December 14, 2002

Boston Globe

By Michael Paulson, Globe Staff, 12/14/2002

Pope John Paul II appoints scores of bishops every year, but few decisions he makes are likely to be subject to the scrutiny certain to attend his choice for next archbishop of Boston.

Clergy and laypeople are looking to the pope to choose someone who has theological depth, who has the pastoral skills and personal charisma to heal a wounded church, and who has the administrative skills to oversee a large archdiocese with 2 million Catholics, 362 parishes, 11 hospitals and medical centers, and 160 schools.

But observers say most important is that the pope choose someone wholly untainted by the clergy sexual abuse scandal. That means, most likely, a bishop who has never served in Boston and who has not kept abusive priests on the job.

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