that has been praised by Pope John Paul II and denounced by its critics as highly secretive and elitist.
Everyone needs to look under their beds as night to make sure there aren’t any Opus Dei members hiding about.
…He has been praised for his support of priests, but condemned for his handling of the ongoing sex scandal. His financial acumen has been described as “impressive,” but his grasp of urban demographics and public relations have been called “seriously wanting.”
The understanding of urban demographics is preeminent for a Bishop. Remember when Jesus asked Peter.
“Simon, son of John, do Do you understand urban demographics more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I understand urban demographics.” He said to him, “Then do gant charts.” A second time he said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you understand urban demographics?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I understand urban demographics.” He said to him, “Tend my pie charts” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do understand urban demographics?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you understand urban demographics?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I understand urban demographics.” Jesus said to him, “Then do a Powerpoint presentation.