We read with astonishment that Bishop Robert Finn will preside at the ordinations of seven seminaries in the Kansas City- St. Joseph Diocese in May because Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann who temporarily has charge of this diocese has a scheduling conflict.
Tone deaf is a profound understatement on this matter.
We understand that Bishop Finn has the power to ordain these seminarians regardless of his “voluntary” resignation that was accepted by Pope Francis.
But what in heaven’s name makes anyone in the power structure or the pews of the Roman Catholic Church think this is acceptable?
This is about as acceptable as Richard Nixon presiding over a Cabinet meeting for Gerald Ford or signing an executive order because Ford had some work on Capitol Hill that he had previously scheduled.
We get that Archbishop Naumann already has ordinations scheduled. ‘Tis the season for them.
But how about the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church – and those who are being ordained – act in the same way real people do. When a major event has a major problem, maturity goes into action and a solution is found that doesn’t insult anybody.
How about the time of the ordination be moved to later in the day?
How about moving the ordination to the next day or the next weekend or the next month? We understand that the seminarians and their families and friends have planned for this event and it will cause some difficulty if the event were moved even by a day, but plenty of people make sacrifices to be at events of this significance for the people they love. And, really, we think the family members of the seminarians would be all too willing to make whatever adjustments were necessary if an ordination date had to be moved. It’s not for them that this accommodation of Finn’s presiding is being made. And certainly the seminarians should not be adverse to a bit of sacrifice on their way to ordination.
How about everybody understand why Bishop Finn “voluntarily” resigned and that should mean he won’t be available to perform this highly public act of power and authority within the Church.
According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) there are 446 active and retired bishops in the United States – all of them have the power to ordain.
Will one of the other 445 please step forward and remove this insult to survivors, to people in the pews, to men and women of goodwill who cannot understand why it took nearly three years to remove Bishop Finn, and now, in cavalier fashion, we come to this announcement because of a scheduling conflict?
The National Survivor Advocates Coalition (NSAC) will pick up the transportation costs if the airfare, gas money or train ticket is what is keeping another bishop from raising his hand to take over this ordination. Enough is positively enough!
And the seminarians should have some say in this. If they think it’s okay, maybe a hard look should be taken at them to see whom they plan to follow as a priestly model.
In case you missed the news story in NSAC News, here’s a link: http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article19762005.html
— Kristine Ward, Chair, National Survivor Advocates Coalition (NSAC), KristineWard@hotmail.com