PITTSBURGH - Auxiliary Bishop Paul Bradley, who has been the interim administrator of the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh since July 2006, held what many present described as a bizarre news conference this morning, his first meeting with the press since being passed over for Bishop of the Diocese. Green Bay Bishop David Zubik was named Bishop last week and will be installed in September.
Bradley arrived at the Diocesan auditorium ten minutes late, striding to the podium sweating profusely. Witnesses say he was sporting a heavy five o'clock shadow and his eyes were "shifty." Some Vatican watchers have opined that Bradley's lack of television appeal cost him the election to the tan, confident Bishop Zubik.
Bradley started to read a prepared statement: "Last week, the entire Diocese of Pittsburgh thrilled to the news from the Vatican that its native son David Zubik will return . . . ." Suddenly, Bradley looked up and stared straight ahead for what seemed an eternity. Then he slowly ripped up the prepared remarks. "I think we've all heard enough about David Kubik; I don't want to talk about David Zubik today, OK? This is about Paul Bradley." Bradley paused and took a drink of water.
"And I remember my old man. I think that they would have called him sort of a little man, a common man. He didn't consider himself that way. He had a lemon ranch. It was the poorest lemon ranch in California, I can assure you. But he was a great man. And Paul Bradley is a great man, too, regardless of what a bunch of wine drinking, opera lovers in Rome might think. Well, for 14 months, ever since Bishop Wuerl left, you've had a lot of fun, a lot of fun attacking me and I think I've given as good as I've taken. I hope that what I have to say today will at least make the press recognize that they have this responsibility: if you give the interim Diocesan administrator the shaft, at least assign one lonely reporter who will report what he says now and then, would you please?
"As I leave you, I want you to know one thing: just think how much you're going to be missing. You don't have Bradley to kick around anymore. Because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference. Thank you, gentlemen and good day."
Bradley abruptly left the podium without acknowledging the stunned members of the media. One Vatican insider said that Bradley has written his own ecclesiastical obituary.