Albany Sourpusses

Here is another example of when laypeople, who have been twisted in their faith by catholic media like The Fishwrap and the Call To Action type organizations in their orbit, go to the zoo about the appointment of their new bishop.

I think we can all agree that it was time for a change in the Diocese of Albany, where the now retired Bp. Hubbard had reigned for some 36 years.  He retired at the age of 75, according to Canon Law.  Dura lex, sed lex, after all.

At the site I saw this:

No local input in selecting a bishop

So much for the thoughtful opinion piece by Bill Halligan (“Bishop’s voice and our voice,” Feb.8) who called on the Catholic faithful — both clergy and laity — to submit their ideas on the qualities they would like to see in the next bishop to the Apostolic Nuncio in Washington, D.C. [Yes, indeed… so much for that op-ed in a newspaper about how Catholic bishops should be selected.  Moving on…]
Mr. Halligan, noting his admiration for Bishop Howard Hubbard and the latter’s longstanding concern for the poor and the marginalized, [here it comes] and Pope Francis’ obvious commitment to similar values as well as his desire for greater openness and inclusiveness, was bold enough to think that the appointment process would value the concerns of the diocese’s clergy and laity. [“the diocese’s clergy and laity”? … a half dozen people at a coffee shop in an Albany suburb who think they’ve come to some interesting conclusions about how the Church should pick bishops?]
Alas, as Pope Francis must be fast realizing, the Vatican bureaucracy is more akin to the Kremlin and it is not going down easily. [These dissidents got a bishop they don’t like, so they call the Vatican “the Kremlin”.] The appointment comes with no input from the clergy or the laity, [Are they psychic or just ignorant?  I guess the latter.  Of course, there was input from a range of people, in Albany and elsewhere.  But these sour-pusses weren’t asked and, therefore, no one was.  I guess no one else counts but them and what they wanted.] top-down decision-making, [That’s how decisions are made.] no question as to who calls the shots, at least for the immediate future. [The one who calls the shots is the Pope Francis they were just slobbering over: His Holiness confirmed in place the Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops and the Apostolic Nuncio in these USA.  No question.] This more than anything may prove to be Pope Francis’ biggest challenge in “reopening the windows of the church” and making it a much more welcoming and inclusive church. [Ah, you see… it’s not Francis’ fault!  It’s everyone else’s fault.]
We pray, nonetheless, that our new Bishop-designate, Monsignor Edward B. Scharfenberger, proves to be a worthy successor to Bishop Hubbard and a true representative of Pope Francis.  [This is what happens when people try to punch over their weight and fail.  A diocesan bishop is not the representative of the Bishop of Rome.]
Robert K. Corliss

This letter is a good example of the use of manipulative phrases from the sourpuss catholic Left who didn’t get their way.

They are not being bold and zealous in the right way.  They would do far better to line up with prayerful support of the new bishop and the process that brought him to Albany.

Remember: Francis doesn’t like sourpusses!  As he wrote in Evangelii gaudium 85:

One of the more serious temptations which stifles boldness and zeal is a defeatism which turns us into querulous and disillusioned pessimists, “sourpusses”.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. McCall1981 says:

    Pope Francis’ episcopal appointments so far seem to be quite good. I’m still kind of waiting for the other shoe to drop, but so far so good.

    The new Bishop in my diocese (one of the first Bishops appointed under Francis, and the very first Jesuit he appointed) has been excellent.

  2. BLB Oregon says:

    If they were to watch CPG Grey’s presentation on How to Become Pope, they’d have a better idea about this business of How to Become a Bishop.

    They do know their new bishop was approved by the Holy Father himself, right? [The Pope must rely on recommendations.] If the Pope had wanted these laypeople to be consulted directly, he would have sent his papal nuncio back to the States to consult with them directly. As it was, I would be very surprised if the nuncio gave no consideration to what sort of things are held important by the laity in clergy in that diocese. Just because you weren’t asked directly does not mean your opinions were not considered. It is not like their opinions were kept a secret that the nuncio could not know!! In any event, Pope Francis was satisfied that this bishop was a man according to his own heart. Perhaps they ought to trust him on that point until experience proves them wrong? Just a thought.

    We got such a wonderful bishop in Archbishop Sample that those of us who love him are only afraid we will not get to keep him. We got to keep Archbishop Vlazny, though, so maybe we will be blessed again. One thing CPG Grey neglected to mention is that when it comes to influencing “top down” decision-making, nothing beats intercessory prayer.

  3. boko fittleworth says:

    It would be interesting to research what led JPII to appoint a 39 years old Hubbard (is my math right?) Bishop of Albany. I wonder what Hubbard’s accomplishments were. Did he have any published writings? What was his reputation? Was he just a Bernardin boy pressed on JPII by Jadot?

  4. boko fittleworth says:

    My math was wrong. Hubbard was appointed by Paul VI. So there you go. (Vosko was Hubbard’s liturgical adviser, btw, fwiw.)

  5. Cantor says:

    It would be interesting to read the responses to the tens of thousands of personal letters sent by these so very concerned Catholics to the Holy See and Apostolic Nunciature with their concerns regarding, and recommendations for, their new bishop. My suspicion is that, rather than write, they sat by their phone and waited for the call. “Hi. This is Francis. Whom do I give it to?” That’s not quite how it works.

  6. Nathan says:

    From the letter, as well as experience, it seems that those who clamor for “reopening the windows of the church and making it a much more welcoming and inclusive church” really mean “opening the windows of the church and making it more welcoming and inclusive to those who buy into the values of the Cool People in Hollywood and Washington” and putting down with an iron fist those who do not.

    In Christ,

  7. Sonshine135 says:

    This article took me back to the video you had on the blog last week Father Z- with the Deacon and the “Faith Community” and all the things that they did that were “unique”. It is the very same people again in this article. These people constantly misunderstand Vatican II’s desire for “active participation”. They have been emboldened to think it means they run the place; the Priests, Bishops, Cardinals, and Pope serve their every whim; and otherwise, they are simply figure-heads. It must stop! As much as the Bishops of these Diocese rightly investigate those who reject Vatican II (like what happened in Fort Worth), they also need to be investigating and shutting down these other splinter groups. There is certainly a proper time and place for clericalism. Please, please, please- Bishops and Priests, reassert yourselves as the Officers of the Church Militant.

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  9. Legisperitus says:

    Great fisking.

  10. amenamen says:

    Local input from the fox community?

  11. ‘But if the authority of Peter and his successors is plenary and supreme, it is not to be regarded as the sole authority. For He who made Peter the foundation of the Church also ‘chose, twelve, whom He called apostles’ (Luke vi., 13); and just as it is necessary that the authority of Peter should be perpetuated in the Roman Pontiff, so, by the fact that the bishops succeed the Apostles, they inherit their ordinary power, and thus the episcopal order necessarily belongs to the essential constitution of the Church. Although they do not receive plenary, or universal, or supreme authority, they are not to be looked as vicars of the Roman Pontiffs; because they exercise a power really their own, and are most truly called the ordinary pastors of the peoples over whom they rule.”- Pope Leo XIII

    If their Bishop is in the embrace of full ecclesial communion with the Roman See, and if he speaks according to the historic Catholic Faith, they are utterly bound to obey him as Jesus Christ Himself. Odd how heterodox Catholics agitate for a greater emphasis on the episcopate, and yet, when set under an orthodox Bishop, they minimize his office to that of a vicar of representative of the Pope who is more favorable to them. What hypocrisy.

  12. Arele says:

    BLBOregon, did you hear the new good news that Pope Francis has appointed us a new auxiliary bishop, Fr. Peter Smith?

    He’s great! Very conservative and very outspoken. Not afraid to stand up for what’s right.

    If the Pope is the most wonderfulest, most fluffiest pope evuhhhh, then this is an interesting choice on his part. One that I wholeheartedly “approve” of (not that anyone asked me, nor have I shared, lol). But I do pray, and I sure am grateful!

    My “input” isn’t working, but God is answering my prayers. Most especially that the Archdiocese of Portland, and also of Baker is joining us in our fight to protect life and to preserve marriage.

    Oh, and OCP (Oregon Catholic Press). I’m so excited that Archbishop Sample is interested in music. Read his pastoral letter to his former Archdiocese in Michigan:
    This can only be good for OCP, which influences the Catholic nation and to some extent, the world. (I personally think this is a large part of why Pope Benedict XVI sent him to Portland in the first place!)

    Suffice it to say, it’s the best of times and the worst of times in Oregon right now (well, and that’s pretty much status quo for Oregon anyway…I must say).

    BLB you are absolutely right, intercessory prayer is simply the best!

    Thanks be to God!

  13. Patrick-K says:

    It’s odd that this person seems to view the pope as an outsider who is just now “fast realizing” how that weird place called the Vatican works. As if a former archbishop wasn’t already rather high up in the Catholic hierarchy before becoming pope. Likewise, he just loves the pope, but not really the Vatican that the pope is in charge of. I do understand if people want to critique this or that action of the Church’s leadership, and indeed it is our duty to point out egregious mistakes or scandals. But it is difficult to take such concerns seriously when they imply that little or no thought was given to how the action was undertaken. It is similar to people who take certain sentences of Pope Francis out of context, apparently feeling free to ignore the rest of what he says.

  14. Supertradmum says:

    The purposeful misuse of language is “propaganda.” This horrible twisting of words, and using such in “yellow journalism” was invented by the followers of Machiavelli, including, so-called “Good Queen Bess” also the inventor of secret police and the Star Chamber.

    People who misuse language are either living in complete deceit or deceivers, and we all know who the “Father of Lies” is. Sad commentary on the politicizing of the Church by those who neither love the Church or Her Founder.

  15. Kathleen10 says:

    “…they also need to be investigating and shutting down these other splinter groups. There is certainly a proper time and place for clericalism. Please, please, please- Bishops and Priests, reassert yourselves as the Officers of the Church Militant.”

    I’m with you Sonshine, that is my prayer and hope as well! This was one reason I thought the survey that was out there a few months ago was a very bad idea. The laity do not need empowerment, or even the possibility of empowerment.
    People understand things to work thus: “I don’t like X and so I must yammer and find others who agree and they will yammer and eventually someone will give us our way.” Actually that does work because the leaders at the helm do not have spine to withstand any pressure. They fold like cards and then people are encouraged to ask for more.
    In public schools we are now asked, and parents are asked, the exact same question as stated above, when there’s a new Superintendent. I think even the students are asked.
    It’s a squishy, feely way to get everyone “involved” in the process. Everything is conducted by groups now, where there used to be individuals making decisions.
    But picking a Superintendent and a Bishop are of course completely different. For the Superintendent one may say the community could provide input without causing harm, for the Bishop the community is over-stepping it’s bounds and really has no business being involved at all.
    What is needed are leaders at the helm to say so and then stick to it.

  16. Amy Giglio says:

    Perhaps Mr. Halligan and people who think like him would prefer to move to China, where “the people” select the bishops.

  17. Amy Giglio says:

    Perhaps Mr. Halligan and people who think like him would prefer to move to China, where “the people” select the bishops.

  18. Gerard Plourde says:

    I guess that the author of the letter didn’t read the article about Msgr. Scharfenberger’s appointment in one of the local papers. He was not only vicar for Queens but also the pastor of a large multi-ethnic parish, a member of the diocesan review board on the abuse of minors and has attack record of including women in administrative positions. These sound like the qualities and positions that would equip a bishop well.

  19. benedetta says:

    How very sad.

  20. Benedetta said: “How very sad.”

    My response to his tripe: “How very typical.”

  21. benedetta says:

    Bryan D. Boyle, yes, it’s hard to know where to even begin. It sounds as if the author refuses to believe the facts, that this appointment was made specifically for the local clergy and laity of the diocese by Pope Francis.

  22. Mojoron says:

    It’s maybe time to place stipulations on the voters for a new bishop:

    They attend mass every Sunday;
    They go to confession at least once a month;
    They believe in the tenants and teachings of mother church.

    That should eliminate most of the voters, unfortunately.

  23. Athelstan says:

    …to submit their ideas on the qualities they would like to see in the next bishop to the Apostolic Nuncio in Washington, D.C.

    Here’s mine: Orthodoxy. Courage. Holiness. Wisdom. Strong knowledge of the Church in America. And a thick skin.

    You know, I wouldn’t mind greater input from clergy and laity in the selection of bishops. Certainly this happened in certain areas in the Early Church. But I’d want presbyteries and laity that were as orthodox and strong in the faith as those in the Early Church. And that’s obviously not the case virtually anywhere right now.

  24. Scott W. says:

    Well let’s see.

    –Buffalo got Bp. Malone, who by and large has his head screwed on right.
    –The Vatican gave the bare minimum of time necessary for courtesy between Rochester’s Bp. Clark’s submission of resignation and when a new no-nonsense bishop (I’d say conservative, but you’d have to appoint Episcopal “Bishop” Schori to get more liberal than Clark.)
    –If I’m not mistaken, Bp. Hubbard’s resignation was accepted pretty lickety-split as well.

    New York dissidents are squealin’ from the feelin’ about now.

  25. Elizium23 says:

    I believe in the tenets of our Church. It’s her tenants that I frequently have problems with.

  26. Siculum says:

    @Elizium23: Ha-ha, and hear, hear.

  27. The people of Albany DID have a voice in the selection of their new bishop.

    It is called the value of prayer.

    Or perhaps they didn’t bother going to God and praying every day and night for a good and orthodox bishop like we did up here in the wilds of Maine? I suppose the bishop they got is a little too “conservative” for their taste and they would have preferred one who likes things a little on the hippy-dippy style. We were without a bishop for well over a year and after the last two liberal bishops we have few vocations, consolidated parishes, and little knowledge of the Catholic faith in the pews. Maybe the people of the diocese of Albany would learn from our experience and figure out that the more liberal the bishop, the smaller the church becomes.

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