San Bernardino bishop invites parish input on his successor

With his mandatory retirement just two-and-a-half years away, Bishop Gerald Barnes tells faithful: “You have a say. I’m proposing that before I send anything to Rome, that I consult with the parishes"

Bishop Barnes of San Bernardino diocese

With his mandatory retirement just two-and-a-half years away, Bishop Gerald Barnes used this year’s Combined Vicariate meetings to ask the leadership and staffs of diocesan parishes to ponder this question.

As part of his keynote talk, Bishop Barnes explained the formal process of how a new bishop is chosen for a diocese when the existing one retires. While the ultimate decision of the next Bishop of San Bernardino rests with the Holy Father, there is a multi-layered process of consultation in the selection of a new bishop.  Bishop Barnes invited the faithful of the Diocese to be part of it.

“You have a say,” he said. “I’m proposing that before I send anything to Rome, that I consult with the parishes. In the next few months we’re going to come up with a tool to do that.”

Bishop Barnes tied the consultation on the next bishop into the celebration this year of the 40th Anniversary of the Diocese. He asked parishes to look back and learn about the history of the Diocese, to assess both its strength areas and challenges, and, finally, to identify what qualities will be needed in the next bishop.

Some specific questions to guide these parish discussions will be provided to the parishes in March.

Full story at Inland Catholic Byte.

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  1. How refreshing!! I’m not suggesting the faithful ‘elect’ the Bishop. However, meaningful input can only help select a Bishop best suited to the needs of the Diocese.

  2. What a useless, pointless, fruitless waste of time and money that only a bureaucrat who loves committees and surveys and the appearance of meaningful work would come up with and love. Ah, yes! Let’s do a survey! Let’s compile and tabulate the results! Let’s get feedback from all ages and ethnicities! Then let’s disregard it all and do what we want to do, but it will look like we’ve based our decision on a “consensus” achieved through “consultation”.

  3. Laurette Elsberry says:

    I have a novel approach. Appoint a bishop who believes in the teachings of the Catholic Church, and will support and implement them and oppose all variations of the subversion that surrounds our teachings. A new bishop must fully oppose the murder of innocents in the womb, oppose homosexual and transgender disorientations, fight pornography, and drug trafficking from all other countries, and oppose the weakening of our Catholic faith in all respects. Big order? Yes!!

  4. Actually, Bishop Barnes is employing an approach previously used in the Church for centuries. The laity and the priests of a diocese used to elect their bishop.

    • Anonymous says:

      They are not asking the people in the pews. They are asking the people who work with the priests day after day. It is a good idea because some people put on airs when they are around the bishop and other priests but they show their truer colors on a daily basis.

  5. Anonymous 4:24 you are so correct. This is all a game. I’m sure the next bishop has already been selected. With people like Pope Francis and Archbishop Gomez leading the process, it will be someone whose credentials are firmly established on the left.

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