Describing himself as "thrilled" at the news, a Lansing op sends this portrait of the bishop-elect Raica....
This may sound a bit cliché, but he is truly one of the most kind, gentle, intelligent and faithful people I know.... He is very deliberate and thoughtful, has a great sense of humor and yet is very attentive. He is big on using technology and communications for evangelization....Plinthos' remark: That has been the bishop making trend for a couple of decades. The Church names men who are political to be bishops, because bishops must work in the world. Nevertheless, if a man is good with the world and also faithful to the Catholic religion, that one is often preferred to the mere bureaucrat. Deo gratias. But, if you are just a faithful ax grinder, you're altogether out of luck (at least in this life)!
If this is the sort of bishop Pope Francis is naming, I'm thrilled. He is solid but not an ideologue. He has chancery, Rome and parish experience. Though he loves pasta, travel and culture, he lives very simply. He's an excellent cook. His desk is very messy! He is bright, faithful and yet has no ax to grind.
I have never witnessed him to have an appetite for the sort of rhetoric we see from others in the U.S. hierarchy on the hot button issues. Like Pope Francis, I don't see +Raica watering anything down but I think his emphasis will be in line with this pope - on the positive aspects of our faith. I hope this is a sign of more good appointments to come. I think +Raica really reflects what we are hearing that Pope Francis wants – shepherds who are gentle, approachable, smell like the sheep and are open to bringing everyone closer to the Lord.