Monday, July 2, 2012

Former Jesuit Complains About Bishop Selection Process

Paul Lakeland
A professor at Fairfield University has criticized the process of choosing a new bishop for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport, saying it's geared less to finding a leader committed to the faithful of Fairfield County than to choosing a man who will rise high in the ranks of the Church. "This is not just an ordinary diocese," said (Former Jesuit) Paul Lakeland, the Aloysius P. Kelley S.J. professor of religious studies at the Jesuit university. "You have a diocese that's quite dramatically divided between the wealthy and those in poverty." William E. Lori, who had been bishop since 2000, was elevated to archbishop of Baltimore on May 16. On May 22 it was announced by church officials that Monsignor Jerald A. Doyle will administer the diocese until a new bishop is appointed. Lakeland was quick to point out that the Bridgeport diocese has sent other bishops to high positions; Lawrence Shehan and Edward Egan both were elevated to cardinal. "It's a conduit to high ecclesiastical office, so they're unlikely to send someone here who they don't imagine will have at least a good chance of becoming a major figure in the American church," he said. "But the problem with that is you won't necessarily get some one who's committed to the diocese." 
A month ago, Lakeland hosted a forum in which he invited the Catholic faithful ---- the laity and priests alike ---- to discuss the qualities that would be desirable in the next bishop. But, according to Lakeland, attendance at "Choosing a Bishop: A Forum for the People and Clergy of the Diocese of Bridgeport," was discouraged by Doyle . "Monsignor Doyle informed his clergy that they were not to participate, nor to encourage their parishioners to do so," 
Lakeland said in his May 31 letter to Apostolic Nuncio Carlo Maria ViganĂ², who is the Vatican's ambassador to the United States. About 65 Catholics attended the meeting, none of them priests. One priest later sent a letter to Lakeland saying that he and other priests didn't attend because they feared disciplinary action.

Link (here) to to read the full article.


Anonymous said...

instead of usinf the word "complain " why not use "opens up dialogue"

After all lay people had to pay for the bishops mis-management of its priests so why not make sure he is not another egan or law or mahoney

Anonymous said...

If Paul Lakeland's understanding of the church even remotely approximated what the Catholic Church actually is, I would find him credible. Unfortunately, Prof. Lakeland has a perpetual axe to grind against the Church and his views have little to add to the dialogue.

As for his statement ""This is not just an ordinary diocese ... You have a diocese that's quite dramatically divided between the wealthy and those in poverty," the Bridgeport diocese is no different from that in any major American city (Boston, New York, Philadelphia, D.C.).

Anonymous said...

"Prof. Lakeland has a perpetual axe to grind against the Church and his views have little to add to the dialogue."

I can see fellow Anonymous that your definition of the Church is the hierarchy and clerics (and, well, maybe some of those uber conservative nuns).

I agree w/8:15 a.m. I no longer contribute to the diocese, bishops fund raising, and only put a couple of bucks in the collection envelope so they'll let my kid make his confirmation. My $$ goes to the local Catholic Worker house, Pax Christi, and the Jesuit h.s. I attended. Not a dime to the arrogant prelates!

Anonymous said...

There is no Church without the hierarchy, without the clergy. And those who defect from the apostolic faith are outside the Church even though they might maintain apparent links with her.

As for your kid's confirmation, that couldn't happen without the clergy; not without a bishop (or his granting of faculties to a priest) as a matter of fact. You dis the clergy but rely on the sacraments that are not possible without them. Cognitive dissonance?

If the hierarchy and clergy mean so little to you, why don't you admit what you are and go to a unitarian/leftist church somewhere?

Pax Christi? Sheesh. Your religion is Leftism.

Anonymous said...

Priestly People. LUMEN GENTIUM. Stop worshiping the hierarchy. That's not very Catholic.

The Church is not your little right wing tree fort. Actually, the sacraments are possible without them in a pinch. In any case, some of the most faithful, loving Catholics I have known have been priests and nuns--but not too many are around these days.

I'll put Pax Christi up against your storm trooper groups any day.

Anonymous said...

Given Prof. Lakeland's support for a bill in the Connecticut Legislature to fundamentally reorder the organization of the Catholic Church by state fiat, his understanding of the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is similarly flawed.

Maria said...



First Prelude. Jesus having been found in the Temple by Mary and Joseph, left Jerusalem and returned with them to Nazareth, and was subject to them; and He advanced in wisdom and grace with God and man (Luke ii. 51, 52)...

The Gospel teaches us three things regarding the life of Jesus at Nazareth:-
1. That He obeyed: “He was subject to them” (Luke ii.52)...


At Nazareth Jesus Obeyed.

Consider the obedience of Jesus Christ in all its circumstances.

1. WHO IS HE THAT OBEYS? It is He who is reason by essence; He whose will is sovereignly wise and independent; it is the Word of God.

2. WHOM DOES HE OBEY? His creatures. He obeys Joseph and Mary, whom He infinitely surpasses in light and in sanctity; who derive, and can only derive, light and holiness from Him. He obeys even strangers, who command Him like a mercenary; that is to say, He submits His will, the most noble and upright that ever was, to wills full of weakness, of ignorance, of caprice—wills only made to obey Him.

3. IN WHAT DOES HE OBEY? In everything that was commanded Him; consequently in the most trifling things, even in the meanest things;--for example, in all the details of care required by a poor household, and the station of a mechanic who earns his bread by the sweat of his brow.

4. HOW LONG DOES HE OBEY? For thirty years, that is, not only during His childhood, when obedience is both a necessity and a duty for man, but also in the strength of age, when, according to the ordinary laws of nature and society, every man is arrived at the time when he has a right to govern Himself.

2.HOW DID HE OBEY? In the most perfect way that can be conceived. By obedience of action, which executes promptly and to the letter; obedience of mind, which does not reason on the motives of the order or its nature; obedience of heart, which submits with love to the orders of man as to the orders of the Divine Will.

Let us examine ourselves, out thoughts, our feelings, our conduct, with regard to obedience. Let us beg our Lord to teach us by His example the value, the necessity, the practice of this virtue.

Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius