Friday, June 21, 2013

Vacant Sees

Counting vacant Latin rite dioceses alone (omitting sundry eparchies, territorial prelatures and so forth), the Holy Father has well over a hundred appointments to make just to catch up on filling the many sees without bishops; as of today, the number of such widowed dioceses is as follows:

39 since start of 2013;
57 since start of 2012 to end of 2012;
18 since start of 2011 to end of 2011;
4 since start of 2010 to end of 2010;
5 since start of 2009 to end of 2009;
2 since start of 2008 to end of 2008.

Here in Australia, Wilcannia-Forbes has been vacant for over four years now (why Cardinal Ouellet didn't decide to suppress it I cannot tell), Canberra-Goulburn has been a year without an archbishop, and three dioceses – Lismore, Rockhampton and Hobart – have ordinaries who have passed retirement age; in the case of Hobart, my own archdiocese, poor Archbishop Doyle has been waiting for a successor for more than eighteen months.

I recall another prelate saying to me over a decade ago, "Where will the next generation of bishops come from?", meaning that those priests in the usual age range for promotion were by and large formed in the worst years of the postconciliar chaos, prior to the reform of seminary life carried out during the nineties and more recently. We don't need any more men like Morris, late of Toowoomba, who was damnably described by Benedict XVI as lacking the theological acumen necessary for a bishop (a polite way of characterizing his gormless heterodoxy).

Pray for good and holy priests to be appointed, and that the Holy Ghost grace them to become yet holier as bishops yet.

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