Pope meets United States’ newest and tallest bishop
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]