April 04, 2006

Lennon to become bishop in Cleveland

Boston Globe

By Michael Paulson
Globe Staff

Bishop Richard G. Lennon, who oversaw the Archdiocese of Boston for seven months after the resignation of Cardinal Bernard F. Law but became a polarizing figure because of his role in numerous diocesan controversies, will become the bishop of Cleveland, the Vatican announced today.

Lennon, an auxiliary bishop who holds the key posts of vicar general and moderator of the curia in Boston, will replace Cleveland Bishop Anthony Michael Pilla, who is resigning, the Vatican said. Cleveland is the 15th largest diocese in the U.S. -- about half the size of the Archdiocese of Boston-- with an estimated 800,000 Catholics and 583 priests.

Pilla, a former president of theAbuse Tracker Conference of Catholic Bishops, is resigning under a provision of canon law that requests the resignation of "a diocesan bishop who has become less able to fulfill his office because of ill health or some other grave cause,'' the Vatican said.

A 73-year-old Cleveland native, Pilla has served as the bishop there since 1981.
Lennon, a 59-year-old Arlington native and self-taught canon lawyer who had served as rector of St. John's Seminary, was appointed by Pope John Paul II to serve as apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Boston on Dec. 13, 2002, when Law resigned over his role in the clergy sexual abuse scandal.

Posted by kshaw at April 4, 2006 11:37 AM