Bishop George Lucas appointed to Archdiocese of Omaha

Catholic News Agency:

**Bishop George Lucas appointed to Archdiocese of Omaha

**Omaha, Neb., Jun 3, 2009 / 11:43 am (CNA).- Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Bishop George J. Lucas, 59, to serve as the new Archbishop of Omaha, after accepting the resignation of Omaha’s Archbishop Elden Curtiss.

Archbishop-Designate Lucas has served as the bishop of Springfield, Illinois for nearly ten years. In a news conference on Wednesday morning, he expressed his “joy and anticipation” at his new assignment, but said that it is mixed with sadness at having to leave Springfield, which he had come to call home.

Looking forward, Lucas said that he has been praying for his new diocese every day since he learned of his appointment. Regarding his new archdiocese, he said, “I am impressed by the strength of parish life and the value placed on Catholic education.”
“It is humbling to be given such responsibility by the Vicar of Christ, and I thank the Holy Father for this privilege,” Lucas said during the conference. “I look forward to learning about all of the ways in which the Gospel is preached and lived in the Archdiocese of Omaha. I have a great deal to learn, and you all have much to teach me.”

In his new assignment, Lucas will lead over 221,000 Catholics, 148 parishes and missions and 76 primary and secondary schools. His former diocese of Springfield was somewhat smaller, with about 170,000 Catholics, 164 parishes, and 62 parochial schools.

Curt Jester, Jimmy Akin and Orthometer have already gone to town with Star Wars jokes.

Ah man,

I love Bishop Lucas! I guess that means I won’t be able to visit him when I come home this fall…

Brother Scott
Apostle of the Interior Life (and fruit of the Springfield diocese!)

Which bishop did he replace?

Elden Curtiss

I always like his movies. :smiley:

Bishop Stephen Spielberg.:smiley:

Hi, I have lived in Springfield for 4 years and just wanted to add a little Star Wars-free commentary to this thread :slight_smile:

In my experience Bp. Lucas is a low-key kind of bishop who does what needs to be done without calling attention to himself or making a big fuss about it.

From talking to other people who’ve been here longer than me, I understand that when Bp. Lucas arrived here 10 years ago, this diocese was a mess… the previous bishop had ignored, and perhaps even condoned, numerous instances of sexual and financial abuses by priests; vocations were virtually nonexistent; and the diocese itself had a reputation nearly as bad as the political reputation of the state whose capital it is :frowning:

Well, Bp. Lucas improved things quite a bit; perhaps not as much as some would have liked, but significantly. He got past sex abuse cases dealt with in a reasonable manner, without bankrupting the diocese; instituted safe environment programs; and issued a report acknowledging past mistakes in handling such cases.

A couple of years ago, some outside consultants called in to examine Catholic schools recommended closing several Catholic schools in the city of Springfield. Among those recommended for closure was the Cathedral school itself, despite the fact that it was financially stable and well regarded in the community. Bp. Lucas said he would listen to input from local parishioners before making a final decision. They spoke up (loud and clear) and in the end, all the schools were allowed to stay open. :slight_smile:

He also started up a permanent diaconate program (we were one of the last dioceses in the country to get one) and implemented the Latin Mass Motu Proprio promptly; there are now Tridentine/Extraordinary Form Masses offered weekly in Springfield and Quincy.

I have also heard – only second hand, so I don’t know for sure if it’s true – that he banned Dick Durbin, the notoriously pro-abort Catholic U.S. Senator who lives in Springfield, from receiving Communion. If that is true, it’s never been made public to my knowledge. Perhaps he communicated his concerns to Durbin privately. A conservative Catholic blogger in Chicago claims that for this reason, Durbin attends Mass in Chicago or in D.C. whenever possible, and avoids doing so at home.

Anyway, I believe the Archdiocese of Omaha will be happy with their new bishop and I hope Springfield gets a good new bishop as well. :thumbsup:

This morning’s paper had a long piece about Bishop Lucas as they tried to describe his background from their secular/political point of view. Without saying it, the author went to great lengths to paint him as a “moderate.” I’m not claiming to know what that mean in this context, but that was the term that the article pointed to without actually using it.

Overall it wasn’t a bad article. It was very clear that he was a strict adherent to Church teaching (really, what Bishop isn’t?) but also went out of the way to paint a picture of a “nice” Bishop since he delivers his message “in a less harsh manner than many” and is non-confrontational.

I’m praying for the best. I’m of the mind that a bit of “confrontation” from the Bishops in the US might not be a bad thing.

May the good Fo… I mean Lord be with him!!. :thumbsup:

tcm, after reading the article in question, I think that by “moderate” they mean someone who’s not known for being highly controversial either in the liberal sense (a la Mahony, Hunthausen, Gumbleton, etc.) or in the conservative/traditionalist sense (a la Bruskewitz). There’s a lot of territory in between those two ends of the spectrum.

I have since discovered – from reading blog comments and other stuff posted elsewhere by people who’ve been in the Springfield-Illinois Diocese longer than me – that the situation when Bp. Lucas came was even worse than I had realized. Morale among priests was abysmal; the previous bishop was rather openly gay, and there was division of almost schismatic proportions going on among the clergy and laity here.

Some other commenters believe Bp. Lucas’ predecessor drove an entire generation of people out of the Church, and it will take another 10-20 years to fully undo the damage. Bp. Lucas at least got the process started. He had to concentrate on just making sure the Church in this diocese survived at all. His situation was in many ways comparable to that which St. Louis’ new Abp. Carlson had in Saginaw.

I have no inside information on who Springfield will get as a replacement, but I am hoping for someone fairly young (45-55), perhaps a spare auxiliary from another diocese, or a dynamic Monsignor from a vocation-rich diocese like Peoria or Arlington. Someone with a real desire to implement the “new evangelization”.

This thread is a duplicate of one started earlier:

Perhaps the moderator could merge them.

RATS!! I just hate being behind the 8 ball on this one!!!

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