By Michelle Boorstein Oct. 20 (Washington Post) -- Pope Benedict XVI named Washington Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl and 23 other Catholic leaders from around the world to the elite status of cardinal on Wednesday. The highest-ranking officials in the Catholic Church after the pope, cardinals are the ones who elect new pontiffs. Wuerl, 69, is a cautious educator who shares the pope's top priority: eliminating ambiguity in an era of debate about Catholicism's position on everything from health care to human sexuality. He is considered a leading catechist, or teacher of Catholic doctrine, and a diplomat on explosive social issues. Typically a staid, formal man who prefers to resolve issues out of the public eye, Wuerl drew headlines last year when he told Washington, D.C., officials that he might end spousal health benefits for employees of Catholic Charities if the city legalized same-sex marriage. When the law passed, Wuerl kept his promise, saying the
Pope John Paul II, on the cusp of the fastest canonization in recent history, will be honored in a double ceremony this weekend in Rome along with a pope whose death 51 years ago spurred the first modern instant-sainthood campaign.