19 March 2016

Three more bishops

Well, this planet by now supports three more bishops than it did a few hours ago; two consecrated lawfully in S Peter's by and in full communion with our Holy Father Pope Francis, the Successor of S Peter; one consecrated unlawfully and schismatically by His Excellency Bishop Williamson. What all three of them have in common is (1) that they were validly consecrated; and (2) that they were not consecrated to be Bishops of Particular Churches. All that splendid stuff about Episcopacy in the endless pages of the documents of Vatican II applies to them ... er ... hardly or not at all. Not one of the three will have one single presbyter to Name him as antistite nostro ... in the Eucharistic Prayer, the Canon of the Mass.

"Many [curial bishops] are bureaucrats and this is not good. Episcopal Consecration is not an honorary title, it is a Sacrament; it is to do with the Church's sacramental structure. So why must a bishop carry out bureaucratic tasks? That is where the Sacraments risk being violated, in my opinion". (Walter Cardinal Kasper.)

Just for once, I agree with him. Just for once, Papa Bergoglio appears not to agree with him!

Strange world!


Belfry Bat said...

There are enough strange natural powers in the world that, one day, the Church may endure while the Earthly City of Rome is made desolate --- though we pray it never befall --- and yet the Church will need a Bishop Of Rome, and the Bishop Of Rome will certainly be as much Pope as the "Avignon" Popes. So it seems to me that to be Bishop of Luperciana, even if there are no living priests incardinated in Luperciana, is better than to be Bishop of nowhere at all; surely the saints of Luperciana will pray for him.

Matthew Roth said...

Go back to actual cardinal-deacons and priests. It took a few years for Cardinal Ottaviani to be named bishop and cardinal when he was promoted at the Holy Office. This would also reduce the number of curial bishops. This is why having monsignori is a good thing; then, those at the top can have the privilege of pontificals (was it PA’s who could?) without inflating the episcopal ranks.

I also think dioceses should be split to reduce the number of auxiliary bishops. An auxiliary bishop is closer than a curial bishop to chuch teaching on the bishop and his diocese, but that is a combination of delegation of the archbishop (rarely, a bishop) and custom (e.g. Bishop Perry uses the crozier in Chicago as vicar over both St. John Cantius and the ICRSS shrine by agreement of the Ordinary and that he is in a territory assigned to him-he never assumes the throne, however.).

Los Angeles has four regions with a bishop each, and they could easily get two dioceses out of what is currently only the archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Coadjutor bishops are necessary in order to ensure something happens, e.g. in Campos, when St. John Paul II named the current bishop of the apostolic administration of John Vianneu as coadjutor bishop and not an auxiliary bishop, fearing his possible incapacitation (John Paul’s) would lead his successor to not name a bishop at all. They are necessary too for the same reasons people think curial bishops are: people might further roll right over a priest or even one styled “Monsignor,” which means problems can get fixed right away. But they are not to be normal IMHO.

mark wauck said...

Yesterday a good example of this came to my attention in a blog about Georg Gaenswein, aka, Bel Giorgio, Prelate of His Holiness, Titular Archbishop (no less!) of Urbs Salvia, and prefect of the Pontifical Household. Read his bio carefully and it's hard not to come away with the impression that this is a a highly educated and intelligent man, er, prelate who has his heart in the right place. One strongly suspects that the Church in Germany would be in a better condition had Benedict actually appointed Archbishop Georg to be Archbishop of Munich and Freising, as rumored at the time, instead of Reinhard Marx. As it is, this intelligent and apparently well intentioned man is, in effect, a courtier of sorts--a position probably not envisioned by the Lord or his apostles (I hope I'm not sounding Protestant).

In the past Archbishop Georg has written criticisms of his own native church in Germany which, IMO, are quite incisive. To my mind, those criticisms are difficult to reconcile with the views he recently expressed, while repeating his criticisms of his fellow Germans, with regard to the current Bishop of Rome. Those views, while fully in accord with those of Fr Hunwicke, are expressed without reservation, and even attribute unease regarding Francis' statements and actions merely to “difficulties with the rapidity and the intensity” of Francis’ actions.

I'm convinced from his other statements that he knows better than that. I of course understand that discretion is at times the better part of valor, yet I can't help thinking that to be in the position of feeling obliged to mislead the faithful is a distinctly undignified position for a successor of the apostles to be in. It's one thing to be discrete, but if one speaks publicly as a successor of the apostles it seems one's yes really should be yes and one's no really should be no. Otherwise you run the risk of being a courtier rather than a true successor of the apostles. My view, of course.

Tony V said...

Someday soon, we will all be bishops...a state that is known as "the episcopacy of all believers".

Disciple said...

On a practical note I would hope Priests who staff a given Dicastery are told to name its Head, if he be equivalent to a Diocesan Bishop, as Antistite (or Episcopo in other EPs)...and so to refer also to any other Bishops over them accordingly.

But the thought is indeed sad that a First Priest should be an "only" Priest... Maybe, however, there is consolation in and usefulness to such a situation in that, somewhat like his Type, he is First and Last.