It's official. Yeah, they haven't had the presss conference yet, but they don't have to. Rome is in an earlier time zone, so it's already been announced.
Monsignor Joseph Bambera has been named by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI as the tenth Bishop of Scranton. It would seem that Bambera was the front-runner all along according to my sources.
What will the good Monsignor inherit? A Diocese in shambles. Mass attendance is down, weekly contributions are down, the faithful are in despair, churches are closing, many of them this spring and summer, and the dismantled school system goes deeper in debt as parents pull their kids out.
Is Bambera the man for the job? I really couldn't tell you what his accomplishments have been. He has never stayed in any given assignment for very long, but he has always gotten the good ones. Now he's got the best one in the Diocese.
He's a "people person", and he's a "good guy", is what I am hearing. Is he concerned with the salvation of souls? Or is he mainly concerned with the financial life of the Diocese? Has he been promoted beyond his ability? Let's pray the answer is "no".
I'm sure one of his first tasks will be to reinstate the teachers union and Michael Milz. Pretty much the first thing he did after he became Delegate to Cardinal Rigali was to have a meeting with Milz which Milz declared was "very encouraging." Let's hope he puts placating a union on the back burner and deals with the crisis of faith in the Diocese first. We need a strong shepherd with a firm grasp on true Church teaching.
Let us pray that he first looks to the disenfranchised Catholics, and to those that have lost their faith and looks to the salvation of their souls. That is what a shepherd does. Let's see if he's up to the task. If not, it's going to be a long seventeen years.