Cleveland's Catholic Diocese Bishop Anthony Pilla has written a letter to the Vatican asking to be replaced, News Channel 5 reported.
Pilla, 73, will not disclose why he placed the request to retire. He said the reason is between him and the Vatican. Usually, bishops are replaced when they are 75 years old, but can stay on in the post at the pope's request.
WEWS reported Pilla has suffered from a few health problems. He had a quadruple bypass in 1997 that was followed by an infection. He also had prostate cancer in 1999. Pilla was asked if his health problems contributed to his decision to resign and he said he didn't want to get into that, and that he was doing what was best for the diocese.
Appointed in 1979, Pilla was a classic Jadot bishop, with admirers and critics predictably divided along the Bernardin-Bruskewitz faultline. Cleveland has had more than its share of "boundary infringement" problems in recent years, and this past July Pilla was accused of perjuring himself during testimony given in an abuse-related defamation case. The complainant's attorney vowed to bring Pilla before a grand jury to answer the perjury charge, to which the Diocese at the time made a bewilderingly feeble response. I think we can agree that Pilla's reticence in explaining the reasons for his retirement is fully in keeping with the New Spirit of Openness™ that has done so much -- throughout the U.S. Church -- to restore the trust of the faithful.
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Posted by: Barb Kralis -
Jan. 06, 2006 2:39 PM ET USA
This is the bishop who also refused to deny Holy Eucharist to Kerry and other politicians promoting procured abortion, who flew the Rainbow Gay Pride banner on his Cleveland website in 2004, who sanctioned Dignity within his diocese as late as 2004, maybe he still does.As President of the NCCB Pilla had women/girl altar boys loooong before the Vatican caved in and allow them. Pilla allowed dancing 'ladies' during his Masses as late as 2004, perhaps he still does. How much worse could it get?
Posted by: Fr. William -
Jan. 06, 2006 1:07 AM ET USA
Excuse me, your Excellency, Bishop Pilla: this is not just between you and the Vatican. The people whom you "shepherd" (you are a Successor to the Apostles) have a right to know why you are taking the Canon 401-2 approach. You have a responsibility to tell the Truth. Might I suggest that you re-read the second reading in the Office of Readings for today: a letter from Saint John Neumann. Jesus, have mercy on us, and on the whole world.
Posted by: benedictusoblatus -
Jan. 05, 2006 5:24 PM ET USA
I fear my previous comments were unjust. Though the Catholic hierarchy of England during Henry VIII's reign was spineless and self-serving (excluding, of course, St. John Fisher), I am not aware that they were under suspicion of performing un-natural acts or protecting those who did. In that regard, at least, they were preferable to most of the current membership of the USCCB.
Posted by: Lucius -
Jan. 05, 2006 1:13 PM ET USA
Maybe there was some Vatican concern about St. Ignatius HIgh in Cleveland: Celebrating a decade of improving protections for LGBT the Cleveland chapter of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network gathered on June 30. The Activist Organization award was given to St. Ignatius’ United Men of Just Acts, a group of students and staff dedicated to stamping out prejudice and hatred.The Educator Activist honor was given to Katie Zabransky, a former counselor at St. Ignatius who has since moved.
Posted by: benedictusoblatus -
Jan. 05, 2006 12:46 PM ET USA
Kudos to the Pope for giving such an excellent example to the world on how a Catholic bishop should act. His demeanor is dignified, his dress is appropriate, his messages are positive and uplifting. All good stuff. But, governance is key and the key to governance is the choice of bishops to rule over dioceses. I hope and pray the Pope will abandon the seeming "hands-off" approach of his predecessor which has left us with a hierarchy that rivals that of England under Henry VIII.
Posted by: -
Jan. 05, 2006 11:22 AM ET USA
Beware my friends - please dont get your hopes inflated. You might get someone worse! The new Holy Father appointed a new archbishop for San Francisco who is endorsed by Dignity, New Ways Ministries, and even the homosexual Catholic mayor. Bishop Niederauer slammed the Vatican instruction on homosexuals in seminary training. And this is an appointment to Sodom Central! Dear Lord, I take back all the bad things I said about Archbishop Levada.
Posted by: Vincit omnia amor -
Jan. 05, 2006 10:58 AM ET USA
I'll take the silence as to the reasons for a Bishop's resignation, IF all the one's who should resign --- DO RESIGN! (btw, McCarrick is still in office). I like the "New Spirit of Openness" trademark! (is it registered with the US Patent office by the USCCB?)
Posted by: -
Jan. 05, 2006 10:21 AM ET USA
From "McLaughlin Group" 4/1/05: MR. BUCHANAN: But the reason you had this scandal is because what are known as the Jadot bishops. . .the Roman Catholic Church in the United States moved away from Vatican orthodoxy and they brought into the priesthood people who were pedophiles and active homosexuals. . . MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What's the Jadot bishop? MR. BUCHANAN: The Jadot. He was the apostolic delegate who was was here, who was picking and choosing the bishops and giving them to Pope Paul VI.