Bishop Barnes Invites Lay Input on Successor

With his mandatory retirement just two and a half years from now, Bishop Gerald Barnes of the diocese of San Bernardino wants parish members of the diocese to give their input:

You have a say… I’m proposing that before I send anything to Rome, that I consult with the parishes. In the next few months we’re going to come up with a tool to do that.

At this year’s Combined Vicariate meetings in February, Bishop Barnes explained the process of choosing a new Bishop and even though the final decision comes from the Pope, there is much consultation that takes place. He has called the Catholic faithful of the Diocese of San Bernardino to reflect on the history of the diocese and understand its needs going into the future.

There were two breakout sessions during the Combined Vicariate meetings, one on racism and the other on the San Bernardino youth in the Church.

H/T: Inland Catholic Byte


  1. I admire the bishop for even going through the efforts of accumulating information and, I have to presume, submitting his findings to the Holy See.

    The Holy See will examine the recommendations of Bishop Barnes and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit see to it that the proper politically connected bishop be appointed to replace the retiring bishop.

  2. Methinks Roger is a prophet, but at least the invitation for input from the “merely” baptized is a step forward. Who knows, perhaps a name or two might surface that coincides with one of the connected clergy on file in Washington.

    1. I think the new nuncio probably is not taking too much stock on any lists on file in Washington and also does not fall prey to those who influence pedal from the politicaly connected who I have read used to get a name on the terna that goes to Rome. Francis was careful in his choice of nuncio for the US

    2. No prophet….just been to the rodeo. Regarding the Nuncio, he does what he’s told, or ceases to be the new Nuncio. He did not advance to that position by staying at home and saying his rosary.

      All under the guidance of the Holy Spirit of course 😉

      1. And under this pope those lists that were on file are now meaningless. The kind of people he wants for bishops are not the kind of men money, power, or influence can buy and that, unfortunately, was what got a name on the list under previous nuncios. That is no longet how it works. Francis, in fact, has been known to send the lists back to the Congregation for Bishops specifically requesting they find people who have pastoral backgrounds. In other words someone who has some sheep smell to him.

  3. Reyanna

    There appears to have been a dramatic reduction under Pope Francis in what might be called the billiard table approach to episcopal appointments. Under his two predecessors, it was very common to see a macher priest, as it were, appointed as an auxiliary, then if he demonstrated ability and had the backing of sufficient patron(s), appointed as ordinary to some distant small diocese to which he had little or no connection when an opening arose and possibly up the prelatial ladder in due course, with small dioceses apparently treated mostly as “proving grounds” in administrative/governance terms rather than primarily in pastoral terms.

    Pope Francis appears to have more of preference than his predecessors towards keeping some stronger connections between episcopal appointments and the relevant diocese or metropolitan province.

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