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troubling appointments in Rochester

By Diogenes (bio - articles ) | Mar 22, 2003

Bishop Braxton, head of the American bishops' committee on Louvain, has chosen Father John DeSocio, the priest in charge of the Diocese of Rochester's pre-theologate and seminarian formation programs, as vice rector of the American seminary in Louvain. According to this article, the new head of the Rochester pre-theologate program is Fr. William Donnelly, and the new head of the Rochester seminarian formation program is Fr. Jim Schwartz.

Now Fr. Donnelly is pastor of a parish where just last Sunday a nun preached the homily-- a regular occurrence, to judge from the homilies posted on the parish website. And Fr. Schwartz is pastor of a parish where first Confession takes place two years after first Communion. Any bets on how quickly orthodox seminarians in Rochester will be screened out and dismissed?

A courteous and measured letter to the prefect of the Congregation for Bishops may well be in order. Explain, perhaps, that youve become particularly concerned about American seminary formation in light of the scandals. Youre-- whats the best word?-- troubled, or puzzled, that Bishop Clark of Rochester has made these appointments, since neither the regular preaching of homilies by nuns nor the practice of first Communion before first Confession appears to be allowed by the teaching of the Church. You thought that this matter should be brought to His Eminence's attention so that appropriate action might be taken. And you've enclosed a copy of the article announcing the appointment, a few of the nun's homilies from the website of the one parish, and the first Communion/first Confession information from the other website.

The address of Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, is Piazza Pio XII 10, 00193 Rome, Italy.

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