Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Collaborative Exercise of Ministry

Bishop Tim McDonnell of Springfield -- who, as a priest in New York, helped clean up Covenant House and took charge of his diocese under similarly unsavory circumstances -- shows that his knack for being a good manager continues apace:
Two years after the head of the Springfield Diocese resigned amid allegations of sexual abuse, the current bishop is reaching out to laity and clergy for names of possible candidates for appointments as bishops.

McDonnell... recently sent letters to all priests, deacons and some women religious.

Also, at least some pastors were asked to invite several lay people from each parish to participate in the process. McDonnell invited them to suggest priests who might warrant consideration to become bishops serving somewhere in the U.S. Catholic Church.

If memory serves, Springfield has had auxiliaries in the past.
"I am asking that you name three priests, in order of your preference, which you, in conscience before God, judge might be worthy candidates for the Office of Bishop," McDonnell wrote in the letter.

He included a one-page list of qualifications and attributes that should be considered in the process.

OK, despite my better judgment, this one's getting opened for comments. Say you got a letter like this from your bishop. Don't name names. But what qualities would you deem as being of eminent importance?

Please answer the question. No more. No less. And especially no fighting, please.



Blogger Matt said...

This is easy...

Anyone that you know of who wants to be a bishop, shouldn't be a bishop.

I think the most important quality in a bishop is someone who loves the church, but loves the gospel more.

Someone who knows that God probably laughs when we argue about communion rails.

And someone who is willing to be the bishop of his flock. Not the bishop of EWTN, or the bishop of the NCR, not the Pope's favorite bishop. Rather someone who only asks one question before speaking "Is what I'm saying for the good of the church?". more thing. Someone who has no desire to ever go to another see. Even if the see they are ordained and installed in is one that is in the most backwoods corner of the Earth.

2/2/06 15:27  
Blogger Bill Cork said...

Should have experience as a parish pastor.

Person known for a balanced spirituality.

Knowledge of scripture, theology, canon law, and management.

Someone who can reach out to various groups and get them pulling in a common direction.

2/2/06 15:44  
Blogger Scranton Priest said...

This is easy...
Someone who is willing to be the bishop of EWTN.

2/2/06 19:54  
Blogger Juniper, a bean farmer said...

A lot of these have been mentioned already, but here's my list:

1) Someone whose priestly ministry has been characterized by the fruits of evangelical zeal -- have young men entered the seminary citing his example and inspiration? Has a lukewarm parish become fervent while he was pastor?

2) Someone committed to being on the road, out in parishes, meeting the people, and mentoring his priests.

3) Someone who is an example of personal holiness. Not least in this area is living a life of actual simplicity and austerity -- some empirical evidence of humility.

4) Someone who can balance the legitimate role of the hierarchy with the principle of subsidiarity. Someone who won't insulate themselves with a house on a hill, a couple auxilaries, and 20% of the presbyerate working in the chancery.

5) Someone who is doctrinally orthodox and unafraid to demonstrate it, but who is gifted to communicate the Truth in a loving, gentle way.

3/2/06 10:14  

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