Cleveland bishops asks for replacement

Cleveland bishops asks for replacement

Yes, Bishop Anthony Pilla of Cleveland has asked to be able to resign, two years before the mandatory retirement age. He hasn’t said why, but it’s no secret that he’s had health problems in recent years.

But asking to resign is not the same as being replaced. The process of finding a replacement may take some time, especially since there are five vacant sees currently and eight more bishops who are serving past the age of 75. Another eight bishops will turn 75 this year. Plus Archbishop Pietro Sambi, the apostolic nuncio, is newly appointed and it will be a while before he can start submitting the terna to the Congregation for Bishops.

If Pilla had a need to leave immediately, he would have stepped down and an apostolic administrator would have been named. That he’s staying in place while a replacement is found says this is not an extraordinary situation.

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
8 comments
  • I doubt that Pilla is in any trouble except perhaps for his age and health.

    In all honesty, I look forward to his replacement by a more dynamic and evangelical bishop. Over the past 25 years the Catholic population of the Cleveland diocese has dropped from 900,000 to 800,000.

    Bishop Pilla is admired by many “church” people in the diocese, much as Cardinal Bernardin was. Pilla seems to be in the Bernardin mode except much more low-profile and cautious.

    In my distant corner of the diocese, it is not too difficult to find an orthodox parish where the mass is celebrated by the book. The indult mass is available here and there. On the other hand, there is plenty of unhealthy stuff going on in Cleveland on his watch (or under his protection?).

    The “award-winning” Catholic Universe Bulletin is full of stuff like recipes and advice on how to handle aging parents. Once in a while you will find a article lionizing the priestess Dagmar Celeste. But you will not find anything in the diocesan paper like McBrien or Weigel – just mediocrities you will never read anywhere else. I used to read the Bishop’s column. It is the theological equivalent of tapioca pudding – smooth and sweet. Didn’t his momma use garlic?

    I’m hoping for the best.

  • Cleveland is lucky to at least know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel for them.  As for those of us in the Diocese of Memphis, Tennessee, I’m afraid we have a long wait ahead as our bishop is only 65.

    Bishop J. Terry Steib, the newest poster child for “Ministry with Gay and Lesbian Catholics” (his term) seems to come out smelling like a rose just when we think that he has cooked his goose in Rome. 

    Despite his much touted “ministry,” (http://www.cdom.org/departments/gayandlesbianpersons/gayandlesbianpersons.htm) we know learn that Bishop Steib has received a $30 million donation for inner city Memphis “Catholic” schools,  none of which are truly Catholic.  Nonetheless, it will certainly give him some great press at home and throughout the country.

  • Charles, what distant corner would that be?  Anywhere south of Akron?  You don’t actually subscribe to the UB, do you?  I endured it for a year and never made that mistake again.

    Do you think any of the auxiliaries would suit the role?

  • Carrie,

    I live in Portage Lakes, south of Akron. My parish used to send everyone the Universe Bulletin. This was dropped in a budget cut. I never got around to asking the parish to stop my subscription. It fits nicely in the sink. I used it for potato peelings.

    Quinn is the only one I’ve seen up close. They say Amos is a nice man.

    I would like to see Akron split off from the Cleveland diocese. St. Bernard’s downtown would make a great cathedral. Most of all I would like to see an inspiring, orthodox bishop who can lead.

    BTW, Father Arko (the pot farmer) has set up shop half a mile down the road. He has some kind of Yoga business – no greenhouse but who knows what grows in the state park around the corner.

  • For anyone else who is reading this thread, this is what Charles is talking about.

    St. Bernards is so beautiful.  It would make a wonderful cathedral, and I share your wish, Charles, that Akron could become independent of Cleveland.

    I don’t know anything about Bishop Quinn at all.  What little I’ve discovered about Bishop Amos I’ve liked, but it is far too little to have a valid opinion.

    Do you by any chance belong to St. Francis DeSales parish?  If my present parish succumbs to modernism, St. Francis is the only other parish I know of to consider attending.  Since I’m up north, it would be a long drive.

    Anyway, it’s nice to meet a fellow Cleveland sufferer.

  • Yes, I attend St. Francis de Sales.

    Queen of Heaven in Green, Sacred Heart in Wadsworth, St. Augustine in Barberton, St. Anthony and St. Mary in Akron are all parishes that I would be happy to attend. All these parishes have their plusses and minuses and I don’t intend this as an exhaustive list.

    St. Anthony is a small, gorgeous Italian church on North Hill. It can sometimes be crowded.

    St. Bernard’s is indeed beautiful. It was restored rather than renovated. Lovely for meditation but the acoustics are horrible for preaching.

  • St. Anthony’s has a Polish Mass.  I think it’s St. Anthony’s.  Across from St. Thomas Hospital?  My husband attended it one Sunday and then took his mother to it since she is Polish and speaks the language.

    Preaching from the center of the sanctuary instead of the ambo seems to overcome some of the problems with the acoustics at St. Bernards.  St. Vincent’s on Market is another orthodox church.  Bishop Amos lives there, I believe.

  • St. Anthony’s is Italian, St.Hedwig’s is Polish. Both are close to St. Thomas Hospital.

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