Another Investigation

I notice a bishop has had his customary age-75 resignation accepted, and another bishop has been sent in to investigate and transition until a successor is appointed.

I do not know Bishop Michael Bransfield. I did notice this brief bit at the link above:

Long known as one of the American hierarchy’s top financiers (and, accordingly, a prior USCCB Treasurer), Bransfield – a Philadelphia native – first came to prominence over his two decades as rector of Washington’s Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, transforming the nation’s largest church into one of American Catholicism’s most prominent worship-sites.

We do need material growth, no doubt. But I remember an era when bishops were known for fine preaching, humble living, peace advocacy, or even liturgy and music. Canon lawyers and fundraisers: I wouldn’t want to rain on their parade, but still …

Bishop Bransfield oversaw charity and justice initiatives:

Over his tenure at the helm of the West Virginia fold, the accused prelate often made news for his use of the diocese’s ample reserves to fund initiatives for health-care and education, as well as relief efforts, across one of the nation’s poorest states, which has become one of the hardest-hit venues of the ongoing opioid epidemic.

Though not named by the Archbishop Viganò letter, there is a connection with that document’s disgraced epicenter:

From his DC days, meanwhile, the bishop was a close collaborator of now-Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, choosing the then-cardinal as one of his two lead co-consecrators at his 2005 ordination, then becoming a key player alongside McCarrick in the work of the Papal Foundation – the private US-based trust to support the Pope’s works of charity around the world.

I noticed a nursing care center was named for the man just two months ago.

As reports continue to pour in from West Virginia, Germany, and elsewhere, maybe we should be looking twice at naming buildings for non-saints. Not that I have a problem with good bishops.

My current parish had once named its daily Mass chapel for a beloved deceased pastor. The diocesan liturgist reminded us that was a no-no. So it became St Joseph Chapel. I don’t see a problem with naming schools, care facilities, building wings, and all for saints. These days, it might be prudent to do so.

Getting back to the quick turnaround on this bishop, it sure seems Pope Francis and his curia are acting pretty quickly on matters these days. Ex-cardinal McCarrick was docked right quick when credible allegations of child abuse came in. Maybe the front porch Catholics are feeling a bit of envy–their favorite pope(s) weren’t as nimble it seems.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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