I met Arthur O’Neill, Bishop of Rockford in the bass section at an RCIA workshop. I know little else but that his successor was not as well liked by the clergy. That could mean something, or not. A priest friend once told me Bishop Doran’s task was to assign conservative priests to liberal parishes and liberal priests to conservative places. I’m sure that ratcheted up the average Catholic blood pressure in northern Illinois.
When I interviewed for a parish job in Virginia, Bishop Sullivan was confirming at the parish that weekend, so he invited himself to a discussion the pastor was having with me. I knew him by name from being a Pax Christi member. The pastor said it’s not often one gets to interview with a bishop, so I should be sure and ask lots of questions. My wife knew him better. She was at some RCIA neophyte gathering or something and pressed him why women couldn’t be ordained. Evading her question, she reported he said that bishops hundreds of years ago weren’t bothered by such inquiries, they just called on the Inquisition.
By appointing Sullivan to Virginia if the Congregation for Bishops wasn’t indulging in some Doranism before it’s time.
I didn’t really know my bishop in Michigan; he was ill and we didn’t see much of him. And soon after I arrived in Iowa, Jerome Hanus stepped up from his coadjutor role in Dubuque. He’s worth a post to himself; and I’ll save that for later.