New bishop for Birmingham?

It would appear the diocese of EWTN (errr…Birmingham) will finally be getting a bishop to replace David Foley.

Reading between the lines it sounds like it’s going to be Bishop Baker of Charleston…

News conference is tomorrow morning according to some reports.

Its now official:

This morning Pope Benedict XVI named Bishop Robert Joseph Baker as the new Bishop of Birmingham, Alabama.

The diocese had been vacant since the retirement of Bishop David Edward Foley in May 2005.

Bishop Baker had been serving as Bishop of Charleston, South Carolina.

Anyone else think that EVENTUALLY we’re going to need to start ordaining a new bishop or two in this country…it seems like the majority of the vacancies the last couple of years are going to current bishops…just creating an endless cycle of vacancies.

I rejoice for Bishop Baker and for Birmingham and for EWTN; but please PRAY for Charleston, SC, now bereft of her very holy and gracious bishop.

That is happening. New Bishop Fiores in Detroit for example. He is definitely a keeper.

And it won’t be long (few years maybe) before Fr Riccardo is elevated.

It would be nice to have a real bishop in Lansing next. Bishop Mengeling tells all that he is retired and that is that… replacement or not.


You help make my point though…Bishop Mengeling is nearly two years past the retirement age for bishops…Cardinal Maida is a year and a half past it…Bishop Murray in Kalamazoo is either there or getting there…

There are 8 dioceses across the country with no ordinary…and with Birmingham receiving Bishop Baker…there will still be 8 dioceses across the country with no ordinary…with Green Bay’s bishop going to Pittsburgh…8 vacancies.

So apparently no one can retire…because we just keep shuffling bishops from post to post.

I would rather there be no bishop is some cases, than seeing what some of the shepherds of the church are doing… or rather not doing.

It’s not healthy for a diocese to not have a bishop. A bishop is the most direct link we have to the original twelve apostles. It is very difficult for a diocese to move forward in any way without a bishop.

It is very difficult for a diocese to move forward in any way without a GOOD bishop.

Witness some of the ones we have and have had in Michigan alone.


Oh come now…stop being so passive aggressive.

The dioceses of Michigan have been well served by a number of very good bishops over the years…including the ones that you’re convinced led their flocks astray…something you and I will never agree on.

Actually, I think MrS has a point about some of the bishops in Michigan.

For example, take a look at the Bishop of Gaylord, who has just announced that all Masses must be celebrated in English. I am sure that the Hispanics and the Traditionalists are equally upset with him.

See Father Z’s blog.

Or Catholic World News write up

But I like what CWN wrote about the new Bishop of Birmingham. They called him a “friend of EWTN.”

I feel Bishop Bakear is going to be good for the surrounding area including EWTN. He is a mover and a shaker he knows how to raise funds and has a lot of new and inovative ideas. He was our pastor and he got a lot done for the St Augustine area. He was the driving force behind the Communicato Cenacelo which is a drug and alcohol rehab facility (way of Life in Jesus). It is based on divine providence. We now have 3 houses here in St Augustine. So if we want to work in God’s way in the 21st Centrury Bishop Bob is your man.

Darned Alabama bishop stealers. Bp. Baker has been very good for South Carolina and we sure hate to see him go. You’re getting a good man. Even the local newspaper had good things to say about him in the departure article.

Ditto - Just read about this moments ago, and it is a real blow to the Diocese. Bishop Baker is definitely a clergy who lives AND loves his vocation - We need to pray for a speedy replacement and just as dedicated a bishop. The diocese has definitely thrived under his leadership.

I would just like to mention something of a positive note. The pastor at a church in St. Paul, Minnesota has been appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to the Diocese of Superior Wisconsin. He was a parish pastor and has been made a bishop. I bring this in simply to indicate that not all new bishops are being shuffled from auxiliary bishop to bishop in order to fill vacancies. The current bishop of Superior is resigning due to age. Hopefully more such pastors can be appointed bishops.

Here’s a few stats for the USA so far this year:

Bishop Resignations/Retirements:
6 Ordinaries
2 Auxiliaries

New Bishops:
9 Ordinaries
2 Auxiliaries
1 Coadjutor
1 Succeeded (Coadjutor -> Ordinary)

Bishop Ordinations:
2 Ordinaries (includes the 1 in September)
3 Auxiliaries

So obviously the majority of new bishops were existing bishops that were moved.

Here’s the overall view:

Currently Vacant: 10
Ordinaries Over 75: 12
Auxiliaries Over 75: 2
(and those reaching the retirement age in the next year: 6 Ordinaries)

So essentially the USA needs 22 bishops right now and another 6 in the next year (not counting auxiliaries).

If I’m not mistaken, Baker was a priest in St. Augustine before being moved to Charleston and made bishop.

That is correct - A priest friend who knew him down there said we were really getting a keeper. (but apparently not…:shrug: )

New Bishop from South Carolina

Being on the receiving end for Bishop Baker, it is sure nice to read that he will be missed at his current station. Bishop Foley has been handling the administrative duties of the diocese even though he was retired. It’s nice that we finally have someone full-time now.

As for new bishops, our pastor, in jest, has stated that a young priest that recently left as our chaplain to the high school to go to Bham in some canon law capacity, is going to be a bishop one day. So, be on the lookout for the future Bishop Bazzell. I hope Fr. Mike is correct. Fr. Bazzell is great.

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