By Brian Williams, Anchor and managing editor
We're happy to report that a member of the extended NBC News family got a promotion today. Archbishop John P. Foley, our Vatican analyst, has been named Cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI. Viewers will recall Foley's expert analysis and insight during our coverage of the death of Pope John Paul II, as well as the subsequent selection of his successor. Archbishop Foley is one of 23 new Cardinals created by the Pope today in the Vatican.
Foley, who hails from Philadelphia (and once studied journalism at Columbia University), got word of his elevation yesterday. He had reportedly just returned to his residence in Rome after having cataract surgery when he was summoned to the Vatican. "I said I couldn't drive because I just had this surgery," Foley recalled. "When they said, 'We'll send a car over,' I knew it was important." Foley, who turns 72 next month, is one of just two Americans among the 23 new Cardinals. (The other is Daniel N. DiNardo, the archbishop of Houston). They'll all be installed in a special ceremony known as a consistory at the Vatican on November 24. It is the College of Cardinals, of course, that will one day vote on a successor to Pope Benedict XVI himself. But our relationship with soon-to-be-Cardinal Foley won't give us an inside track when that day comes; all participants in those deliberations are sworn to absolute secrecy.
While we're on the subject of blessed events involving the NBC family, we want to share the happy news that our own Pat Burkey and his wife Maribel are now the proud parents of twin boys, born at 1:11 and 1:13 this morning. We can report that everyone is recovering nicely. "Everybody's great," Pat tells us, and adds that his brand-new sons are "really pretty cute." Congratulations and best wishes to one and all.
As for me, I'm recovering from my second Springsteen concert in as many weeks. Perhaps I can bring myself to write about the experience over the next few days.
We're now sorting through the details of a terrible double-bombing in Pakistan, which prompted me to just now interrupt this posting to write what I plan to say at the top of Nightly News. This is a situation that needs close monitoring.
We'll sort out our coverage and we hope to see you tonight for NBC Nightly News.