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Monday 19 April |
Saint of the Day: Pope Saint Leo IX

Cardinal Confirms: Some Priests Turn Down Bishop Appointments

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 02/01/16

From CNS, a cardinal cracks open a window into a process that’s rarely discussed:

Although the number is not high, it is no longer “exceptional” to have priests turn down an appointment as bishop, said Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops. Speaking Feb. 1 about the annual course his office sponsors for new bishops, the cardinal was asked about rumors that more and more priests are saying they do not want to be a bishop and declining an appointment even when the pope, on the recommendation of Cardinal Ouellet’s office, has chosen them. “Yes, that’s true. Nowadays you have people who do not accept the appointment,” he said, adding that he would not provide statistics on how often it happens, although he insisted the number was not huge. Priests decline for a variety of reasons, Cardinal Ouellet said, pointing to the example of a priest who was chosen, but then informed the congregation that he had cancer and had not told others of his illness. “It was a sign of responsibility not to accept the appointment,” he said. Others decline because of something in their past or because they think they cannot handle the responsibility, he said. In the latter case, he said, “normally we insist” because often people are not the best judges of their own abilities. But when a person makes “a decision in conscience,” the Vatican respects that. As for the type of priests Pope Francis and the congregation are looking for as candidates, Cardinal Ouellet said the pope “has insisted on the pastoral quality of the bishops. That’s very clear. It does not mean that they do not have to be masters of the faith because a bishops is, first and foremost, the first teacher of the faith in his diocese.”

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Image: Wikipedia

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