vacancy

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Jan 05, 2006

Highlighting the dash in the "Dash-2" status, Cleveland Bishop Anthony Pilla, 73, has requested early retirement from his bishopric (via Amy).

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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