Saturday, May 24, 2003

Priests in Brooklyn release names of guys they'd like to see considered for their next bishop

If the Pope is having trouble selecting a successor to Bishop Thomas Daily, some priests in Brooklyn and Queens are more than ready to help - in fact, they've already told the pontiff what kind of leader they want and nominated five candidates.

It's only their opinion - priests don't get to vote for bishops - but behind it is a lively, larger issue that has Daily at odds with a group called Voice of the Ordained, which was organized a year ago to give metropolitan-area priests a greater voice in decision-making....In the meantime, the group asked priests in Brooklyn and Queens to choose a candidate to succeed Daily. Fifty-one priests and bishops were nominated. The names of the five mentioned most often were sent to Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo, the chief papal envoy in Washington, with a request that he forward them to Rome.

....Four of the five names were published - the other was withheld at the man's request. Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Sullivan, a nationally known spokesman on human and social services, was on the list, along with three pastors - Msgr. Martin Geraghty of St. Francis de Sales in Belle Harbor, Queens; Msgr. Raymond Chappetto of Our Lady of the Snows in Floral Park, Queens, and Msgr. Peter Kain of St. Ephrem in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.

But perhaps even more important than the names were the qualities priests said they wanted in the next bishop. The most notable was that he come from within the ranks of Brooklyn priests - an indirect slap at the Vatican's choice 13 years ago of Daily, whose previous job was bishop of Palm Beach, Fla.

I vote for the guy who didn't want his name published...

The chapter from Thomas Reese's Archbishop on how bishops are selected in the modern church.