Fun fact to share at Friday's fish fry: half of our bishops are Benedict's

From the USCCB:

This month brings the sixth anniversary of the pope’s election — a brief length of time for an institution that “thinks in centuries” — yet of the178 Latin rite dioceses and archdiocese in the U.S., 86, or 48 percent of them, are headed by bishops appointed by this pope. Take into account the five or so vacant dioceses awaiting new bishops, the eight U.S. bishops currently serving past the retirement age of 75, as well as one coadjutor bishop, and Pope Benedict is poised to jump well past the halfway point.


  1. What does the other half look like? Machen sie schnell, bitte, Heilig Vater!!

  2. Deacon Norb says:

    Like Paul (Post #1), I think everyone in the pews prays to have the best possible bishop available as their own ordinary — at least they should.

    BUT, having said that, the Vatican has a fairly arcane process at work and — at least in modern times — there is no step for formal input from most folks in the pews.

    –Some bishops do send, on occasion, letters to various folks (priests, deacons, religious sisters. and laity) about which priests in their care they should be carefully “vetting” for possible promotion to bishop.

    –A very small but very vocal minority of folks do send unsoliticed letters to the appropriate officials and they make strong statements — pro or con — about various candidates for promotion.

    Once upon a time, there was an informal rule that you — as a priest — were informally in the hopper to become a bishop if a significant portion of your priestly career was spent in Vatican administration — the Curia. In essence, The “Good Ol’ Boys Club.” Your academic degrees had to be in Dogmatic Theology, or Canon Law or even Church History but NEVER in Spirituality and RARELY in Sacred Scripture.

    I am sensing that “Papa-Ratzi” is doing something quite different. I am seeing more scholars and professors (of whatever academic field) and those with “down-in-the-trenches” pastoral experience named bishops than I had seen before. While those who depended upon their Curial experience to get their posting are not being demoted, they are definitely going to be outnumbered fairly soon.

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