IN THE CCCR LAY NETWORK IN YOUR PARISH AND DEANERY
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER!
Please register your name, email address, and parish (if any) to join in a strong lay voice on matters of concern in our Archdiocese.
Thanks to everyone who nominated a local pastor for the role of bishop/archbishop in this Archdiocese.
During July, a committee of four lay people and five priests of the Bishop Selection Task Force will narrow down the field to about 10, a manageable number to make known to the people of the Archdiocese. We will vote to narrow the list to three. The purpose of the voting is
- to accustom ourselves to the idea of selecting our own leadership, and
- to determine who among the local pastors has the confidence of the people to lead us in the mission of the Church.
We will than ask you to write to the papal nuncio, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the Vatican ambassador to the U.S. whose responsibility it is to recommend names to Rome for appointment. In your letter you may recommend anyone you think qualified. The reason for writing individually to the papal nuncio is that the Vatican discourages organized group recommendations to avoid campaigning and factions.
This initial attempt to make the people's voice heard is far from an ideal process. It is a first step to filling a crucial need in our Archdiocese. Fr. Stephen Adrian, part of the Bishop Selection Task Force, has expressed the need like this:
To lead one must have the trust and confidence of the community.... It is essential that the next archbishop be selected only after a broad consultative process involving clergy, religious and laity. The process should include an opportunity to articulate the qualities we need in a bishop; the process should also allow people to suggest names of persons they consider meeting those qualities.
For an ideal process we would need Archdiocesan cooperation. That is a future to be prayed for. In the meantime we take first steps.
Rationales for Reducing the Number of Nominees
On the principle that the people under the bishop’s jurisdiction should have a voice in choosing him, the Task Force first eliminated nominations from people outside the Archdiocese. Secondly, believing that local pastors are more likely to be familiar with the needs of the Archdiocese, we eliminated nominees from other jurisdictions.
Reluctantly, we eliminated the much-appreciated senior nominees—70 and over. Since a bishop is required by canon law to tender his resignation at the age of 75 and it is probable that the investigative and appointment process is lengthy, a person over the age of 70 would not have sufficient time to serve. That left us with a list of 43 names.
Eliminating all nominees with only one nomination resulted in a list of 23 names.
Finally, the BishopSelection Task Force committee will assess that list of 23 names according to the criteria cited below to come up with a list of around 10 nominees for the Catholics of the Archdiocese to vote on. This task will be completed by the end of July.
If your choice for bishop/archbishop is not on the final slate, you may suggest any name you want to the papal nuncio, who is the ultimate decision-maker for names sent to Rome.
This initial project to make the voices of the people heard in leadership selection has many unfortunate limitations of access to people and resources. If you see injustices in it, please join the CCCR Bishop Selection Task Force to improve the ongoing process.
The Task Force will try to give you as much information as we can get about the final slate of nominees so that you can choose three from the ballot sent to you in the first week of November. Look for notices of workshops to “Know the Nominees” in September and October.
TELL YOUR FRIENDS THEY MUST REGISTER ON THE LAY NETWORK TO GET A BALLOT TO VOTE. See Registration at the top of this artilce. THANKS.
Criteria to be Used in Reducing the Number of Nominees to a Slate
The bishop should have:
- The ability to unify polarized factions and bring Catholics together to accomplish the Church’s mission.
- Significant pastoral experience in parish, hospital, or similar settings (not solely academic, Chancery, etc.).
- A reputation for being credible and trustworthy and for valuing transparency and accountability.
- Theological competence.
- An ethic of servant leadership on the model of Pope Francis.
- Demonstrated willingness to foster two-way communication with clergy and laity.
- Demonstrated skill as a public speaker and preacher.
- Evidence of leadership skills within the archdiocese.
- Demonstrated administrative skills.
- Involvement in promoting social justice and fostering concern for the poor and disenfranchised.
- Ability to engage and relate to people of multiple generations.
- Demonstrated commitment to interfaith efforts and cooperation.
- Sensitivity to and credibility with diverse communities.