February 02, 2006

McDonnell reaches out in search for bishops Help asked in naming bishops

The Republican

Thursday, February 02, 2006
SPRINGFIELD - 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.

The Most Rev. Timothy A. McDonnell, bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield, 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.

The process is not necessarily geared toward identifying possible successors for McDonnell.

The head of the East Longmeadow affiliate of Voice of the Faithful, a organization dedicated to greater lay participation in church governance, praised the process as a forward step.

"This is very encouraging. In the past, it was the good old boys club choosing who would best represent their interests. This seems to be a more open process," said John M. Bowen of Longmeadow, head of Voice of the Faithful's chapter in East Longmeadow.

Posted by kshaw at February 2, 2006 06:49 AM