Pope appoints new auxiliary bishop for San Diego

A vice-“disrupter” for Bishop Robert McElroy?

Bishop-Elect John Dolan

For the first time since 2002, what’s now a 1.3 million-member fold in San Diego has a new auxiliary bishop. But if anyone’s expecting a clone of the last one, well, have we got news for you.

Six weeks since Bishop Robert McElroy electrified progressive activists (and infuriated conservatives) with a fiery address at a national summit on social justice, at Roman Noon this Wednesday, the Pope bolstered the SoCal prelate’s arsenal with the appointment of Fr John Dolan, 54 – the “pastor to the priests” as McElroy’s vicar for clergy, likewise serving at the helm of two city parishes – as the first of two requested deputies for the border diocese.

According to Whispers ops, the choice of a second San Diego assistant prelate remains in process. As previously reported here, the Padres’ Country picks are just part of a flood of auxiliaries to be named across the Stateside church over the next year.

Dolan’s appointment marks the second time a SoCal clergy chief with an extensive history in parishes has been named a hometown auxiliary in recent months. Much like the first, Orange’s Bishop Tim Freyer, today’s pick is widely regarded among the brothers as a warm, dedicated pastor with a fluency in Spanish and an overtime work-ethic that extends to a number of other ministries – in Dolan’s case, a longtime commitment to refugees and the church’s outreach on mental health issues among others. Yet where the celebrated “Mini-Vann” to the north is more laid-back in terms of the spotlight, McElroy’s protege has already taken to making a splash on the wider scene.

After last October’s opening round of a newly-devised San Diego Synod – a Francis-inspired consultation on family life and its optimal accompaniment in a post-Amoris church – Bishop-elect Dolan sketched two kinds of of ecclesial life in an interview with the National Catholic Reporter….

“There are two different forms of doing church,” he said. “One is very dialogical, from a dialogical sense, and the other is from a monological sense. And we have dealt with that monological world: Things come from on high, they get shelved in some pastor’s corner, then there’s some thought that comes down, but ultimately it’s all ‘We’re going to tell you what to think.'”

Given his current experience as pastor of a “welcoming parish” in the city’s gay and lesbian district, the incoming auxiliary (right) likewise remarked that “Young adults have an acceptance of the LGBT experience. It is simply a part of their world, and they look at [the church], and say, ‘What is the problem?’”

Of course, it’s one thing when zingers of the kind are made by a parish priest or even a diocesan official. Yet with today’s nod, it’s a whole new ballgame – put another way, the US’ episcopal discourse is further set a-Blase.

Far from any burning issues, however, behind the scenes in this shop, Dolan is simply known as one of us – a donor to [Whispers in the Loggia] through the years, and someone to whose kindness and generosity of time and encouragement this scribe can gladly (and gratefully) attest.

Full story at Whispers in the Loggia.



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  1. Faithful and True says:

    “Young people today have an acceptance of the LGBT experience.”? Really and that is his argument for endorsing sin and the lifestyle platform? Is this guy on acid? Young people today are also committing suicide at higher rates than before – and are complaining of a sense of loneliness amidst ALL the touchy-fealy dialogue in this hyper digitalized social media world. How about giving young people The Tuth Himself? In this aux-bishop’s comments, “We can hear once again the desolate words of Pontius Pilate: What is truth? The answer today is the same as that of the time of the Crucifixion: “Whatever we say it is!” ( Quote from the Now Word blog.)

    • Steve Seitz says:

      Faithful and True,
      As you alluded, liberals of this century have been amazingly co-dependent. At no point do they seek to confront a person’s social problems: instead, they make excuses for them and enable their behavior.

      They call this progress but, in truth. It’s regress.

    • Faithful and True, it is true that young people today have an acceptance of the LGBTQ experience. If you have grandkids in college, you will know this. So, what is the Church and it’s Pastors to do? Do they approach the younger folks in the same ways that worked 20 years ago, and failed? NO! They must find new ways to bring in the kids. Young people live in a different world than folks over 50. They get their information differently, etc.. How many people under 50 do you know who still read a newspaper on a regular basis? So, the Father is right. We must meet them where they are, not wait for them to come to us.

      • Disgusted with California Bishops says:

        What does “accept the LGBTQ experience” mean? Does it mean approving of same-sex marriage? Anyone of any age who believes that homosexual relationships accord with God’s will needs to be told by the Church’s pastors that they are wrong. Meet them where they are, okay. But tell them they’re wrong if they are. Don’t welcome what is unwelcomeable, namely sin. Repentant sinners are welcome. Sin is not welcome and unrepentant sinners are not welcome.

        • Your Fellow Catholic says:

          Please tell me where to find a parish without sinners. I’ve yet to find one.

          • Disgusted with California Bishops says:

            Don’t be disingenuous. I clearly stated that repentant sinners are welcome. Unrepentant sinners are not. So-called “LGBTQ affirming Catholics” are unrepentant and should not be welcome.

            In the Catholic rite of baptism everyone says, “I do” to the following question: “Do you reject sin so as to live in the freedom of God?”

            LGBTQ affirming people do not reject sins of the LGBTQ variety; they celebrate them.

            This new bishop-elect does not reject sins of the LGBTQ variety; he affirms them. Probably “accompanies” people in them.

          • Your Fellow Catholic says:

            How do you become a repentant sinner if you aren’t allowed into Church? I’ll ask the question again, where is there a Church without sinners? Why is this particular sin the only one that matters to you?

          • Disgusted with Catholic Bishops says:

            Repentant sinners are sorry for their sins, seek forgiveness for them and firmly desire to amend their lives to avoid committing the sin again.

            The article is what stated the new bishop-elect is LGBTQ-affirming and welcoming. I didn’t introduce that.

            To the extent that someone is LGBTQ-affirming and welcoming, that person does not consider LGBTQ sins to be sins. They are wrong, as is the bishop-elect and McElroy. You don’t welcome sin, you welcome people who seek to turn away from sin; those are repentant sinners.

            There is no parish without sinners. You’re trying to confuse things by claiming what nobody has claimed.

          • Bohemond says:

            “Why is this particular sin the only one that matters to you?” Because of the corruption that it has caused in the Church and Society. In more enlightened times homosexuality was a crime,as it should be

          • Ann Malley says:

            “How do you become a repentant sinner if you aren’t allowed into Church?”

            Who has ever said that sinners aren’t allowed into Church? Sorry, YFC, but you make false assertions. Welcoming sinners into the Church is a far cry from LGBTQ-affirming. One is not adultery-affirming or theft-affirming or killer-affirming. Quite the opposite.

            This pretense that people of all shapes, sizes, sinful inclinations, etc are not welcomed in Church is absurd. All are welcome. What is unwelcome is the affirmation that gravely sinful actions are now no longer considered gravely sinful.

      • Faithful and True says:

        The Church already accepts people where they are – but it is not called to endorse and celebrate a “lifestyle platform” and make that lifestyle the individual identity of her Catholic members. That is the difference. Making disciples is about bringing people to Jesus Christ and calling them to identify with HIM. By categorizing people with the LGBT label – you’ve endorsed the platform – which is exactly what zipper Francis has explained the Church should not be doing. What’s next: “Abortionist Retreats”, “Adulterer Weekend feel good about yourself seminars”? The truth is that the language being used undermines the Faith and normalizes sin patterns. Christ’s words are clear – all are welcome and ALL are called to turn from their…

        • Faithful and True says:

          sin. People need and deserve to hear the Truth, not be lured in with emotional passifiers. The LGBT lifestyle is against the will of God; it is NOT healthy for any person and should not be trivialized. John Paul II had absolutely no trouble appealing to MILLIONS of youth. I think this is a cover “Bob” from men like you who wish to say that God made people queer and we should bless their unions. I don’t believe that is in union with the teaching of Christ and His Church and therefore I don’t believe it is the ultimate best for these people this sux-bishop is trying to reach.

      • Asbury Fox says:

        Bob One,

        You don’t meet young people where they are. They are in sin. You tell them they are sinners and to repent. You present them religious truth. Young people want truth, but no one presents eternal truth to them. Give them Catholic truth, tradition, and the TLM and they will come.

  2. Joel Fago says:

    ‘What is the problem?’”
    The LGBT lifestyle offends God! He will take action as He did in Sodom and Gomorrah!!

  3. Jim Grisafi says:

    The Gospel of Christ is universal and Christ seeks, through the Church, to bring each person to a knowledge of God, that they will seek God, turn from themselves, and walk with the Spirit in discipleship.

    A priest must reinforce this economy of salvation.

    But, today, many priest are politicizing the Church, and its ministries, and moving the Church away from its service towards God as revealed from Christ.

  4. Mary Anne says:

    Do we need anymore signs from Pope Francis S.J. to know which direction he is taking the Catholic Church. Just look at any of the Jesuit Universities and see how they all lean to the left. Let us pray that Pope Francis retires soon and that a conservative Pope will be elected.

  5. Disgusted with California Bishops says:

    Everything gets worse in the Church under Pope Francis. This new bishop is going to be a disaster.

    There is no hope for faithful Catholics in California. The Catholic Church in California has been usurped by radical leftists.

    People calling for more rosaries and other prayers don’t get it: there’s no hope in California. Face the facts. Face reality. The Church in California is thoroughly rotten and it will not improve in our lifetimes because the current bishops will solidify and expand evil in the Church under the current pope.

    • Such exaggerations and hyperbole, and indeed heresy. No, it’s NOT true that “there is no hope for faithful Catholics in California”, it is NOT true that “the Church in CA is thoroughly rotten and will not improve in our lifetimes,” and no it is NOT true that the present bishops in CA will “expand evil in the Church.” Such talk is grossly un-Catholic, un-faithful, if not heretical.

      • Disgusted with California Bishops says:

        People like you enable California’s bishops to continue doing damage in the Church.

        • Wrong again is Disgusted. People like me have enormous faith in Our Lord who said “On this rock I shall build my Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” People like me have enormous hope born from this faith. HOWVER, people like you have lost faith that the Holy Spirit, in spite of ourselves, continues to guard and guide the Church. Such people are prone to be tempted by the Evil One to spew heresies against the legitimate sacred ministers of the Church, and embrace dissenting illegitimate clergy such as your beloved SSPX. Repent people and ask God to give you more faith.

          • Bohemond says:

            Jon the mouth piece of the establishment Church…….excusing the acceptance of perversion

      • Faithful and True says:

        The Church is very ill. Her problems are terrifying. Christ has won the victory. But it is important in this era of salvation history to know the Faith well and to identify when the Faith is being undermined. To know the Faith and defend it is not heretical behavior. Comments here are expressive of the profound emotional trauma that many in the Church are suffering now. It is clear that the Church in California is in deep trouble and that many leaders in the Church are causing scandal. God have mercy on each one of us and forgive us our sins as we forgive one another.

    • Faithful and True says:

      Let’s phrase it this way, “Everything that is rotten in the Church is now coming out.” This is the bold new Church that the apostates and heretics have been working to build for 60 plus years. A house divided will not stand. The lines are being made very clear. Pray for these deluded priests, Vatican Curia, religious and laity who have lost the faith.

      • Disgusted with California Bishops says:

        How many people have already been praying? Many, and for many years. Yet California gets one marxist bishop after another. Nothing improves. What is God waiting for? More prayers?

        • Asbury Fox says:

          God is waiting for the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. God has punished the Church. If the Pope and the Church fails to obey God’s mandate of Fatima, the final punishment will arrive.

    • there is hope for faith catholics in california. more rosaries and other prayers WILL make a difference. our Lord told us that ‘all things are possible with God.’ his words will be proven true. the arian heresy took hundreds of years to clear up. youy have have no right to give God a deadline for perceivable results. He is at work imperceptibly.

  6. Elizabeth M. says:

    I’m glad that I don’t live in California. Where is a good place to live?

    • Cletus Ordo says:

      I have a couple of places in mind, but I won’t name them, as I don’t want the price of real estate to go up! You might do some research along these lines:

      1) Where are there bishops who consistently speak out against abortion?

      2) Where is there support instead of obstacles for Catholic homeschoolers?

      3) Where is there a generous application of the TLM?

      There IS one really good California Bishop, Bishop Vasa. But average people cannot afford to live in the Diocese of Santa Rosa.

      Keep searching.

  7. Elizabeth M. says:

    What are faithful priests going to do?

  8. When your watch the slaughter of our pre-born children–Christ’s Little Ones–and then face the fact that our bishops have forgotten their responsibility to these most innocent American citizens in utero, one wonders if the Good Lord will be punishing us severely! Our bishops worry about getting illegal immigrants out of the shadows when they should be worrying about getting the immigrants in the womb to emmigrate into our society where they belong! They have souls and angels assigned. Being in the shadows is far better then being killed in the womb! Our bishops seem to have lost their way in setting priorities! Preach but don’t practice. Writers for Life!

  9. American by Choice says:

    Disgusted with California Bishops: While I share your sentiments regarding the bishops in California and our current pope, I disagree that “People who call for more rosaries and other prayers don’t get it.” Throughout history, the rosary has proven to be a powerful weapon against totalitarianism. Through the miraculous power of the rosary, Europe was protected from Muslim aggression in Kotor in 1453, in Malta in 1565, at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, and in Vienna in 1683. In modern times also, rosary campaigns prevented Austria and Brazil from becoming communist in 1955 and 1964, respectively. For more on this subject, I heartily recommend Fr. Donald Calloway’s book, Champions of the Rosary.

    • Disgusted with California Bishops says:

      All of the examples you provided were confined to brief instances of time: there was a threat, the rosary was prayed, and it seemed to prevent evil within the span of one year.

      In California and in much of the United States, evil has been aggressively advancing for well over twenty years, during which time many faithful in the Church have been praying rosaries, novenas, offering up Masses and mortifications, and so forth to halt the advance of evil but to no avail. Evil is even growing rapidly within the Church.

      So why isn’t the rosary working now, if it did in the past?

      • American by Choice says:

        These were massive, highly organized rosary campaigns, and that is the reason they were effective. Inste

      • American by Choice & Disgusted With Cal. Bishops – Google the 1961 San Francisco Rosary Rally with Servant of God, Fr. Patrick Peyton,,which drew over 550,000 to pray. What happened since then? The sexual revolution which brought porn, the destruction of the family and abortion.. In times as this, we forget fortitude and perseverance in our faith. When you have so many praying, and living the faith, the evil one uses everything he’s got to pull souls out of the church and back into his false peace and illusions. Praying the Rosary works and the evil one works harder to muster the illusion it does not.

  10. other monological silly decrees that took the fun out of human life. eve promised the dragon she would think about his comments, but asked to be excused for the glorious latin chant liturgy the angels were tuning up. the cunning dragon tried to entice her with a discordant heavy metal pounding rhythym and explained to her that he was also a liturgist and a musician who could help her get in touch with the lower nature that .tree-power’ could unleash. eve left confused and uneasy

    • while the dragon put on a light show of thunder and liightning with his rock band, hoping that the noise would drive reason out of the mind of the creature who had so much of the image and likeness of the One he now hated. he tried to cause an oil spill in the wonderful park habitat and grumbled to the other members of his smking sulphurous band that ‘everythings just too perfect here to feel at home’ leaving, his tail uprooted trees in its wake and he headed to a more familiar darkness.

  11. American by Choice says:

    We all need to do the best we can to combat these evils, but we must also trust in God. If every one of us says at least one rosary every day, it will certainly do no harm and may do a great deal of good.

    • Bohemond says:

      Only direct action by the laity will force the necessary changes…then these corrupt Bishops will get the message

  12. Fr. Dolan has alienated so many. The entire staff, has yet to fully understand the dynamics at St. John the Evangelist. Pope Francis tells us we need to meet individuals where they are, in the present. Fr. Dolan and his staff, feel if they say something controversial over and over again, the faithful will listen and accept. It has not worked. The Modern Mass has been canceled. Daily Mass with attendance of 30-50 daily devote Catholics, has been canceled. Sunday mass attendance has decrease since Fr. Dolan arrived. What else can the Diocese do to this Historic Parish.

  13. Well, now that we’ve torn into this newly ordained bishop, and told the planet how awful things are in the Catholic Church, shall we ask if anyone wants to join? Convert classes? Anybody?

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