There’s a remarkable article in today’s Dallas Morning News about Bishop Joseph Galante, the coadjutor bishop of Dallas. Bishop Galante tells the paper that he expects to be reassigned to another diocese. The reason that’s remarkable is that a coadjutor bishop is assigned to a diocese with the understanding that he will soon take over from the current bishop, who is suffering from situation which will require he step down soon. That hasn’t happened. In fact, Bishop Galante and Bishop Charles Grahmann, the man he was to have replaced, have engaged in a very public clash over several issues, including the protection of several priest of questionable reputation.
Galante, who is 64, told the newspaper that “It appears I will probably be moved.” He says that the current tension between him and Grahmann are causing divisions within the diocese. When he came to Dallas, 3-1/2 years ago, it was expected he would take over in 18 months. But Grahmann now says he will stay on until retirement, which is another 4 years.
Bishop Galante says he doesn’t know where will be assigned, but he’d like to go to the Northeast. There are plenty of opportunities for him here. Apart from the vacancy in Boston, Cardinal Bevilacqua is now past retirement age in Philadelphia, as are Bishop Cronin in Hartford, Bishop Timlin in Scranton, Penn, Bishop Rodimer in Paterson, NJ, and Bishop Daily in Brooklyn. Bishop Reilly in Worcester, Mass., turns 75 this month. All of those dioceses could use a bishop with experience in cleaning up sex-abuse messes and financial problems.
What is most remarkable about the article is how open the situation is. The US bishops are usually very careful about showing a lack of unity in public. Remember how Bishop Bruskewitz was frowned upon back in 1995 or 1996 when he showed them all up by telling a variety of heterodox Catholics that they shouldn’t receive Communion. It’s not that they disagreed, but he showed “disunity” by putting them in the awkward position of having to answer why they didn’t do the same thing.
So for Bishop Galante, who some consider a rising star in the episcopacy, to grant an interview to a newspaper and publicly discuss his disagreements with another bishop is remarkable.