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NOVEMBER 24, 2014
RESULTS OF THE POLLING FOR BISHOP/ARCHBISHOP:
J. Michael Byron, pastor, St. Pascal Baylon, St. Paul
Paul Feela, pastor, Lumen Christi, St. Paul
Timothy Wozniak, pastor, St. Thomas Becket, Eagan
From November 1 to November 15, all Lay Network members in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis were invited by CCCR's Bishop Selection Task Force to vote for one to three of seven local pastors on a slate developed in the year long process described below. Write-ins were welcome.
Of the 1540 Lay Network members, 410 voted. The three men named above received the highest number of votes. There were 21 write-ins. No write-in received more than 18 votes. The total number of votes cast was 1037.
Now we urge you to write to Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, Pope Francis's delegate in the U.S., to let him know what your needs are for spiritual leadership.
His address is: 3339 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20008
His email is:
Scroll down for letters to the papal nuncio shared by Lay Network members.
Our purpose in the program is to let Pope Francis and Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, know we are concerned with our local church leadership and that we are paying attention. Archbishop Viganò’s responsibility is to make a list of three recommended candidates to send to the Pope whenever a bishop or archbishop is needed in the U.S. He has assured us (through a letter from Archbishop John Nienstedt) that he is willing to receive recommendations from lay men and women for bishop/archbishop at any time.
We will share your letter on the Lay Network Bulletin Board if you send it to us at
Thanks for the wonderful support you gave this program during 2014.
The Bishop Selection Task Force
Fr. Stephen Adrian, Rose Marie Assad, Beverly Bailey, William Bailey, Fr. John Brandes, Mary Caskey, Robert Christensen, Fr. Patrick Griffin, Mary Jane Mitchell, Paula Ruddy, Carol Tauer, and PattyThorsen
LETTER TO THE PAPAL NUNCIO FROM THE BISHOP SELECTION TASK FORCE
November 19, 2014
Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò
3339 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20008
Dear Archbishop Viganò:
In response to our inquiry of April 23, 2012, you stated (through Archbishop John Nienstedt) that you were willing to receive recommendations from any lay Catholic at any time regarding the nomination of a bishop to a diocese or archdiocese. Since we knew that most lay Catholics would have limited knowledge and experience with all the potential leaders in the clergy of our archdiocese, we decided to organize a process for identifying potential leaders among local pastors. Thus was formed the Bishop Selection Task Force (BSTF), a group of volunteers whose work was sanctioned by the leadership of the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform (CCCR).
The BSTF proposed a process consisting of five steps: nomination of local pastors online or by mail (March-June 2014); determination of a slate of qualified nominees (June-July 2014); workshops and online resources to familiarize people with the process and the slate (Sept.-Oct.); online balloting to choose three preferences from the slate (Nov. 1-15); and writing of individual letters to you, Archbishop Viganò, expressing the individuals’ views as to local pastors most qualified for leadership in our archdiocese.
The first step in the process resulted in the nomination of 55 local pastors, with over 100 lay persons nominating. A number of these nominees were disqualified based on such factors as age (70 and over) and direct connection to clergy sex-abuse reporting in our archdiocese. After this screening, 23 nominees remained, and we invited a group of consultants, five priests and three lay persons, to narrow the list. The consultants developed a list of qualifications desired in a bishop or archbishop and rated each nominee in relation to the qualifications. Seven nominees rose to the top, and the consultants recommended these seven for consideration.
The names were publicized and opportunities to become familiar with these pastors were provided. We made it clear that none of these men had been involved with the process in any way, nor had they consented to have their names considered. From November 1 to 15, online and mail balloting took place.
Four hundred ten persons participated in the balloting phase of the process. When results were tabulated, the three nominees who received the most votes were Fr. J. Michael Byron, Fr. Paul Feela, and Fr. Timothy J. Wozniak.
We are now encouraging the lay Catholics of our archdiocese to write to you, expressing their hopes for leadership. Individuals are free to support the three candidates who received most votes in the ballot process, or to recommend other local pastors, whether or not they were on the slate of seven nominees.
We hope that this process will encourage the lay people of our archdiocese to speak out in expressing their concerns, needs, and hopes. The last few years have been a discouraging period in St. Paul-Minneapolis, with new clergy sex abuse charges and questions about reporting constantly coming to light. We are working to create a vehicle for the voice of the laity in our local Church and, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to help it survive despite all that has occurred. More information can be found on our website, www.cccrmn.org.
We realize that the power of our voices is limited. We would be delighted if you, the papal nuncio, were to initiate a broad-based consultation process, involving the laity and the presbytery, at such time as a future archbishop is to be named.
Carol Tauer (for the Bishop Selection Task Force)
Bishop Selection Task Force members: Fr. Stephen Adrian, Rose Marie Assad, Beverly Bailey, William Bailey, Fr. John Brandes, Mary Caskey, Robert Christensen, Fr. Patrick Griffin, Mary Jane Mitchell, Paula Ruddy, Carol Tauer, and Patty Thorsen
LETTERS TO THE PAPAL NUNCIO FROM LAY NETWORK MEMBERS
November 25, 2014
Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano
Papal Nuncio to the U.S.
3339 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008-3687
Dear Archbishop Vigano,
Almost every day, I pick up the daily paper or hear on the news of another violation of trust by Archdiocesan officials. The latest is that we are facing a serious financial crisis and lay employees are being let go. I don’t see how we can heal or come together as a local church without new leadership to restore hope and confidence. We, as members of the Catholic Coalition for Church reform, have tried to do what is in our power to remedy this situation by following the Bishop selection process provided by the Bishop Selection Task Force.
I studied the candidates put forth by the BSTF and my number one and two choices were also the number one and two choices of the four hundred ten persons who participated in the balloting.
I would very much like you to consider Father J. Michael Byron or Father Paul Feela, when the time comes for you to nominate a new leader for the St. Paul/ Minneapolis Archdiocese. Both inspire us to bring about the Kingdom of God as American citizens living in the 21st century.
My prayers for you and for Pope Francis as you discern what is in the best spiritual interest of those who live in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.
Patricia A. Whalen
Bishop Selection Process
The seven local pastors on the slate were Fathers Mike Byron, Paul Feela, Paul Jaroszeski, Charles Lachowitzer, Phil Rask, Tim Wozniak, and Bishop Lee Piché.
These seven men had no involvement in the process and were not consulted in advance of their selection by the Committee. We are calling them to leadership based on the people’s confidence in them. As we cannot elect our bishops, as explained below, any appointment will come from Pope Francis, and if one of these men is appointed, he may decline at that time.
You can find information on the local pastors nominated by the Lay Network by clicking on "Bishop Selection" in the left menu and then going to "Priest Profiles."
Thanks to the Consultant Committee of the CCCR Bishop Selection Task Force for their work in winnowing the nominations from 55 to seven. The Consultant Committee consists of five priests, Fathers Stephen Adrian, John M. Bauer, John Brandes, Patrick Griffin, and Dale Korogi, and three lay people, Cathy Edwards, Patricia Gries, and James Moudry. Carol Tauer is the Committee Coordinator.
The Committee considered the number of nominations each person received, the qualifications listed below, and the gifts as they knew them of each man on the list. The chief quality they considered was the ability to unify people in a polarized community.
Because we cannot at this time elect our leadership, after this balloting process we will then 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 one or more of the three final names or 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 from which the Consultant Committee chose the seven named above.
Criteria 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.