This morning's double appointment in Florida and Illinois, along with the progression of time et al, has left the state of vacant U.S. dioceses and bishops serving past retirement age looking rather different. As this is an issue we've neglected on this blog lately, it can't hurt to take a quick tally of where the numbers stand.
This morning, Pope Benedict accepted the resignation/retirement of Archbishop John Favalora of Miami and appointed Bishop Thomas Wenski of Orlando as his successor. The pope also named Chicago Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Paprocki the new bishop of Springfield in Illinois, a diocese that has been vacant (i.e. without a bishop) since now-Archbishop George Lucas was appointed Archbishop of Omaha last June.
Taking into account these appointments, as well as that of Archbishop Jose Gomez as Coadjutor Archbishop of Los Angeles earlier this month, and the U.S. Church currently has four vacant dioceses:
-- Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, vacant since November 14, 2009, when Bishop Kevin Rhoades was sent to Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana
-- La Crosse, Wisconsin, vacant since November 14, 2009, when then-Bishop Jerome Listecki was appointed Archbishop of Milwaukee
-- San Antonio, Texas, vacant since April 6, when Archbishop Gomez went to Los Angeles
-- Orlando, Florida, vacant since 6 a.m. today, with Archbishop-designate Wenski going to Miami
Strangely enough, both the Los Angeles and Orlando appointments involve the pending retirments of bishops who have not yet reached the retirement age of 75. So that list has not only remained the same, but has grown to five:
-- Bishop William Higi of Lafayette, Indiana, age 76
-- Archbishop Alexander Brunett of Seattle, age 76
-- Bishop William Skylstad of Spokane, Washington, age 76
-- Archbishop Eusebius Beltran of Oklahoma City, age 75
-- Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia, who turned 75 yesterday
(Bishop Kevin Boland of Savannah, Georgia, will turn 75 this Sunday.)
So, congrats to Miami and Springfield on their new bishops! And as always, many prayers for the rest of the Church too.
Hat tip to David Cheney.