You know who Bp. Athanasius Schneider is… right?

This is pretty interesting:

Schneider named Maria Santissima in Astana Auxiliary

Bishop Athanasius Schneider, O.R.C. was named Auxiliary Bishop of Maria Santissima in Astana, Kazakhstan.

Bishop Schneider had been serving as Auxiliary Bishop of Karaganda.

It is not often that an auxiliary bishop is moved to be auxiliary bishop of a different diocese.  Even to the metropolitan see.

Bp. Schneider gets around.  It might be easier to get around from Astana, rather than from Karaganda.

And as an auxiliary, without the obligation of the administration of a diocese, he can speak about many things in many places.

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Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. SonofMonica says:

    Well, although my wife is a geography teacher, I daresay I am sorely lacking on knowledge of cities in Kazakhstan, but I’ll take your word that it’s an upgrade! Cheers to Bishop Schneider, and to the call for a new Syllabus!

  2. TNCath says:

    Wonder what this is all about? Interesting and strange at the same time.

  3. dcheney says:

    I suspect it has something to do with the new ordinary of Karaganda which was also named today (Bishop Kaleta).

  4. Central Valley says:

    Bishop Schneider would be welcomed by the faithful in California. The SAnta Rosa diocese is getting Bp Vasa. Recent appointments are looking good.

  5. RichardT says:

    That headline took a few reads to get right.

    “Schneider named Maria Santissima” ?

    Funny thing to call him. Although I know the Transalpine Redemptorists all seem to take Mary as an additional name.

  6. Astana is the capital of Kazakhstan (and the second most populous city, after Almaty aka Alma-Ata). Karaganda is the capital of a province of Kazakhstan and has a large ethnically-German population (many of whom are apparently Catholic), and was considered for national capital but wasn’t picked. Karaganda has gone down a lot in population.

    So yes, I’d say this is a move up in prestige and amount of work.

  7. We have to remember, though, that Kazakhstan is not a super-free country. Also, Astana is apparently the 2nd coldest national capital in the world, so people should probably keep Bishop Schneider’s health in their prayers. (But apparently Astana’s population has doubled in the last few years, according to Wikipedia, so they need extra hands for sure.)

  8. Random Friar says:

    Ad multos annos!

  9. Mike says:

    I just read his Dominus Est. Excellent. One of the most powerful points he makes in the book is the example of Eucharistic piety that the Reformers employed–no kneeling, that would be Adoration, receiving in the hand, why not, it’s only a symbol?

    Every priest and bishop in the Catholic Church should have this little gem for spiritual reading during Lent. I personally would love to see every Happy Usher who attends the NO to read this as well. I can dream, can’t I?

  10. asperges says:

    The most impressive and inspiring Bishop I have ever met – and as an old hand, I don’t say that lightly. God bless him.

    I am amazed he has not been moved nearer Rome before. Perhaps the flights from Almaty are better served by Aeroflot!

  11. I can only take this as an upgrade, may he get a see and a red hat soon. Deo Gratias

  12. Phil_NL says:

    Joseph Therese,

    I have little doubt that eventually the good bishop will receive a red hat, but ‘soon’ seems to much to ask for. For starters, I cannot recall an auxilliary bishop being so honored, especially if the bishop of the diocese itself lack that dignity. After this assignment, a stint in Rome followed by being a metropolitan in his own right seems likely, which might put him in line for a cardinalate. We’ve seen the same with cardinal Ranjith. Since bishop Schneider is 14 years younger, that might give somewhat of an indication of the timepath.

  13. PHil_NL, I can live in fantasy land…at least for today :D

  14. dominic says:

    Astana is basically a new city created as a showpiece to the outside world since Kazakhstan became independent. (There was a settlement there before, set up under Khrushchev, known originally as Tselinograd, and then as Aqmola: “Astana” is Kazakh for “capital city” btw). It is certainly far easier to travel to the outside world (beyond Central Asia) from Astana – although the national airline is now “Air Astana, not Aeroflot! . So yes, this does look like a promotion for Bp Schneider, and a most welcome one.

    As I understand it the reason for the name of the diocese being “Maria Santissima in Astana”, rather than simply Astana, is, as with parallel cases in Russia (e.g. Mother of God at Moscow), to facilitate harmonious relations with the Russian Orthodox Church/Moscow Patriarchate, to try and alleviate their concerns about what they regard as “Catholic prosleytism in areas of their canonical jurisdiction”.

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