Saturday, November 14, 2009

Hierarchy update

It was announced this morning, the day before the USCCB's annual fall gathering in Baltimore, that the Holy Father accepted the resignation of Bishop John D'Arcy of the Diocese of Ft. Wayne-South Bend, Indiana, due to his having reached the age at which bishops are mandated to retire. He turned 75 more than two years ago. It was also announced today that Bishop Kevin Rhoades of the Diocese of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania was named to succeed Bishop D'Arcy. Given that Notre Dame University is in South Bend, it is notable that Bishop Rhoades was one of the 75 bishops who publicly supported Bishop D'Arcy when he protested Notre Dame's awarding of an honorary doctorate to President Obama back in May. Along with the Diocese of Birmingham, Alabama, where Mother Angelica's formidable Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) is located, being the bishop of a jurisdiction with a mammoth Catholic institution, like Notre Dame, requires finely honed leadership and communication skills. It was also announced today that the Holy Father appointed Bishop Jerome Listecki of the Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin to be archbishop of Milwaukee, a see that was vacated when Archbishop Timothy Dolan was transferred to New York back in February.

There are now seven Latin Rite bishops serving past the canonical age limit of 75 in the United States: Bishop William Higi of Lafayette, IN; Bishop Edmond Carmody of Corpus Christi, TX; Archbishop Alexander Brunett of Seattle, WA; Bishop Raymundo Pena of Brownsville, TX; Bishop William Skylstad of Spokane, WA; Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk of Cincinnati, OH; Archbishop Eusebius Beltran of Oklahoma City, OK.

With this morning's appointments, there are seven vacant Latin Rite dioceses: Owensboro, KY; Ogdensburg, NY; Springfield, IL; Austin, Texas; Scranton, PA; Harrisburg, PA; LaCrosse, WI.

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