After weeks of speculation and predictions on talks shows from Eternal World Television to Word FM, the Pittsburgh Diocese will introduce Bishop David Zubik, 57, as its newest Bishop at a press conference today.
The Pittsburgh Diocese has had only three bishops in the past 38 years and is considered one of the best positions in all of Christendom because of its stability and for the way it’s run. Zubik most recent position was in another city rich in Catholic tradition, Green Bay.
Diocesan spokesman Ronald Lengwin said that although Zubik will undoubtedly bring his own style of leadership, there will not be a dramatic change in the stewardship of the local Church.
“Our philosophy is simple,” he said. “Feed the poor. Educate the children. Forgive sins. And change bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ. That's what we do. And that's the kind of no-nonsense, tough-nosed Pittsburgh Catholicism our congregations expect.”
Some observers feel that Zubik will have big shoes to fill, coming to Pittsburgh after the departure of future Hall of Famer Bishop Donald Wuerl. But Lengwin insists that he doesn’t expect any drop off in attendance or evangelism.
“We're not rebuilding. We're reloading,” he said.
Lengwin does concede that with many priests in the Diocese nearing retirement age, this particular group’s window of opportunity for spreading Christ’s message is closing.
The word among church officials is that Bishop Zubik is very traditional, preferring incense every Sunday. Some observers feel that his defense-against-the-devil-first system might not sit well with some of the more free-wheeling priests in the Diocese who like to show off their offensive skills during sermons. But Bishop Zubik also has a reputation for being a “priest’s bishop,” who is popular among the clergy in the sanctuary.