Sunday, March 8, 2009

After Dolan, who will lead the flock?

Annysa Johnson reports in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on speculation about who will be appointed to replace Timothy Dolan as Archbishop of Milwaukee.
But whoever succeeds him will face a number of challenges:

The Milwaukee Archdiocese is just halfway through a $105 million capital campaign, at a time when the economy could make collecting pledges more difficult.

See The Archdiocese Wants $100 Million.
It faces possible bankruptcy if it loses a series of fraud cases related to clergy sex abuse that are expected to go to trial this year.

See Archdiocese prepares for return to court and Judge rules archdiocese’s insurance not liable for fraud-based claims.
And the number of Catholics locally has slipped, despite the growing Latino population, which has helped keep national Catholic numbers flat.

See Catholics in Crisis.

A sidebar summarizes Milwaukee Archbishop Possibilities [if the link is now working]. The article groups them as follows.
• Wisconsin Bishops Jerome E. Listecki of La Crosse, Robert C. Morlino of Madison, David L. Ricken of Green Bay and Peter F. Christensen of Superior.

• Two others with ties to the state: Chicago Auxiliary Bishop Joseph N. Perry, who was ordained in Milwaukee and spent 20 years here; and Bishop Paul J. Swain of Sioux Falls, S.D., a former Madison priest who worked as legal counsel and policy director for then-Gov. Lee Dreyfus.

• A handful from around the country, all with Midwestern ties: Bishops Gerald F. Kicanas of Tucson, Ariz.; Blase J. Cupich of Rapid City, S.D.; Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa; and Thomas Paprocki, an auxiliary bishop in Chicago.

For popes, it's said one factor is to avoid a successor who closely resembles the predecessor that he will start out subject to superficial comparison. Perhaps this is taken into account for bishops.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why should the question even be asked, "Who will lead the flock?"
Archbishop Weakland and Bishop Sklba will continue as they have these past years.

7:32 PM  
Blogger Terrence Berres said...

That's a common misperception that Archbishop Weakland had a following of people who deferred to his judgment. Rather, his judgments were respected only to the extent his purported admirers agreed with him. For example, his pointed critique of hand-holding during the Lord's Prayer at Mass had no influence as far as I can tell. Many priests modify the prayer for our bishops to include him my name, which seems pretty hollow if its really a gesture of respect for that priest's own opinions.

8:34 AM  

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