PITTSBURGH - A third Catholic bishop who had been considered a contender for the top job in the Pittsburgh diocese has been appointed to serve elsewhere. Observers blame the thirteen-month delay in selecting a Bishop on a variety of factors, including the Rooney Rule that dictates a minority bishop must be interviewed for each open position. The Church adopted the rule, modeled on the NFL's rule of the same name, last year to silence critics who claim the church lacks diversity. Father Ronald Lengwin, spokesman for the Pittsburgh Diocese, explained that the rule is an impediment to the selection process in Pittsburgh because "there just aren't a lot of Negroes to consider, to be quite candid." To comply with the Rooney Rule in Pittsburgh, the Vatican approached NFL analyst Rev. Chris Carter, who cited other obligations and the fact that he's not Catholic, when declining consideration for the position. Other candidates reportedly under consideration are beloved former Pirates slugger Willie Stargell and former Boston Red pitcher Sox Luis Tiant, but neither has been interviewed yet.

Another reason for the delay in selecting a Bishop is that numerous other dioceses have had open seats, and many attractive candidates have opted to go elsewhere. Bishop Joseph Kurtz, 60, a Schuylkill County native who was considered a favorite for the Pittsburgh top job, interviewed with Baltimore, Cleveland and Cincinnati as the process dragged on. While he reportedly "liked the situation" in Pittsburgh he has signed with the Louisville diocese.

Local officials are pushing to get the situation resolved as quickly as possible. Otherwise, they feel the vacancy could hurt the city in the upcoming seminary draft.