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Pope meets United States’ newest and tallest bishop


Bishop-designate Gregory L. Parkes of Pensacola-Tallahassee, Florida .

Pope Benedict recently welcomed Bishop-designate Gregory L. Parkes of Pensacola-Tallahassee, Florida –  the newest and the tallest member of the U.S. episcopate.

“I’m 6 feet 8 inches and I believe from what I’ve heard from the other bishops that I will be the tallest bishop in the United States,” Bishop-designate Parkes told CNA in Rome prior to his papal audience May 11.

“As far as the gift that it is, I suppose people remember you first of all and you tend to draw attention to yourself, so I try to use that in a very good way and very positive way to serve God’s people.”

The towering cleric will be installed at bishop of Pensacola Tallahassee on June 5. This week he is making his first ever “ad limina” pilgrimage to Rome and his first ever papal audience at bishop-designate.

“I want to assure the Holy Father that I will be faithful to him and to the teaching of our Church and to let him know that there is great hope in the United States,” Bishop Parkes said.

Originally from New York’s Long Island, the 48-year-old bishop moved to Florida in his teens to attend college at Florida State University in Tallahassee. Interestingly, his alma mater is now in his new diocese. He was ordained for the Diocese of Orlando in 1999.

He described this week in Rome as a “great blessing” as well as an opportunity to grasp how the administration of the Vatican operates. [More]





  1. Marianne Malone says:

    Congratulations to him – I hope he enlighted Florida. I spent six months there in Seminole and had serious concerns about some of the homilies and masses I attended, especially for the young kids there. He sounds very sensible and committed to Pope Benedict. Benedict is having a very, very hard time I think with the clery and I pray constantly for him.
    Thomas Merton is a very controversial figure in the church I think – very new age – I am not a fan and question I great deal of what he says.

  2. Linda Woolard says:

    Congratulations and I know you will carry out your duties in the name of God. Too bad Ruthann does not realize you will be faithful in your vows as a Bishop to the Pope. You are faithful to God! Thomas Merton – you should read the books of the real Brother Thomas Merton (of the Abbey of Gethsemmene) and maybe you might receive a positive outlook on life instead of being so critical of everything written!!!

    • Ruthann says:

      Linda, he has a vow of obedience to the Pope, but not of faithfulness. He has a vow of faithfulness to the Gospel – the ministry and mission that Jesus started and left for his Church here on earth!

  3. Ruthann says:

    It’s sad that he said that he will be faithful to the Pope, but says nothing about being faithful to the Gospel!

  4. what is the hieht of the tallest Bishop? interms of metric units

  5. Hello

    We pray you will have a good prayerful leadership for all of us in Florida

    Joe Wagner

  6. Thomas Merton says:

    Why is this news? Who cares how tall he is.

    • George Ayer says:

      I think its wonderful that he has mentioned his faithfulness to Christ’s authority to Pope Benedict XVI….perhaps he is “tall” in that way as well, he is not drawing attention to himself but is indeed showing the humility of Christ in what he says!!! The bible tells us that Zaccheus was short who wanted to see Jesus, but we don’t critique the bible for giving us that detail!!!

      • Anonymous 2 says:

        Thanks, George, for expressing Christian charity. Let us pray for those who are so quick to judge others.

    • Adrian Johnson says:

      It was a dull newsday.

    • Theresa Lewis says:

      I was visiting his church as the announcements were coming forth that he would be Bishop of Pensacola. I can tell you, it was an honor to be in his presence. You really know he is a true disciple of Jesus Christ as he lovingly shares the true teachings of our wonderful Catholic church. Stand Tall Bishop Gregory Parkes. We need a few more good men like you. We all love you and thank you for your service. God bless all of our Bishops, may they All stand tall as they stay true to all that the Holy Catholic Church teaches.

    • Chuck Hunt says:

      Great comment brother, Who gives a S@#$ how talk that man is? WhaT really matters is What kind of ideas does he have for the faithful community in his area….


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