Group aims to influence Chicago archbishop appointment
Colleen Dolan, director of communications for the Chicago Archdiocese, says that it may be helpful for the group – which has no official affiliation with the archdiocese – to encourage participation, but that locals should “send their responses directly to the Apostolic Nuncio.”
Following Church procedure, Cardinal Francis George, who has served as Archbishop of Chicago since 1997 and is currently undergoing four months of chemotherapy, submitted his retirement Jan. 16, 2012 upon reaching his 75th birthday.
However, “Cardinal George understands that his retirement will not be accepted for two years,” Dolan told CNA Sept. 18.
According to Church custom, the new leader of a diocese or archdiocese is chosen by the Pope based on the recommendation from the Apostolic Nuncio after his consultation with current local bishops and diocese, including members of the laity.
In this case, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, who has served as Apostolic Nuncio to the United States since 2011, will make his recommendation to the Pope in the near future.
But on their website, Voice of the Faithful assert that this custom “deprives the process of consultation with all the laity,” saying that they should have a greater input on the choice of bishop.
Quoting Canon Law 212, “Christ’s faithful are at liberty to make known their needs, especially their spiritual needs, and their wishes to the Pastors of the Church,” Voice of the Faithful says they have a “right” to provide greater say in the selection of the new archbishop.
Dolan noted that the “Apostolic Nuncio has said that, ‘any initiative, however, to organize group responses constitutes a parallel procedure that would not be part of canonical selection process.’” [More]