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Number 102, February 12, 2014
BISHOP SCHNEIDER'S PRIESTS
I never met Bishop Schneider even though he lives somewhere near my frontal lobe. But, as I said in my last Chat, I do have access to his journal which, I am happy to report, he writes in every night. My guess is that he would stop writing if he knew I could read it. That frontal lobe neighborhood is tricky, you know.
A case in point: what he wants from the priests in his Mt. Vernon diocese.
A few entries gives you the idea:
9/25/13: I assigned two more Nigerian priests to parishes today. They seem like nice priests and they will fill some gaps. It doesn't take as long as some people say to get used to their accents, and it sure beats lay people running the parish. What I like best about these international priests is that they are loyal to the Church and to me. I can rely on them. They come from a culture where the clergy are respected, like it used to be here 75 years ago, and still is today in Nigeria. It's a good thing I have personal connections with Bishops in other countries so I can recruit these priests. As long as they say Mass on weekends, I don't expect much more from them, and they keep the parish going by being there.
10/13/13: I just don't understand why some of my diocesan pastors became priests. They dress how they want. They think how they want. They do what they want. They don't seem very reverent. And they clearly don't respect me. They claim to be Vatican II priests, whatever that means. Vatican II didn't change things nearly as much as they think it did. We need to emphasize how that council continues the long standing traditions and teachings of the Church. Continuity is much more valuable than change, despite the different style of Francis. Some of my priests are terrible representatives of the Church. I don't know what to do with them but I am determined to maintain my course.
11/6/13: Today was very frustrating. We had a meeting of the Priests' Personnel Board and a few of my pastors on the Board always question my assignments. They claim they know some of my pastors better than I do, and they said Fr. Schilling would not be a good fit for Vienna. Nonsense! I talked with Fr. Schilling and he said he would go, so I am sending him to Vienna. Just because these priests know one another from seminary days doesn't mean that they know better than the Bishop. When will they accept that?
12/16/13: I got another anonymous letter today about Fr. Boswell changing some of the wording at Mass. When I ask about him, and a few others, I never get too many specifics although it seems he recites the Eucharistic prayer pretty much intact. But he keeps adding his comments and prayers like his homily extends to other parts of the liturgy. We can be “personal” but only within the approved ritual. After all, it is the Church's prayer, not his. I'm not sure what I will do about this but it is not right to let it go. I have to come up with something.
1/8/14: Pope Francis is remarkable. I will give him that. But his impact on my priests is a problem. He is encouraging the ones who have criticized me and I feel some pressure to imitate his style. I can hear it in the comments of people when I go to a parish and they ask about Francis and my reaction. One lady in Waterloo had the gall to ask if I was going to move out of my house. I even sense a change in some of my pastors who have been loyal to me, including Bernie, my Vicar General. They're switching some of their personal loyalty to Francis. I can feel the tension when I talk with some of the other Bishops too. We don't know where we stand any more. The wheels are coming off my career and I may end up here in Mt. Vernon for a very long time. Here's the worst part: I know some of my priests want me gone and they think Francis is giving them a reason to get rid of me. Little do they know!
2/3/14: Fr. Schilling called me today and he now wants out of Vienna. The people are nice but it is too small and there's not enough for him to do. I told him absolutely not!
Bishop Schneider's Priests - Church Chat #102, February 12, 2014
Meet Bishop Schneider - Church Chat #101, January 26, 2014
Step by Step - Church Chat #100, January 7, 2014
A Christmas Wish - Church Chat #99, December 23, 2013
Survey - Church Chat #97, November 16, 2013
Church and Politics - Church Chat #95, October 11, 2013
Creed, Code, Cult - Church Chat #92, August 18, 2013
Rio Repeated - Church Chat #91, July 30, 2013
The Pope Francis Fan Club - Church Chat #90, July 12, 2013
A Priest Forever - Church Chat #89, June 21, 2013
People of Good Will - Church Chat #88, May 30, 2013
Urgency - Church Chat #87, May 6, 2013
Trickledown Papacy - Church Chat #86, April 16, 2013
Selection of a Pope - Church Chat #84, March 10, 2013
If I Only Knew Then - Church Chat #82, February 4, 2013
Suicide - Church Chat #81, January 16, 2013
'TIS NOT THE SEASON - Church Chat 80, December 17, 2012
Lunch - Church Chat 79, November 17, 2012
Revolution - Church Chat 78, October 29, 2012
Democracy - Church Chat 77, October 15, 2012
Religious Liberty - Church Chat 76, September 28, 2012
www.iamfrrowe.org - Church Chat 74, August 20, 2012
Feelings - Church Chat 72, July 10, 2012
Conscience - Church Chat 71, June 16, 2012
The Butler Did Not Do It - Church Chat 70, June 2, 2012
The Vatican Catholic Church - Church Chat 69, May 17, 2012
Schism - Church Chat 67, April 25, 2012
Fear - Church Chat 67, April 16, 2012
Holy Week - Church Chat 66, April 5, 2012
Church, Inc. - Church Chat 64, March 1, 2012
Loyalty to ? - Church Chat, February 16, 2012
The New World - Church Chat #62, February 6, 2012
Big Stuff, Little Stuff - Church Chat #60, January 20, 2012
Resolutions - Church Chat of December 29, 2011
New Liturgy Christmas - Church Chat of December 12, 2011
Doctrine versus Mission - Church Chat of November 25, 2011
The Diocese of Penn State - Church Chat of November 15, 2011
The Episcopal Woodshed - Church Chat of October 29, 2011
The Global South Model for All Catholicism? - Church Chat of October 18, 2011
Prophets With a Smile - Church Chat of October 4, 2011
Choices - Church Chat of September 20, 2011
There's Gotta Be More - Church Chat of September 5, 2011
Gaps - Church Chat of August 7, 2011
What If It's Narcissism? - Church Chat of November 24, 2010