|His Eminence |
William Joseph Levada
|Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith|
|See||San Francisco (Emeritus)|
|Enthroned||May 13, 2005|
|Predecessor||Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger|
|Ordination||December 20, 1961|
|Consecration||May 12, 1983|
|Created Cardinal||March 24, 2006|
Archbishop of San Francisco (1995-2005) |
Archbishop of Portland (1986-95)
June 15, 1936|
Long Beach, California
|Styles of |
William Joseph Levada
|Reference style||His Eminence|
|Spoken style||Your Eminence|
|See||San Francisco (emeritus)|
William Joseph Levada (born June 15, 1936) is an American Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He currently serves as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in the Roman Curia, previously serving as Archbishop of Portland (Oregon) from 1986 to 1995 and Archbishop of San Francisco from 1995 to 2005. Levada was elevated to the cardinalate in 2006.
Early life and clerical formation
His great-grandparents came from Portugal and Ireland, and immigrated to the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1860s. He grew up in Long Beach and Houston, Texas, attended St. Anthony High School Long Beach and then St. John's Seminary in Camarillo, part of the Roman Catholic Archidiocese of Los Angeles.
From 1958 to 1961, Levada studied at the North American College and did his theological studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He was ordained to the priesthood on December 20, 1961, by Archbishop Martin John O'Connor, rector of the Pontifical North American College and president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, in St. Peter's Basilica.
From 1961 until around 1966, Levada worked in parishes in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, including St. Monica's Church in Santa Monica. He also taught high school and worked in college campus ministry.
After this, he returned to Rome and continued his studies at the North American College. He received a doctorate in sacred theology magna cum laude. His 1971 dissertation was written under Francis A. Sullivan, SJ. In the early 1970s, he returned to the United States and taught theology at St. John's Seminary School of Theology in Camarillo, California. During this time he was also named the first Director of Continuing Education for the Clergy in the archdiocese, and received the title Monsignor.
From 1976 to 1982, Levada was an official of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in the Vatican, having been recommended by Cardinal Joseph Bernardin. During this time, he taught part-time at the Pontifical Gregorian University. At the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Levada served under three popes (Pope Paul VI, Pope John Paul I, and Pope John Paul II), and under two prefects of the CDF (Cardinals Franjo Seper and Joseph Ratzinger).
Levada was appointed an auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles and titular bishop of Capreae on 25 March 1983, and was consecrated by Cardinal Manning (with Bishops John J. Ward and Juan Arzube as co-consecrators) in the Cathedral of St. Vibiana on 12 May 1983. In 1984 he was appointed episcopal vicar of Santa Barbara County. In 1986 he was appointed chancellor and moderator of the archdiocesan curia. Serving under Cardinal Roger Mahony, Levada reorganized the internal structure of the archdiocese.
On July 1, 1986, Levada became the Archbishop of Portland in Oregon. During his tenure in Portland, Levada helped to revitalize Mount Angel Seminary in St. Benedict, Oregon; Levada briefly taught at the seminary as well. Other accomplishments in Portland included reorganizing Catholic Charities, working in outreach to the Hispanic Catholic community, and renovating St. Mary’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
In November 2000, Levada was appointed one of the members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, where he again served under Cardinal Ratzinger. This was a part-time task which let him remain in California.
Also in 2000, Levada became the Bishop Co-Chair of the Anglican-Roman Catholic dialogue in the United States. In November 2003, Levada was appointed as Chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Doctrine. This was a three-year term, but he resigned in 2005 due to his new duties in Rome and was replaced by Arthur J. Serratelli, Bishop of Paterson.
On September 18, 1998, he was principal consecrator at the episcopal ordination of Monsignor John C. Wester as an auxiliary Bishop of San Francisco. On January 30, 2003, he was again principal consecrator of Monsignor Ignatius C. Wang as a second auxiliary Bishop of San Francisco. Bishop Wang, a native of Beijing, is the first Chinese and first Asian Bishop to be ordained for a diocese in the United States.
Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
It was commonly speculated that the pope's reasons for choosing Levada may have included the fact that Levada had been a principal editor of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the fact that the two of them had worked together at the CDF in the past, and the pope's desire to have an American heading the CDF since one of its major roles today is to deal with the fallout from the sexual abuse scandal.
Levada resigned as Archbishop of San Francisco effective August 17, 2005, the tenth anniversary of the announcement of his appointment as coadjutor to San Francisco. One of his last official duties as metropolitan bishop was to serve as principal consecrator of Clarence Richard Silva as the new Bishop of Honolulu, since Honolulu is a suffragan diocese of the San Francisco ecclesiastical province. Levada was replaced in San Francisco as Archbishop by high school classmate George Niederauer.
On February 22, 2006, Benedict XVI announced that Levada was to be elevated to the College of Cardinals, a nomination which was much foreseen, given his Curial position. As a result of his elevation, Cardinal Levada is now eligible to participate in any future papal conclaves that begin before his 80th birthday on June 15, 2016. On the following March 24, Levada was named the Cardinal-Deacon of Santa Maria in Domnica.
In addition to his position as Prefect of the CDF, Cardinal Levada is the president of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, the International Theological Commission, and the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei. Levada's other curial positions include membership in the Congregation for Bishops, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, the Congregation for Catholic Education, the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued and published on May 29, 2008, in the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, a decree signed by Cardinal Levada, as Prefect of the Congregation, on the existing ban on women priests by asserting that women priests and the bishops who ordain them would be excommunicated "latae sententiae".  
As Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Levada is the principal defender of all the moral and theological doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church, sometimes acting as chief prosecutor against members of the Church who have strayed from those values. As the most influential position in the government of the Church apart from the Holy Father himself, Levada is considered the highest ranking American in the institution.
Other Americans heading dicasteries in the Roman Curia and associated institutions include archbishops Raymond Burke, Apostolic Signatura; and James Michael Harvey, Prefect of the Pontifical Household.
Head of the Ecclesia Dei Commission
Cardinal Levada, who was already a member of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, the organ of the Holy See charged with seeking the reconciliation of the Society of St. Pius X and similar groups with Rome and regulating celebration of the Sacraments according to the 1962 texts in Latin, was appointed its President on 8 July 2009, in accordance with Pope Benedict XVI's motu proprio Ecclesiae Unitatem, which makes the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith ex officio head of the Ecclesia Dei Commission. However, the Commission has its own staff, consisting of a Secretary and officials.
Reception of Traditional Anglicans
On 20 October 2009, Cardinal Levada and Archbishop Joseph DiNoia held a press conference in which they announced that Pope Benedict was preparing to release an as yet unnamed apostolic constitution that would allow Anglicans, both laity and clergy, to join the Catholic Church and maintain their corporate identity. They stated that "pastoral oversight and guidance will be provided for groups of former Anglicans through a Personal Ordinariate, whose Ordinary will usually be appointed from among former Anglican clergy." 
The press release envisaged that married Anglican clergy who join the Catholic Church will be ordained to the priesthood, but excluded ordination to the episcopate: "Historical and ecumenical reasons preclude the ordination of married men as bishops in both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. The Constitution therefore stipulates that the Ordinary can be either a priest or an unmarried bishop." During the conference, Cardinal Levada compared the new ordinariates to the ordinariate that in many countries exist for the pastoral care of the military forces. The move is to result in an Anglican liturgical rite within the Catholic Church. The personal ordinariates will be established after consultation with the episcopal conferences. It has not beern indicated whether there is to be only one such personal ordinariate in a country, as for military ordinariates, or whether there could be a distinct ordinariate for each of several Anglican groups within a country who join the Catholic Church.
A joint statement on the new protocol from Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster and the Anglican Communion's head, Archbishop Rowan Williams of Canterbury, occurred at the same time in London. 
On 31 October 2009, Cardinal Levada responded to speculation that the rule whereby in some Eastern Catholic Churches ordination to the diaconate and priesthood is open to married men as well as to celibates will apply also to the personal ordinariates for former Anglicans. He made it clear that the canonical discipline of the [[Latin Rite}Western Catholic Church]] applies to these ordinariates. Objective criteria for circumstances in which a dispensation from celibacy may be requested will be worked out jointly by the personal ordinariate and the episcopal conference.
The apostolic constitution on the personal ordinariates for former Anglicans will contain the following rule:
§1. Those who ministered as Anglican deacons, priests, or bishops, and who fulfil the requisites established by canon law and are not impeded by irregularities or other impediments may be accepted by the Ordinary as candidates for Holy Orders in the Catholic Church. In the case of married ministers, the norms established in the Encyclical Letter of Pope Paul VI Sacerdotalis coelibatus, n. 42 and in the Statement "In June" are to be observed. Unmarried ministers must submit to the norm of clerical celibacy of CIC can. 277, §1.
§2. The Ordinary, in full observance of the discipline of celibate clergy in the Latin Church, as a rule (pro regula) will admit only celibate men to the order of presbyter. He may also petition the Roman Pontiff, as a derogation from can. 277, §1, for the admission of married men to the order of presbyter on a case by case basis, according to objective criteria approved by the Holy See.".
Cardinal Levada's views generally reflect the official teachings of the Catholic Church.
On Catholics who dissent from Catholic teachings:
Catholic theology does not recognize the right to dissent, if by that we mean adopting conclusions which are contrary to the clear teachings of the authoritative, infallible magisterium and which are presented to the public in such a way as to constitute equivalently an alternative personal magisterium.
Norms of moral law
In his doctoral dissertation of 1970 in which Levada treated the question of the infallibility of specific moral norms of the natural law, he wrote:
"The human process of formulating moral norms is marked by an essential dependence upon the data of human experience.... The variabilities which marked the human process of its discovery and formulation made such particular applications inherently unsuited to be considered for infallible definition.... For such formulations must remain essentially open to modification and reformulation based upon moral values as they are perceived in relation to the data and the experience which mark man's understanding of himself.... Even though there is nothing to prevent a council or a pope from extending [infallibility] to questions of the natural moral law from the point of view of their authority to do so, nevertheless the "prudential" certitude which characterizes the non-scriptural norms of the natural law argues against such an extension....The Church has never in fact made an infallible declaration about a particular norm of the natural moral law."
In March 1995, Pope John Paul II explicitly confirmed that the Church's teachings against murder (par. 57), abortion (par. 62), and euthanasia (par. 65) were specific moral norms which the Church's ordinary and universal Magisterium had protected with infallibility.
Within 68 days, Levada publicly stated, in contrast to the conclusion he reached in 1970, that the Catholic Church's teaching regarding the immorality of directly-willed abortion had been infallibly taught by the ordinary and universal magisterium:
The individual politician, like any Catholic, who is at odds with the teaching of the Church about the principle involved, i.e., that abortion constitutes the killing of innocent human life and is always gravely immoral (cf. Evangelium Vitae, nn. 57-62), has an obligation to reflect more deeply on the issue, in the hope of allowing the persuasive character of this infallibly taught teaching to become part of his belief and value system. I say infallibly taught not because Pope John Paul II has assumed in Evangelium Vitae the special prerogative recognized for individual papal teachings in the First Vatican Council, but rather because he has called attention explicitly to the fact that Catholic teaching on abortion has been an infallible doctrine of the Church by virtue of the universal ordinary Magisterium, recognized for the teachings of the Pope and worldwide college of bishops together by the Second Vatican Council.
Some argue that the two statements indicate a change in Levada's views, suggesting that he altered his views to conform to the Pope's statement.
In Evangelium Vitae, John Paul was writing about a specific principle of natural law, found in Scripture, and declaring that the principle is protected by infallibility. Since the passage in Levada's dissertation refers to principles of natural law that are not found in Scripture, there is really no conflict between the two viewpoints.
In 1987, Levada and six other bishops were chosen by Cardinal Ratzinger to edit the forthcoming Catechism of the Catholic Church. When the Catechism was completed in 1993, the first English translation was very loose and used a great deal of inclusive language. Along with Archbishop Eric D'Arcy of Hobart, Australia and Fr. John Wall, Levada insisted that this be replaced with a more literal translation, and it was a new and more literal translation that was published in English in 1994. Levada also authored the glossary for the second edition of the Catechism.
Interfaith dialogue with Jews
According to rabbi David Rosen, Cardinal Levada made it clear that there was intrinsic value in conducting interfaith dialogue with Jews even without any ulterior motives of proselytizing. He also made a clear distinction between "witnessing," or sharing the New Testament, and proselytizing, which was wrong. 
A Catholic, to be in full communion with the faith of the Church, must accept this teaching about the evil of abortion and euthanasia. This reflects the Church's official teaching on the matter.
If both Islam and Christianity view themselves as universal and missionary, it does not mean an impasse but an opportunity to search further into the mystery of that faith to see how it resonates and relates to the other's faith.
Some Traditionalist Catholics complained about Levada's refusal to allow Tridentine Masses to be celebrated publicly in his Archdiocese, saying that this was against Pope Benedict's motu proprio Summorum Pontificum.
On slavery: "There is a long tradition in the Church of accepting the institution of slavery, but in the light of the repeated teachings of modern popes and the Second Vatican Council on the dignity of the human person, Church teaching has evolved from acceptance of slavery as part of the human condition to its eventual condemnation."
Concerning the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, he has said that if corrections took place by peers, if there were a functioning process of serious review and assessment in light of Catholic doctrine by theologians competent to evaluate the work of one of their own, there would be much less work for members of the Congregation.
Addressing the issue of homosexual activity, Levada led a march of approximately 1,000 people through the streets of San Francisco in April 2005 to protest gay marriage. For his denunciation of same-sex marriage, Levada has been criticized by LGBT associations. He wrote in 2004:
Heterosexual marriage, procreation and the nurturing of children form the bedrock of the family, and the family unit lies at the heart of every society. To extend the meaning of marriage beyond a union of a man and a woman, their procreative capacity, and their establishment of family represents a misguided understanding of marriage.
Gay civil partnerships
In 1997, the City of San Francisco passed a law that all companies must provide the same benefits for domestic partners as for their spouses. Levada objected that this violated Catholic teaching on the unique status of marriage, but the city would not budge. Levada's solution was seen as a compromise in some circles and a strategic move in others: He ruled that unmarried employees of the archdiocese could designate any person sharing the same address as their beneficiary. This complied with the statute while avoiding a privileged status for unmarried domestic partnerships.
Protestant ecclesial communities
On Protestant ecclesial communities: "According to Catholic doctrine, these Communities do not enjoy apostolic succession in the sacrament of Orders, and are, therefore, deprived of a constitutive element of the Church. These ecclesial Communities which, specifically because of the absence of the sacramental priesthood, have not preserved the genuine and integral substance of the Eucharistic Mystery cannot, according to Catholic doctrine, be called 'Churches' in the proper sense"
|Consecrated by:||Timothy Manning|
|Date of consecration:||May 23, 1983|
|Bishop||Date of consecration|
|Tod David Brown||April 3, 1989|
|Alexander Joseph Brunett||July 6, 1994|
|John Charles Wester||September 18, 1998|
|Joseph Anthony Pepe||May 31, 2001|
|Ignatius Chung Wang||January 30, 2003|
|Clarence Richard Silva||July 21, 2005|
|Joseph Augustine DiNoia, O.P.||July 11, 2009|
- List of the Catholic bishops of the United States#American bishops serving outside the United States
- ↑ "Distinguished Americans & Canadians of Portuguese Descent". http://www.portuguesefoundation.org/famous.htm. Retrieved 2008-01-09.
- ↑ San Francisco Chronicle, May 21, 2003, online here.
- ↑ "Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei"". The Holy See. http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/ced_documents/rc_con_cfaith_20090930_ecclesia-dei_en.html. Retrieved 2010-01-01.
- ↑ "Levada, Card. William Joseph", College of Cardinals Biographical Notes, Holy See Press Office, url accessed January 1, 2010
- ↑ Vatican says will excommunicate women priests from Reuters
- ↑ Vatican sends threat over women priests From CNN
- ↑ Pope Restructures "Ecclesia Dei"
- ↑ Ecclesiæ Unitatem, no. 6 a
- ↑ Ecclesiæ Unitatem, no. 6 b
- ↑ Note of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith about Personal Ordinariates for Anglicans Entering the Catholic Church
- ↑ "Dissent and the Catholic Religion Teacher", Speech to National Catholic Educational Association, April 2, 1986. Printed in Origins, v. 16 (1986), pp. 195-200. Reprinted in Readings in Moral Theology No. 6: Dissent in the Church, ed. by Charles Curran and Richard McCormick, Paulist Press, 1988, pp. 133-151, ISBN 0-8091-2930-2.
- ↑ (Doctoral dissertation, "Lex Naturae et Magisterium Ecclesiae," Pontifical Gregorian University Doctoral Thesis No. 4276/1968, July 18, 1968, Vol. II, p. 617. This thesis was only partially published in English in 1971.)
- ↑ From The Catholic Sentinel, 6/2/1995.
- ↑ Vatican stays out of 'mission' conflict
- ↑ San Francisco Faith, March 1999, online here.
- ↑ Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), Responses to some questions regarding certain aspects of the doctrine on the church; http://220.127.116.11/news_services/bulletin/news/20581.php?index=20581<=en#TESTO%20IN%20LINGUA%20INGLESE
- Catholic hierarchy
- Biography of Levada from Archdiocese of San Francisco website
- Statement of Levada on his appointment as Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (May 13, 2005)
- Article in National Catholic Reporter by John Allen analyzing the choice of Levada (May 13, 2005)
- Profile of Levada in the San Francisco Chronicle (May 14, 2005)
- Most Holy Redeemer Parish (May 17, 2005)
- Interview with Vatican Radio shortly after his appointment as Prefect
- Interview with interesting remarks in March 2007
|Catholic Church titles|
Cornelius Michael Power
|Archbishop of Portland|
1 July 1986–17 August 1995
| Succeeded by|
Francis George, OMI
John Raphael Quinn
|Archbishop of San Francisco|
27 December 1995–13 May 2005
| Succeeded by|
George Hugh Niederauer
|Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith|
13 May 2005–present
Darío Castrillón Hoyos
|President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei|
8 July 2009–present
| Succeeded by|