Writing for the Italian newspaper La Stampa’s “Vatican Insider,” reporter Marco Tosatti alleges that Phoenix’s Bishop Thomas Olmsted will soon be named secretary for the Vatican’s Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life:
The official announcement of the appointment of the Bishop of Phoenix (Arizona) Thomas J. Olmsted, as Secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life is expected any day now. Olmsted should replace fellow American, Tobin, who occupied this delicate position for a very short period. Tobin heads the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. Olmsted’s approach in the Congregation is expected to be far closer to the sensibilities of American bishops with regard to issue of the LCWR (Leadership Conference of Women Religious)’s rebellious stance towards Catholic bishops and the Holy See. The number of nuns in the United States dropped by over two thousand members in just one year, from 57.113 to 55.045.
Olmsted’s arrival will further strengthen the U.S.’s growing influence within the Catholic Church’s central government, the Assessor to the Secretariat of State, Peter Brian Wells, being the U.S.’ foremost point of reference.
The Diocese of Phoenix, however, denies that its bishop is headed for a Roman appointment any time soon:
The Diocese of Phoenix is denying a report that the Roman Catholic bishop of Phoenix is headed to the Vatican.
Rob DeFrancesco told The Associated Press on Sunday that a report in an Italian newspaper that Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted was going to Rome for a Vatican post is false.
Bishop Olmsted, who has led the Diocese of Phoenix since 2003, has made headlines in recent years, particularly for his 2010 decision to strip a hospital of its Catholic affiliation after an abortion was performed there.