Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Good morning, gang... and we're off.

At Roman Noon today, the Pope has:
  • Tapped Msgr David Malloy, 55 -- a priest of Milwaukee, onetime Vatican diplomat and, from 2005 until last June, General Secretary of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops -- as bishop of Rockford, succeeding Bishop Thomas Doran, who reached the retirement age of 75 in February 2011. Long a close friend of the prefect of the Papal Household -- fellow Beer City native Archbishop James Harvey -- the bishop-elect joins Bishop Robert Lynch of St Petersburg and Archbishop Dennis Schnurr of Cincinnati in the group of former Mothership chiefs named to the bench at the end of their service to it;
  • And appointed Fr Gregory Parkes, 48, vicar-general of Orlando and a pastor there, as bishop of Pensacola-Tallahassee, succeeding Bishop John Ricard SSJ, who took early retirement in March 2011 following a significant stroke. Ordained in 1999, Parkes becomes the first priest of the Disney diocese to be raised to the episcopacy since its founding in 1968. A protege of his former ordinary, now Miami's Archbishop Thomas Wenski, the Long Island-born appointee attended Florida State University, located in his new charge, going on to work in banking for several years before entering the seminary.
To the North, meanwhile, in a shocking move, B16 has appointed Auxiliary Bishop Christian Lepine of Montreal -- only named a bishop last June -- as the new archbishop of Francophone Canada's largest church, traditionally a cardinalatial see.

A seminary formator who spent four years working in the Roman Curia, the surprise choice to lead the 1.5 million-member archdiocese succeeds Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte, who reached the retirement age last June. In the reign of the Quebecois Cardinal Marc Ouellet as the Vatican's top hand on the appointment of bishops, Lepine is the second recently-elevated auxiliary in a row to receive a metropolitan post in the province's beleaguered church, following Ouellet's own successor in Canada's oldest diocese, Archbishop Gerald Lacroix of Quebec City, 54, who became a deputy to the now cardinal-prefect less than two years before being tapped as Primate.

Likewise within the hour came the release of a seven-page Final Summary of the Apostolic Visitation on the Irish church in the wake of the country's abuse scandals.

The Baltimore nominee will be formally introduced to the Premier See at a 10.30 press conference (livestream) in the nation's first cathedral, the Basilica of the Assumption. Lori's installation in Charm City is scheduled for Wednesday, May 16th.

With this morning's moves, six Stateside Latin dioceses (two of them arch-) stand vacant, with another eight led by bishops serving past 75 and awaiting their successors.

As ever, more to come.