Buffalo looks on track to be the next Kansas City/St Joseph and Minneapolis-St Paul, having one or two bishops removed from office. The metropolitan bishop in New York seems to be engaged in an investigation. In addition, the auxiliary bishop seems under suspicion as well.
I am less familiar with Bishop Grosz’s history before he was appointed as auxiliary almost thirty years ago. But his ordinary seems to have had minimal experience as a parish pastor. A few years in campus ministry, but many years in seminary or chancery. It reminded me of Robert Finn’s non-existent experience in parish leadership before he was appointed to Kansas city in the middle of the last decade.
My sense is that it’s not that Pope John Paul II and his curia appointed all bad bishops–though some of them were, no doubt. A decade or two as a parish pastor would certainly help fine-tune leadership skills, but it’s no guarantee of ethical orthodoxy. Having married clergy would also help break down the culture of secrecy. But again, no guarantee of a one-hundred percent clean hierarchy.
It looks as though Cardinal Dolan will be taking some action in Buffalo. One or both bishops look like they will need to go. Each is only a year or two away from the retirement letter. It may be that only some of the allegations are true, but with a parish pastor circulating a petition, it would seem that confidence in leadership is closing in on nil.
New bishops will need to be carefully vetted–more so than they were under the previous two papacies. The attempt to win the culturewar has given the Church far more headaches in the realm of moral heterodoxy.