San Francisco’s Newest Archbishop

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When San Francisco Archbishop William Levada left for a new position in Rome last year, gay Catholics were left wondering if a conservative ideologue would replace him. Yesterday afternoon, George H. Niederauer, who is rumored to be sympathetic to homosexuals in his flock, was installed as the eighth archbishop of San Francisco. Several thousand attended the mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral—including Mayor Gavin Newsom—where the mood was joyous.

Niederauer, a native of California who earned a PhD in English Literature at the University of Southern California while a priest, spent much of his homily discussing Pope Benedict XVI’s first encyclical Deus Caritas Est [God is Love, issued three weeks ago], and referenced poets Robert Frost and T.S. Elliot, as he extolled the values of humility, charity, and love for all. It is still uncertain what the new appointment will mean for San Francisco’s gay believers, but Niederauer did praise the “rich diversity” of Catholics in the city. As one longtime Bay Area Catholic in attendance remarked, “Now we wait and see.”

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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