Thursday, January 24, 2013

Council of the Baptized Calls for the People’s Voice in the Selection of Bishops

Who could be appointed Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis if John C. Nienstedt were reassigned? Given the secrecy of the appointment process, we do not know when that could happen. We are thinking ahead in the hope of having a voice in the selection of his successor.

Earlier today, the Council of the Baptized published its position paper entitled People’s Participation in Selection of Bishops.

• To read it and/or print a copy, click here.

• For information about ordering a copy and/or making a donation, click here.

Usually a big archdiocese like ours (800,000 Catholics at last count) would be the next step up for a bishop from a smaller diocese. Without recommending any, we have begun profiling some possibilities, starting with Blase Cupich [soup-itch] of Spokane, WA. It is also possible that St. Paul/Minneapolis auxiliary bishop Lee Piché might be moved up to archbishop, as Auxiliary Bishop John Roach was elevated to Archbishop in 1975 to succeed Archbishop Leo Binz.

Or it is also possible, though unlikely, that a priest of the diocese would be elevated to archbishop.

Who would know the details of a diocese more intimately than a priest who was ordained and has served here? Instead of a man from outside, it might be possible to have a leader who knows the people, places, and needs of the local church. Who might some of these people be?

Our profiling is intended to suggest to Catholics of the Archdiocese the possibility of our having a voice in the selection of our church leadership, not to recommend any of the men we profile.

Canon law currently requires that appointments for bishop be made from the ranks of the ordained clergy. The man has to have been ordained at least five years and be thirty-five years old. The retirement age is seventy-five.

So without recommending any one of these men, we have compiled a list of possible appointees. Some names were suggested as people already on the bishop track, and some were suggested as men who would make good bishops. The Archdiocese does not provide priests’ résumés. We had to search several internet sources for available information. We didn’t want to ask the man himself for fear that his giving us information would give the appearance of campaigning.

While campaigning is prohibited, the papal nuncio Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganó has assured us that he is willing to hear recommendations from us individually. It is his job to investigate candidates and send names to the Vatican for appointment.

Click on the name to see a profile of the following priests of this Archdiocese:

1. John M. Bauer
2. Michael C. Becker
3. J Michael Byron
4. Scott M. Carl
5. Kevin I. Clinton
6. Timothy D. Cloutier
7. Andrew H. Cozzens
8. Paul F. Feela
9. J. Michael Joncas
10. Peter A. Laird
11. Kevin M. McDonough
12. Philip J. Rask
13. Michael V. Tegeder
14. Timothy J.Wozniak

If you have missing information for these profiles or you would like to suggest other names for profiling, contact us here.

If you want to recommend any of these men or any other priest you think would make a good bishop, write to the papal nuncio. Send your letter to:

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganó
3339 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington DC 20008.

1 comment:

  1. Bravo for this initiative. It's completely ludicrous that those who pay for the upkeep of the church and the salaries, homes and lifestyles of the bishops, should have no say in their selection - and are then expected to sit back dutifully and repeat, "Yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir", to everything he decrees, or chooses to spend his money on.

    There are many many more thinking as you guys are doing - I wish more of them would go on the record about it.