My World of Religion, Politics, Entertainment and Social Issues

If you are visiting my blog, expecting to see 'Toward a Progressive Catholic Church,' I have changed my title to reflect my wide assortment of interests. Having retired from my secular job, I hope to devote the rest of my life to my hobbies, ministries and perhaps a part-time job that makes good use of my communications skills. This blog will be designed to address my multi-faceted interests.

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Location: Rochester, New York, United States

I have an M.A. in Theology and an M.Div (Master of Divinity) from St. Bernard's School of Theology and Ministry. I am currently a media consultant and promoter of classical music. I am also certified as an officiant by the Federation of Christian Ministries for baptisms, weddings and funerals and minister independently of the Rochester Diocese. My life has encompassed many interesting paths: broadcasting, free-lance writing, video-production, music, ministry and a secular job in government. In addition to this blog, I have a YouTube site at www.youtube.com/priestray and I have a Facebook page.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Speculation on Rochester's Next Bishop



Dear Blog Visitors:

For the past several years, I have articulated my assorted views on church reform at this blog.  Despite the fact that some of my views have been in sharp contrast to those of the Roman Catholic hierarchy, I appreciate the fact that Rochester's Bishop Matthew Clark has never tried to discipline me.  I have always considered him to be fair-minded, whereby he has consistently tried to strike a balance between conservative and liberal voices within the Rochester Diocese.

Bishop Clark will turn 75-years-old on July 15 of this year.  This means that he will be required to submit a letter of resignation to the Vatican on or around his birthday.  Considering that he has led the Rochester Diocese for 33 years, the thought of a new bishop will be unsettling to many.

If the Rochester Diocese follows proper protocol, local priests will be allowed to submit the names of  three qualified persons they feel could be Matthew Clark's successor.  My guess is that Fr. Kevin McKenna would be at the top of such a list, considering that he is pastor of Sacred Heart Cathedral and was a former president of the Canon Law Society of America.  I studied Canon Law with Kevin as part of my graduate theological studies, and I found him to be fair-minded, much in the same way I find Bishop Clark.  If a list of three persons is submitted to the Vatican, the powers-that-be will either choose one of the names, or ignore the list completely.  The pope could ultimately decide to send what amounts to an enforcer-bishop to Rochester, which might please conservatives, but would also serve to alienate mainstream Catholics.

If you have been following my blog on a regular basis, you are aware that my status as a Roman Catholic is in limbo.  When I was ordained a married priest in 2006 by a married archbishop, a Vatican official termed my ordination as valid, but illicit, which means from a canonical standpoint, my status as a priest is valid, but my ability to serve in a diocesan capacity would be illicit (celibacy is required).  Some canon lawyers argued that I excommunicated myself via my ordination.  Whatever the case may be, I appreciate the fact that Bishop Clark never reprimanded me for my ordination, which has aided my ability to function as a married priest locally, independent of the institutional church.

I want to take this opportunity to thank Bishop Matthew Clark for his many years of service to the Rochester Diocese.  His shoes will be difficult to fill.

Peace to all,
Ray

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