Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The New Lennongrad

As reported here earlier, Bishop Richard Lennon will be installed as the tenth bishop of Cleveland on May 15th at 3.00.

Assuring his successor of his "sincerest welcome and support," newly-retired Bishop Anthony Pilla voiced his confidence that Lennon's ministry in Ohio's largest diocese will be "a source of blessing" for its over 800,000 Catholics.

The newly-appointed bishop spoke of the difficulties in rebuilding the archdiocese of Boston, which he led for seven months between the resignation of Cardinal Bernard Law and the appointment of then-Archbishop Sean O'Malley, touching upon the issues of settlements, parish closings and the scandal at-large.

Possibly the most charged question, however, dealt with the question of the distribution of Communion to pro-choice politicians. Calling it "not an easy question" and "a very complex matter," Lennon, a self-trained canonist with an academic background in mathematics, used the example of the "very public" withdrawal from adoption services recently announced by Boston's Catholic Charities, where it was decided that permitting adoptions by same-sex couples to comply with civil law "ran counter to a church teaching."

However, he said that "you can't give one answer that's going to cover everything -- each situation has to be looked at and evaluated," raising the specter that, like the Catholic Charities move, nothing will be done "precipitously and without a lot of reflection and conversation" before a decision is taken.

Press conference audio here.

Diocese of Cleveland