Posts Tagged Catholic bishop
Jan. 10, 2017 – Four U.S. Catholic bishops have reached retirement age and five more will in 2017, and their dioceses await word about who their next bishop will be. The stakes are high. Bishops rule in their dioceses.
Voice of the Faithful has long advocated for the widest possible input in selecting local bishops. Catholic lay people have the right and responsibility to comment and an expectation of being heard on issues important to the church. Not much is more important than who leads the local diocese. But papal nuncios (ambassadors), who recommend bishop candidates to the pope, listen only to a few influential clerics and even fewer lay people.
Pope Francis has made clear his desire for casting the widest possible net for bishop candidates. Most recently, the pontiff told his nuncios, “You cannot be content to fish in aquaria, in the reserve or in the breeding grounds of ‘friends of friends,’” he said.
To help ensure the laity is heard, VOTF provides a website, votf.org/bishop, where lay people can become involved in the process. They can easily express their concerns and recommendations in three areas: 1.) outstanding needs and opportunities in the diocese; 2.) candidates’ ideal qualities and qualifications; and 3.) priests who would be excellent candidates for their bishop.
More than 500 Catholics in nearly a dozen dioceses from New England to Alaska have submitted their comments on the website. Recommendations made on the website go directly to Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the present U.S. apostolic nuncio.
U.S. bishops who already have submitted letters of resignation to the Pope, required at age 75, are:
- Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C.;
- Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson, Arizona;
- Bishop Martin Amos of Davenport, Iowa; and
- Bishop Stephen Blaire of Stockton, California.
U.S. bishops who turn 75 this year are:
- Bishop Francis DiLorenzo of Richmond, Virginia;
- Bishop Ronald Herzog of Alexandria, Louisiana;
- Bishop Alvaro Corrada Del Rio, S.J., of Mayagüez, Puerto Rico;
- Bishop Joseph Pepe of Las Vegas, Nevada; and
- Bishop Robert Meunch of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Several dioceses, where the Pope has accepted the bishops’ resignations, await replacements. They are:
- Allentown, Pennsylvania, former bishop John Barres now bishop of Rockville Centre, New York;
- Cheyenne, Wyoming, former bishop Paul Etienne now archbishop of Anchorage, Alaska;
- Cleveland, Ohio, former bishop Richard Lennon resigned for health reasons;
- Indianapolis, Indiana, former archbishop Joseph Tobin now archbishop of Newark, New Jersey
- Juneau, Alaska, former bishop Edward Burns now bishop of Dallas, Texan;
- Pensacola-Tallahassee, Florida, former bishop Gregory Parkes now bishop of St. Petersburg, Florida;
- Raleigh, North Carolina, former bishop Michael Burbidge now bishop of Alexandria, Virginia.
Catholics in any of these dioceses can use votf.org/bishop to send their input about their next bishop to the U.S. apostolic nuncio.
Voice of the Faithful News Release, Jan. 10, 2017
Voice of the Faithful®: Voice of the Faithful® is a worldwide movement of faithful Roman Catholics working to support survivors of clergy sexual abuse, support priests of integrity and increase the laity’s role in the governance and guidance of the Church. More information is at www.votf.org.
Contact: Nick Ingala, email@example.com, (781) 559-3360
“Pope Francis was yet to show strong leadership on the issue”
Cardinal George Pell ‘destroyed the unity’ of the Catholic church’s response to child sex abuse, an Australian bishop has told the royal commission.
“Bishop Geoffrey Robinson, who played a key role in developing the Australian church’s response to child sex abuse, also said Pope Francis was yet to show strong leadership on the issue and one of his predecessors, John Paul II, responded ‘poorly’ to revelations of child abuse.
“Robinson worked with other bishops on an Australia-wide clergy response to abuse, Towards Healing, from 1994. When Towards Healing was close to finalization in 1996, Pell created the Melbourne Response, taking the country’s largest diocese out of a united response.
“Robinson said Pell, then the archbishop of Melbourne, created the rival program because he wanted to be seen as a leader on abuse.”
By Bridie Jabour, The Guardian — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Bishop Finn finally pays the price for misusing power and placing church secrecy ahead of the safety of area children / The Kansas City Star
The departure of Robert W. Finn as bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, although overdue, is a step forward for the diocese and thousands of area Catholics.
“Finn’s conduct in office made him a symbol of the Catholic church’s failure to adequately address child sexual abuse by priests. He was the first Catholic bishop to be convicted of a crime related to that crisis.”
Editorial in The Kansas City Star — Click here to read the rest of this editorial
In only two years, Pope Francis has changed the face of Catholicism by radically reimagining how it presents itself to the world. From the moment he stepped out on the balcony of St. Peter’s (March 13, 2012), he has presented a different style of being pope and a new set of priorities for the church.
“The change in style was what first caught people’s attention. He rejected the usual papal finery of silks and firs and presented himself to the people of Rome in a simple white cassock. A simple greeting of “Good evening” were his first words, and before he blessed the crowd in St. Peter’s Square, he bowed his head and asked them to pray over him.
“This was quickly followed by his decisions not to live in the papal apartments but in Casa Santa Marta; to celebrate his first Mass as pope in St. Ann’s, the small parish church of Vatican City; and to celebrate Holy Thursday in a prison for young male and female offenders whose feet he washed.
“These early gestures of the pope garnered him worldwide attention, but more importantly, they were symbolic gestures that communicated his vision for the church. He realizes that the Gospel is preached not just in words, but in actions. As St. Francis of Assisi said, “Preach the Gospel always, use words when necessary.”
“The pope’s early actions were a direct assault on clericalism in the church by modeling what it means to be a good bishop, a good priest, a good Christian.”
By Thomas Reese, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this article.
A Catholic bishop normally governs pretty much unchecked in his diocese — only the pope can dislodge a bishop. And each time Catholics celebrate Mass in Kansas City, Mo., they pray for Bishop Robert Finn, right after they pray for Pope Francis.
“But some Catholics here, like Deacon David Biersmith, refuse to go along.
“‘When the priest says that, you know, you’re supposed say it with him, but I just leave that out,’ Biersmith says. ‘I just don’t say it. Because he’s not my bishop, as far as I’m concerned.’
“Much of the discontent in Kansas City has to do with an incident four years ago. A computer technician found hundreds of lewd photos of young girls on a priest’s laptop. The priest was Shawn Ratigan, and it wasn’t the first sign that he was a pedophile.”
By Frank Morris, National Public Radio — Click here to read or listen to the rest of this report.
Pope Francis has removed a bishop from his diocese in eastern Paraguay following an apostolic visitation that found he had shielded a priest from accusations of sexual abuse of minors.
“Bishop Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano, 69, has been removed from heading the Ciudad del Este diocese, a statement from the Vatican press office said Thursday (Sept. 25).
“‘This was a difficult decision on the part of the Holy See, taken for serious pastoral reasons and for the greater good of the unity of the Church in Ciudad del Este and the episcopal communion in Paraguay,’ the Vatican statement said.”
By Dennis Coday, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.