27 November 2022

Fr Aidan Nichols on Episcopal appointments

In August 2017, the finest theologian of the Anglophone world gave a lecture which was partially published in the Catholic Herald. The fact that the full text was not subsequently available gives rise to an inevitable suspicion that Father was pressurised.

Today, I would like simply to point out that, more than a year before Cardinal Mueller's disturbing  words about the sort of questionable individuals, theological illiterates signed up to Bergoglianism, who are being appointed to senior positions in the hierarchy; and before His Excellency Archbishop Vigano's revelations about the same subject, Fr Aidan had spoken with great clarity. His antennae must be very sensitive!

"[The pope's] programme would not have got as far as it has were it not the case that theological liberals, generally of the closet variety, have in the fairly recent past been appointed to high positions both in the world episcopate and in the ranks of the Roman Curia."

"Of the closet variety" is an entertainingly old-fashioned phrase!

It was a few months before Dr Nichols' lecture that, on 19 November 2016, Cupich and Tobin were made cardinals.

The testimony of Archbishop Vigano asserted that the appointments of Cupich to Chicago (November 18 2014) and of Tobin to Newark (November 7 2016) "were orchestrated by McCarrick, Maradiaga, and Wuerl ... their names were not among those presented by the Nunciature for Chicago and Newark".

It would be a good thing if, henceforth, the terna of names submitted by Nuncios to the Holy See for a vacant bishopric were to be published. 

God's people should not have to wait for a Vigano (God bless him) to come along before they can know what is being proposed for their own Particular Church. They should not be deprived of the liberty to form their own minds both about the proposed three names, and ... if this occurs ... why all three have been set aside so that the job can be given to another.

They should be treated as Grown Ups.

This is what, in the Anglo-Saxon cultural world, is often known as ACCOUNTABILITY.


The Saint Bede Studio said...

But didn't Sir Humphrey Appleby demonstrate that Episcopal appointments were the work of the Holy Spirit?

David J Critchley said...

It is odd, is it not, that those who most frequently assert that the human race has 'grown up' or 'reached maturity' (a biological absurdity) and that the wisdom of past generations must therefore be discarded, are so often reluctant to treat individual members of the human race as anything other than children who must be patted on the head and told what is best for them.

Moritz Gruber said...

Wait, the terna is submitted by nuncios?

I had been under the impression that whereas of course the nuncio has his say, as does the metropolite and perhaps cardinals from the country or the president of the bishops' conference, and while they might add a candidate missing from the terna, and while the nuncio (adding secret interviews with some devout Catholic layfolk about who might be a good bishop) has a coordinating rĂ´le until the thing goes to Rome, and while in Rome the Pope and the Congregation of Bishops might still nominate someone entirely different if they see the need to it,

whereas all that, the actual terna were submitted to the Pope by the Chapter-of-the-Cathedral, via the nuncio, and not the nuncio.

(Of course, Germany-other-than-Bavaria, and some Swiss dioceses and the Archbishopric of Salzburg but not its suffragans, have this particular procedure that first a "septerna" or so goes to Rome in roughly this manner, then it is actually the terna that the Pope does [possibly including other candidates], then the Chapter elects one and sends that back to Rome and then the Pope still formally nominates this one. There was some big headlines back in the days when on the terna appeared later-Cdl. Meisner who had not been on the septerna. The Chapter took this as indicating a Papal wish that he be elected, and the majority was ready to grant it, but a qualified minority insisted on the nay; so we got a "hung Chapter", and the Vatican stepped in, not tampering with the Chapter rights to elect a bishop, as such, in the slightest, but changing its procedure that an absolute majority suffices rather than the previously-needed two thirds.)

Moritz Gruber said...

(Correction on the aside: it was absolute vs. relative majority, not two-thirds vs. absolute. Interestingly, the losing side could have rallied behind one other candidate on the terna but chose to abstain instead.)