I am strenuously resisting the straight line that offers up on so many levels.....
Well, seriously, seriously. Whispers in the Loggia really is a fascinating application of blogging where you might least expect it and has acquired a unique data gathering capacity unto itself. Worth reading the above linked story on Whispers no matter your religiosity. No doubt Ann R. at the PG has been a reader. The blog often covers the Pittsburgh Catholic world, in some ways better than the eponymous publication of the same name (and the region's second largest publication itself so says Wikipedia... must be correct right). The blog even unknowingly covers the diasporia, having once documented the large number of ex-Pittsburghers now serving as bishops around the nation.
Which all has a corollary... and may be my sole toe dipped into this world of blogging on religion (hey, the guy got a degree from a seminary for blogging... must be ok)... With the rash of Bishops departing the Pittsburgh Catholic diocese there is a question hanging out there. Not long ago there were at least 3 active Catholic bishops in town, yet there is only one right now. Anyone on the short list? Is there a short list? No hyper-local version of Rocco out there to my knowledge.
In the end it is another demography is destiny story and maybe no other bishop is coming. In the Catholic hierarchy there are Archdioceses and dioceses. The Pittsburgh Catholic diocese once peaked as the 2nd largest in the country after WWII. But ongoing population decline and other change probably kept it from ever getting 'promoted' to archdiocese. Same story, just in a different context.
and finally... it all is just a good excuse to repost what is one of the more amazing maps showing the spatial pattern of religion across the nation. It's not a static image, but a full interactive dataset down to the county level.