Thursday, May 19, 2005

Possible Replacements for Archbishop Levada in San Francisco

The vaticanisti have compiled the first official list of possible replacements for Archbishop Levada in San Francisco who was named to head the CDF in Rome last week. These five names are most often mentioned by our sources: Bishop Daniel Walsh (Santa Rosa, CA), Bishop Tod Brown (Orange, CA), Joseph Fessio, SJ, Archbishop Charles Chaput (Denver), and Auxilary Bishop Salvatore Cordileone (San Diego, CA). It is well known both Bishops Walsh and Brown highly desire being appointed to San Francisco. The rather more interesting candidates are Fessio, Chaput, and Cordileone. Fessio is a protege of Pope Benedict. Chaput is known for his publically taking strong theological stands and for his pastoral talents. Cordileone is a friend and protege of Archbishop Burke, worked in Rome for a number of years, and has received rave reviews for his episcopal abilities in San Diego. The vaticanisti smiles.

26 Comments:

Anonymous Thomas Hurley said...

Far be it from me to question the sources of the vaticanisti, but doesn't it seem pretty unlikely that Chaput would be moved to San Francisco? I think Chaput is good, and would not be at all surprised to see him moved to a bigger archdiocese and perhaps made a cardinal at some point, but I think the Archdiocese of Denver is approximately 50% bigger than that of San Francisco in both Catholic population and overall population, and Chaput presumably would not be a cardinal in either one. Given that, wouldn't robbing Denver to pay San Francisco be an extremely unusual move, and not one that would necessarily indicate any favor towards or confidence in Chaput?

12:55 PM  
Blogger vaticanisti said...

Thomas Hurley,
Yes, we would agree with your assessment of Chaput, except for the fact that San Francisco does have a higher number of Catholics (425,000 compared to Denver's 367,000 (2003 figures)) and San Francsico has always been considered a more prestigious episcopal see. If we had our way, Chaput would be the future Archbishop of Los Angeles. Chaput has long been rumored the the man-in-waiting to take over from Cardinal Mahony. Chaput is a Franciscan and, let us not forget, San Francisco is the city of St. Francis.

1:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thomas -

SF and every diocese throughout the world should be dignified by bishops who really wish to be wedded to their diocese and not see their appointments as stops along the way to further advancement within the hierarchy.

SF needs and deserves a bishop who wants to be bishop in SF for the rest of his effective pastoral life. It deserves a bishop whose pastoral decisions are not compromised by his ambition to advance his own career within the Church.

SF needs and deserves a bishop who can speak the Gospel of Truth in truth and not compromise his teaching office by duplicitous legal manouvers like Levada and Mahoney to the south.

Why not (just for the sake of arguement) allow the SF clergy to elect their bishop???

On the basis of the Roman model, it's good pastoral practice and good ecclesiology. Apparently, election of the Bishop of Rome by the clergy of the Diocese (the Cardinals) is supposed to work. Why not give SF a crack at it?

Roman-appointed bishops such as Quinn and Levada have allowed the Church to fall into great disrepute here in the SF Bay Area. The scandals that have come to light during the past ten years implicate both Quinn and Levada in serious failures of pastoral duty and lapses in moral judgement. These are not men we would have chosen for ourselves.

Give us a bishop who doesn't suffer from the personality disorders of Quinn or who is not morally-compromised like Levada.

A bishop who truly desires only to be wedded to the Church in San Francisco for the rest of his pastoral life.

A bishop who has both feet firmly planted on the ground in SF and isn't constantly looking for opportunities elsewhere.

Give us a bishop born and raised in SF who is familiar with the it's clergy, parishes and the administration of the archdiocese.

A bishop who knows about our history by personal experience.

A bishop trained in our seminaries who will have personal knowledge of his colleagues in pastoral ministry.

A bishop who is not prevented by ambition or his "lifestyle" from protecting children and teenage boys from predatory clergy.

A bishop who would spill his blood to protect the faithful entrusted to his care and to preserve the integrity of his pastoral office.

Fessio ain't your man and I'm sure Levada will communicate that to Ratzinger.

On consideration, the only qualified candidates for the job is Tod Brown in Orange.

Unfortunately, Brown is wedded to Orange and it would be bad pastoral practice to move him up to SF.

However, since Brown broke ranks with Levada and Mahoney by settling and turning over docs., he probably won't get the job anyway although SF would benefit enormously from from a pastor with his significant moral character.

That really just leaves Danny Walsh.

It's more likely that Walsh will get the job as compensation for cleaning up that toxic waste site called the Diocese of Santa Rosa and running cover for Zieman (another product of Southern California seminaries). Why else would Danny have left Vegas where, by all accounts, life was pretty good for him.

Of course, the real great benefit of bringing Walsh back to SF is he knows where ALL the bodies are buried here having supervised much of the burials himself as Chancellor and later Auxiliary to Quinn.

Anyway, we really don't know the first thing about the appointment of residential bishops, do we. That's why we should just leave it up to the wise men at the Vatican. Surely, Benedict knows Best!

Paul -SF

1:52 PM  
Anonymous Thomas Hurley said...

Vaticanisti,

San Francisco certainly traditionally has been considered a more prestigious see than Denver, but I think that's changing fast. Sorry I got the figures on Catholic population wrong--I blindly copied from my Catholic Almanac. However, the difference in Catholic population is fairly small and shrinking (422,000 vs. 380,000 according to the Catholic Directory in 2004) so I still think that a move from Denver to San Francisco would essentially be a lateral move, and I think the chances of that happening with Chaput are virtually zero. Denver is probably big enough now that they will not lose a good archbishop to anyplace else that is not a cardinal's see. I wholeheartedly agree that Chaput would be an excellent choice to replace Mahoney in Los Angeles when the time comes. From what I know about Bishop Cordileone (which admittedly is not really very much) I think he would be my choice for San Francisco, at least among the names on your list. In any case, I trust that Pope Benedict (with the help of the Holy Spirit, of course) will give San Francisco a good bishop. Incidentally, I meant to say in my first post that I just discovered your blog recently, and have found it most interesting, informative and entertaining. Good stuff!

Paul,

Certainly many of the traits you want in a bishop would indeed be good and desirable. However, orthodoxy and faithfulness to the Church are more important than a personal background in San Francisco. It seems to me that there are some excellent bishops who had little or no background in their current diocese before becoming bishops. While in some ways it might be nice to have bishops commited to one diocese for the rest of their pastoral lives, I'm not sure that is realistic, and certainly I do not believe such a practice would be the best thing for the Church as a whole right now. Furthermore, to be consistent in such a practice, one would really have to leave bishops like Brown and Walsh where they are as well. If San Francisco deserves a bishop who will stay there, why don't Santa Rosa and Orange deserve the same thing? One other significant place where we part company on the specific case of San Francisco is that you appear to think it likely that the San Francisco clergy would choose a better bishop than Rome will. I simply do not agree. Frankly, if the S.F. clergy were allowed to make the choice, I think their choice would probably be disastrous. Although obviously some bad choices have been made under the current system of choosing bishops, I definitely would take this system over popular election by the clergy.

3:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The San Francisco Archdioces is much larger than Denver. It covers the whole Bay Area and more. The population of the Bay Area alone is 6.5 million. Several million more than the population of the state of Colorado.

7:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thomas,

I think we can all safely assume that othodoxy and faithfulness to the Church are desireable traits in any minister of the gospel, be they bishop, presbyter, deacon or lay minister.

However, orthodoxy and synergy with the Magisterium
are not the primary qualities one should look for in a candidate for any episcopal office.

We need a priest who is balanced. We need a priest whose fidelity to the gospel message and to Christ himself is at least as visible in his character as is his fidelity to the Magisterium. We need a priest who will NOT make morally-reprehensible decisions out of some misguided desire to protect the appearance of unity, orthodoxy and purity of the Church.

Every priest ordained to the episcopacy is ordained to service in a particular church (diocese).

Even men who receive episcopal ordination and who will not be assigned to a particular church (diocese) are styled as bishop of a titluar See (Bopara, Tigia, etc.).

This is the time-honored the tradition in the Latin Rite Chuch and it's good ecclesiology and good pastoral practice.

A bishop ordained for a particular diocese should not be moved from that diocese as though he were a pawn on some chess board.

You are quite right and I tried to make this point in my earlier posting. Both Danny Walsh and Tod Brown should not be considered for SF precisely because they each have been called to service in another diocese (another family) and there they should stay.

However, under the current misguided practice of the Vatican moving bishops round and round like a board game, Brown and Walsh are probably the best qualified men for the job.

Brown because he has proven personal integrity and has shown his brother bishops, especially Artful Roger, what it takes and what it means to do the right, decent and compassionate thing - as difficult and as costly as that might be. And Brown would be called back to the city of his birth.

Danny Walsh because of all the possible candidates mentioned thus far, he at least was ordained both to the presbyterate and episcopacy for service in the Archdiocese of SF. Because of his previous service in SF and his continuing ties to the ecclesial, social and commercial community in SF, he is well-positioned for continued service to the diocese to which he was ordained as Archbishop.

As for your perception that the election of a bishop by SF's clergy would be disasterous, I'm finding it hard to believe they could elect anybody worse than the archbishops the Vatican has imposed in SF since 1977. I suspect they would elect Walsh or Wester. At least the election of Wester would meet the standard of good pastoral practice and sound ecclesiology.

HOWEVER...

The BIG PROBLEM with all of this is that most of the men who are now bishops in California and throughout the USA made seriously-impaired moral decisons by doing the "dirty work" for their own bishops and covering up clergy sex abuse in the dioceses where they served in advance of episcopal ordination.

One calls to mind the questionable policy of posting former national socialists to positions of civic leadership in post-war Germany. While I certainly do not wish to draw a parallel between bishops and Nazis, one has to question if doing the practical thing might also mean doing the wrong thing.

So while many, if not all, of these men may have passed the orthodoxy and fidelity test, they failed in their vocation to be good, decent, law-abiding and compassionate men.

This is why most, if not all, of the candidates mentioned thus far to replace Levada are really not qualifed to be the pastors of souls in the Archdiocse of San Francisco or any other diocese.

Is it beyond the realm of possiblity to call to service in SF a priest who is faithful to Christ and who is not implicated in the grave crisis of trust and faith that has cast a very long shadow on the Church in the US?

Surely, under the Spirit's guidance, the People of God can do the right thing for a change!

Paul - SF

7:33 PM  
Anonymous Louis E. said...

The old custom of being "wedded to one diocese" used to apply in Rome until about the 8th century...does anyone seriously think that those who have never been Bishops elsewhere make the best Popes?
Yes,"the office should seek the man,not the man seek the office"...bishops should not spend their time in one posting with their eyes on ones they desire more.But those worthiest of higher appointments should get them,rather than every potential bishop being granted exactly one diocese in his life.

5:51 AM  
Anonymous Thomas Hurley said...

Anonymous,

The Archdiocese of San Francisco does not encompass the entire Bay Area. I don't have the Catholic Directory in front of me, but I think the population of the archdiocese is somewhere around 1.9 million. I could be a little off on that, but it is certainly nowhere near 7 million. Perhaps you are thinking of the old boundaries of the San Francisco archdiocese, before the dioceses of Oakland, Santa Rosa, Stockton, and San Jose were split off from it.

Paul,

I am not entirely unsympathetic to your arguments in favor of leaving bishops in one diocese, but I still do not think it is realistic. As Louis E. said, do we really want someone to be Pope who has never been a bishop before? I would say clearly no. On a much lower level, do we really want someone who has no experience as a bishop, or even only experience in a very small diocese, to suddenly be the Archbishop of someplace like New York or Los Angeles? Personally, I think not in most cases. Putting bishops in small dioceses initially allows bishops to be tested, as it were, before they are given huge jobs that will simply be too big for some men. Furthermore, if we had a plentiful supply of excellent bishops, then we could perhaps more realistically leave many of them where they are, but obviously we don't have such a plentiful supply. Given that there a limited number of such bishops, the fact is that some dioceses and archdioceses are more important than others to the well-being of the Church as a whole. It makes sense to try to put the best men in the most important positions. Obviously that often has not happened, but that doesn't mean it's not a reasonable goal under the circumstances, and I don't think promoting from within the diocese would be able to accomplish that goal in many cases.

I can't comment specifically on Brown and Walsh because I don't know enough about them. As far as your comment that it can't get any worse than the archbishops you have had recently, if you think it can't get worse than Levada, then in my opinion you are sadly mistaken. Unfortunately, it can get worse. To be honest, though, if you don't think orthodoxy and fidelity to Magisterium are primary qualities one should look for in a candidate for episcopal office, we would probably never agree on who is or would be a good bishop. I personally think that those bishops who made morally reprehensible decisions in recent years made them mostly out of selfishness, not out of concern for even an appearance of orthodoxy, unity or purity in the Church, but in any case such immoral choices are never consistent with true concern for orthodoxy, unity, purity, or the health of the Church. I don't think it makes sense to talk of being balanced between Christ & the gospel message and the Magisterium & orthodoxy, because these things are not opposed to one another. Christ teaches us and makes Himself present to us through the Church, so one cannot follow Christ in the fullest way possible without fidelity to the Church as teacher and ruler. It seems to me that perhaps we disagree on a pretty fundamental level here.

9:58 AM  
Blogger Saint Peter's helpers said...

I'm hoping for Joseph Fessio SJ. I think in the grand scheme of things, God always balances the scales. There was a public elation on the election of Benedict followed by a sensible yet "curve ball" appointment of Levada as prefect (whom I think should be given a chance). One would think that the next appointment would follow a similar sensibility (although we never know what God has in store) of Benedict choosing someone closely associated with him.

10:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thomas,

Respectfully, you and I will probably never agree on the most important qualities required a replacement for Levada.

However, what distresses me most about this ongoing dialogue is that it seems to miss the mark.

Like the great "unsinkable" oceanliner, The Church has hit ice and is taking on lots of water. She is seriously foundering and and we're engaging in discussions about the arrangement of the deck chairs!

From the surface, the collision appears minor and certainly not life-threatening. Below the surface, the ice has ruptured a a sufficient number of compartments to cause the sinking of the ship.

Perhaps, and not unlike the passengers of that "unsinkable" ship, the true extent of the damage done to the Church is not readily apparent to most Catholics or worse yet, the true extent of the damage has been kept hidden from rank and file Catholics by bishops like Levada and Mahoney who have spent literally millions of dollars in legal defense fees to keep the truth from ever seeing the light of day.

A good priest in SF told me back in 1988 that he likened his pastoral ministry to that of an officer on the deck of the Titanic whose primary task was to safely move as many passengers as possible into the lifeboats and away from the sinking ship.

Thomas - the Church has hit ice and is taking on lots of water.

We should pray the Church and in our prayer call upon the Lord to protect the Church from bishops who, because of their ambition, selfishness or blind and misguided loyalty to orthodoxy , brought her to the brink of disaster.

Thomas - Perhaps the one thing you and I can agree upon is our faith that the Lord will not allow the Church to perish.

However, faith requires action. A change of heart and a radical change of course is what is now required.

Paul - SF

6:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am talking archdiocese, not the dioceses that encompass it. The archdiocese of San Francisco encompasses up to 8 million people. The Catholic poipulation is about 20% of that figure. Remember, there are dioceses withing an archdiocese.

6:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No way Fesio will, be appointed. The clergy/church here would revolt. Plus Fessio is up to his eyes in the Ava Maria University scandal. Many orthodox Catholics no lonbger respect or accept him as they once did. He's too tied into Monaghan and money.

6:27 PM  
Anonymous Louis E. said...

There are not "dioceses within an archdiocese".There are dioceses within an ecclesiastical province of which the archdiocese is the metropolitan see.The "archdiocese" is that portion over which the metropolitan is himself the ordinary.

9:38 PM  
Anonymous Bill Logan said...

No, orthodoxy and faithfulness are NOT more important than either a person's background in a given place or how well they might fit in there. If you want an example of this, look at how well Wuerl is doing as Archbishop of Seattle. Orthodoxy and faithfulness ought to be a given in candidates for a particular see, but they are not sufficient.

Walsh or Wester would be my choices.

--Bill Logan
wplogan2001@yahoo.com

11:59 AM  
Blogger John Walter said...

All this talk about wanting some elected, local bishop who goes by the name of "Todd" or "Danny" makes me a little sick. The fact that folks in the Archdiocese of San Francisco can spout such nonesense while considering themselves faithful Catholics is a symptom of just how bad things really are out there. I believe Fr. Fessio or Archbishop Chaput are exactly the sort of gentlemen the good people of S.F. need for an archbishop.

7:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

John Walter,

Don't get your knickers in a twist!

I suppose I was under the misaprehension that that the ongoing dialogue was being conducted by adults who possess at least a remedial understanding of ecclesiology and the specific problems facing the Church in the SF Bay Area.

Clearly, to some Catholics, an open mind and some mild debate are to be avoided at all costs.

I guess I just forgot that some adult Catholics continue to understand the Church as though they were still children stuck in a 2nd grade CCD course!

By the way, your assumption that my views are those of a "faithful Catholic" are not quite on the mark.

I left the Church for greener pastures in 1994 after experiencing first hand some of the most disturbing aspects of the life of the Church in San Francisco that came into public view 2002. I did not lose faith with the Catholic Church, it lost my trust and my faith.

You need to exercise greater care, John. When you assume, you make an ass out of you and of me.

Paul - SF

PS: Perhaps familiarity does breed contempt. As it happens, I've known most of the cast of characters (Quinn, Walsh, Wester, to name but a few,) for the greater part of my life.

Paul - SF

9:15 AM  
Blogger John Walter said...

Paul,

It's a good thing you've left the Church, at least for the time being. That way, you wouldn't be guilty of hypocrisy.

Doesn't it occur to you that the feel good, pseudo-democratic, buddy-buddy loopiness of many clerics in the late twentieth century, which you seem to advocate in your comments, contributed significantly to the abuse which you decry in the very same comment?

You lecture me on ecclesiology, but advocate a form of the same which passed (for good reason!) out of Latin Rite discipline over a millenia ago.

But since you've outgrown your second grade CCD training, and the Church itself, you don't need to worry about stuff like that.

9:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

John Walter -

No, John.

It is the clerics who continue to hide the fact that the Church has a real big problem with it's gay clergy and the laity that blindly follow the edicts of Roman clergy like stupid, lost sheep who are guilty of hypocrisy. That and the Church's tendency to supress truth are the largest contributors to the clergy sex abuse crisis that has been bubbling below the surface for years and years but which did not erupt until 2002.

The Church just can't bring itself to tell the truth to the faithful and the larger community about what really happened in the US and the role Rome-appointed bishops played in the cover-up. Your pals over at Orthodoxy Central (Vatican) couldn't even muster the courage to tell John Paul that one of his earliest collaborators at the Holy See was removed from his position of Archbishop of Posnan for molesting his own seminarians.

John, you just can't stand that fact the truth is emerging and it deeply calls into question the Church's role as a moral force in the world let alone it's claim to be one true Body of Christ.

Open your eyes, John. Look around and see what's going on.

Democracy is not the culprit here. Arrogance, abuse of power and the inablity of a significant number of clergy (both bishops and presbyters) to keep their hands off teenage boys and younger children are the culprits.

You guys just can handle the truth!

As for my leaving the Church, it's not really up to a blind and scared man to judge one blessed with vision and courage.

Paul - SF

1:12 PM  
Blogger John Walter said...

Paul:

--When you realize that "children stuck in a 2nd grade CCD course" might just be those of whom Christ says "the kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these."

--and that "stupid, lost sheep" are those for whom "it is not the will of your Heavenly Father that one of these be lost."

--and that "one blessed with vision and courage" by his own account sounds dangerously like those to whom Jesus said "if you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you are saying, 'We see,' so your sin remains."

Then, perhaps, you will return to the Church that has been there for 2000 years despite all the sins you catalogue, and you'll be lovingly forgiven for thinking yourself smarter than that institution founded by Christ to help you gain salvation.

1:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

John,

Your familiarity with scripture, though misguided in this context is really impressive for a Catholic.

Once again you assume and once again you are wrong.

This time, you assume that life outside the Roman Church is life without Christ.

Those who seek Truth will seek the Lord wherever he may be found.

Those who would abuse power and hide from truth lead others away from the truth and away from Christ.

Perhaps before they chime in on public policy debates concerning gay marriage, war, abortion, termination of life, the Bishop of Rome and the Catholic bishops who guide your dioceses can take a long honest look at themselves and at the chaos they've unleashed upon our society. Perhaps, they will reach the same conclusion already reached by many in America and in Europe: The Church is really in no position to throw boulders when it operates in a glass house.

Perhaps before they use scripture to impose their view upon the world, the Bishop of Rome and the US bishops will contemplate the words of the Lord himself when he warned against those who would cause harm to children. Better for them that they were cast in the sea with a millstone tied around their necks.

Those who caused this harm and those who enabled them to do so have alot to answer for and are not fit for pastoral ministry.

Nothing you can say or hope will alter this reality.

Don't mistake life in Christ given to us by the grace of God for an institution that has managed to survive in spite of itself for nearly 2000 years.

Christ is fixed in the hearts of men and women of good will and in the heart and aspirations of sinners. It is Christ and not the Roman Church that the Second Vatican Council rightfully acknowledged to be the same, yesterday today and forever.

Don't get the two confused John.

Paul - SF

2:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

By the way, just to give you an idea of Levada's pulse on the pastoral needs of the archdiocese of SF, read on and get an idea of quality of candidate approved for ordination to the transitional deaconate by Levada.

One can only hope that the pastoral skills Levada exercised in SF will be put to good use at CDF. - Paul - SF

Temporary restraining order filed against S.F. deacon

Suzanne Herel, Chronicle Staff Writer
Tuesday, May 24, 2005

 
The Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco has filed a temporary restraining order against a deacon of St. Gregory Church who allegedly kept six guns in his quarters and was perceived as a threat by the church pastor.

Dennis Gooch, 57, was ordained as a transitional deacon in 2003 and had been performing ministerial work at St. Gregory since last July, said Maurice Healy, a spokesman for the archdiocese.

About six weeks ago, Healy said, Gooch began acting strangely after learning that Monsignor Robert McElroy had recommended to the archbishop that Gooch not be ordained as a priest. McElroy “perceived some psychological issues,” Healy said.

“Deacon Gooch did not take that very well,” Healy said. “In conversation, he said something like, ‘The day of retribution will come.’ Monsignor McElroy perceived that to be a threat.”

McElroy did not return phone calls seeking comment. Gooch, whom Healy said is at an unidentified medical facility, could not be reached.

Gooch had studied at St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park for a number of years, Healy said, and was performing a traditional year of work at St. Gregory’s prior to what he hoped would be his ordination.

After one of Gooch’s friends mentioned that he thought Gooch owned a gun, church officials arranged to see his room. Healy would not describe how the search came about, but said it was legal.

In his room at St. Gregory’s, church officials found six guns, some of which might be old collector’s pieces, Healy said, along with nine boxes of various kinds of bullets.

“That really gave him pause,” Healy said of McElroy. “It certainly was enough to cause some concern.” The restraining order, filed Friday, asks that Gooch not be permitted near church grounds, which include a parish school that enrolls more than 300 students

6:50 PM  
Blogger John Walter said...

Paul,

Thank you for your complement, though it was backhanded.

I have not claimed that life outside the Church was life without Christ, nor have I attempted to defend those clerics who have used their office to commit grave sins and crimes.

However, anyone outside the Church who gains salvation will only succeed through the graces which come through the Church. Further, when Bishops speak authoritatively, they do not nor have they ever claimed that authority based on personal sanctity. Rather, they base their authority on the Apostolic succession which connects them directly to the twelve men selected by Christ.

With all your talk of "ecclesiology", you should know that.

From what I can glean from your comments, you seem to think Church authority comes from the consent of "The People of God," the willingness of the bishop to "Marry" his people, and a personal link between the bishop, priest or layman with Christ Himself.

These are all nice things, and even useful in the life of the Church. But none of them have anything to do with the model for Church governance established in the Gospels, Acts, several Epistles, and in the tradition of the Catholic Church itself.

Further, these wonderful traits you discuss are (when unsupported by real, Apostolic authority) nothing more than a recipe for the fragmentation of the Church.

Is that, perhaps, what you hope for?

7:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For all of you who evidently have the inside track on what's best for the Church in SF, I'd like to give you idea of the pastoral skills Levada exercised in SF. Read on and learn more about one of the candidates Levada approved for ordination to the transitional deaconate. I know that the pastoral skills that serve him so well here in SF will be a real boon for the universal Church when he picks up at CDF in August.

Paul - SF

Temporary restraining order filed against S.F. deacon

Suzanne Herel, Chronicle Staff Writer
Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco has filed a temporary restraining order against a deacon of St. Gregory Church who allegedly kept six guns in his quarters and was perceived as a threat by the church pastor.

Dennis Gooch, 57, was ordained as a transitional deacon in 2003 and had been performing ministerial work at St. Gregory since last July, said Maurice Healy, a spokesman for the archdiocese.

About six weeks ago, Healy said, Gooch began acting strangely after learning that Monsignor Robert McElroy had recommended to the archbishop that Gooch not be ordained as a priest. McElroy “perceived some psychological issues,” Healy said.

“Deacon Gooch did not take that very well,” Healy said. “In conversation, he said something like, ‘The day of retribution will come.’ Monsignor McElroy perceived that to be a threat.”

McElroy did not return phone calls seeking comment. Gooch, whom Healy said is at an unidentified medical facility, could not be reached.

Gooch had studied at St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park for a number of years, Healy said, and was performing a traditional year of work at St. Gregory’s prior to what he hoped would be his ordination.

After one of Gooch’s friends mentioned that he thought Gooch owned a gun, church officials arranged to see his room. Healy would not describe how the search came about, but said it was legal.

In his room at St. Gregory’s, church officials found six guns, some of which might be old collector’s pieces, Healy said, along with nine boxes of various kinds of bullets.

“That really gave him pause,” Healy said of McElroy. “It certainly was enough to cause some concern.” The restraining order, filed Friday, asks that Gooch not be permitted near church grounds, which include a parish school that enrolls more than 300 students

7:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you were a little more knowledgeable about the episcopacy in your own diocese, then you would need look no further to find a person of undeniable orthodoxy who nevertheless believes strongly that having a bishop remain in one diocese, as a rule, is neither impractical nor outdated. That man is Bishop John D'Arcy, who would have quickly risen through the ranks of the episcopate had he not insisted on remaining in Fort Wayne-South Bend, his first and only diocese.

4:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

John Walter,

There's really not much more to discuss unless and until all Catholics and interested party non-Catholics engage in an open and honest assessment of the root causes of the clergy sex abuse scandal and the fact that it was allowed to rot away the interior life of the Church because of bishops are more interested in authority than service. The authentic Christian message is not about authority and rank. Rather, it is one of service and committment to Truth that comes only through Jesus Christ and Christ alone.

Is is too hard for you to come up with even one bishop with clean hands?

If you can't , just admit it.

As to your position that salvation outside the Roman Church is predicated on graces that flow from the Roman Church - think again (for yourself it at all possible). All graces come from God and God alone and are made possible through the salvivic intervention of God in Jesus Christ. That was accomplished without the aid or either Peter or Paul or their successors.

Paul - SF

6:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Forget about the population comparisons. Denver is extremely important b/c it's the center of the New Evangelization in the USA. JPII rightly listened to Cardinal Stafford and recognized it as one of the most important cities for the future of our country. It's chock full of young adults and young families, and is arguably the most vibrant archdiocese in the country. Many of the ministries that are getting anchored there currently (e.g., FOCUS, Neo-Catechumenate, etc.) will soon be coming to a diocese near you and should transform the Church throughout the entire country in coming decades. Hence, I can't imagine Chaput getting pulled from there for anything less than an LA-type cardinal posting.

7:47 AM  

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