Friday, June 13, 2003

I understand there's been a dust-up this week between Gov. Keating and Cardinal Mahony. Haven't had a chance to read much about it, but you probably have already. All eyes will be on the bishops' meeting next week. No, not all eyes, since a greater number of the sessions will be closed, and I understand that the NCCB or whatever it's called now is not exactly rolling out the welcome mat for the press.

Ah, transparency, accountability and reasoned discourse.

Sometime this weekend, I'm going to try to sort out what's going on in the Philippines, but you are welcome to get a head start on the project, if you like.

From Saturday's WaPo, on Keating, etc.

"Unfortunately, in talking to a lot of bishops, he seems to have lost so much credibility that one has to ask, is it able to be recaptured? I personally think it would be almost impossible," Mahony said in a telephone interview with The Washington Post last night.

He added that he understood that review board members had been conferring by telephone without Keating. "I suspect that members of the review board themselves may be counseling the governor that he's put in a year as chairman and this might be a good time for him to step aside," Mahony said.

The cardinal said that he, personally, did not intend to call for Keating's removal in St. Louis. But, he said, "I know from other bishops they intend to bring it up." The most likely prospect, he said, is "some kind of a secret ballot vote of confidence or no-confidence if the governor hasn't decided on his own initiative that this is a good time to step down."

Dan Mahoney, a spokesman for Keating, said he was traveling in Connecticut yesterday and was not available for comment

Several review board members confirmed that they have had discussions among themselves but said Keating's future was in his own hands.

"That's up to the governor, who has been concerned about his own situation with his new job and his inability to spend the time with the board that he would like," said William Burleigh, referring to Keating's full-time job as an insurance trade association president.

Burleigh said Keating's remark about La Cosa Nostra was a mistake. "I don't in any way agree with that characterization because most of the bishops are either cooperating or struggling for ways to cooperate with the study, and it's the minority, such as Cardinal Mahony, that up until recently have been dragging their feet," he said.