Sunday, October 10, 2010

A model bishop

I have been critical of bishops on here before when they either fail to stand up for the faith or else (in some lamentable cases) actively work to undermine it. I think it is right to call bishops on these problems, if it is done in a spirit of charity. Too often bishops get a pass on the stupidest things and are let off with lame excuses ("Well, the episcopacy is a complex matter; we can't possibly understand the strain they must be under" - see here).

But because pointing out the obvious shortcomings of the episcopal college can lead to depression if unchecked, it is important to balance critiques with praises when we come across bishops who are truly excellent. We are blessed to have such a bishop in our diocese, and I want to use this forum to honor and praise him for his wonderful management of the Diocese of Lansing and his fidelity to tradition.

I am speaking, of course, of the Most Reverend Earl Boyea. Bishop Boyea has only been pastor of our Diocese for two years, but he has done some wonderful things in that time. Among his accomplishments:

  • Dismissed certain problematic members of the diocesan staff who had been there for years and were responsible for a lot of the nonsense that came out of Lansing.

  • Publicly celebrated the Extraordinary Form of the Mass both before and after his elevation to the episcopate.

  • Asked that the EF of the Mass be made available in every major city in the diocese. It was this request that has led to the monthly celebration of the EF in my own parish, with more frequent celebrations planned in the near future.

  • At the recent convocation, Bishop Boyea, ordered his priests to stop changing the words of the Mass prayers and instructed them to make wider use of chant.

  • Provided education and instruction to his priests on the upcoming Missal translation, thus making the transition to the new Missal smoother and showing himself a supporter of the superior language of the upcoming translation. A diocesan wide plan for January is also in the works to prepare people for the change.

  • Promoted a return to a truly sacred music within the diocese.

  • Personally visited every parish and scrutinized their financial records, commending those parishes who are living within their means and chastising those whose reckless spending has thrown them into a spiral of debt.

  • Promoted a faithful priest who is supportive of homeschooling to be Superintendent of Catholic Schools.

I'm sure there is more than just this - this is the things I can come up with off the top of my head. It is very important to commend these excellent bishops as model pastors, just as St. Charles Borromeo was commended in his day as a model bishop and was subsequently imitated by bishops the world over, to the glory of God and the reformation of the Church.

Here is your chance to share something positive about your bishops - what exemplars of episcopal fidelity do you know of out there who deserve praise? Leave their names in the combox and the reason why they deserve commendation. They do not need to be your own bishop.


Anselm said...

Is it sheer coincidence that you posted this on the very day that His Excellency himself offered Holy Mass according to the traditional form of the Roman Rite as part of the official inauguration of the Lansing based EF-only Community of Blessed John XXIII? A happy day for the city (and diocese) of Lansing. Check out the new community at

Maureen said...

Our pastor, preciously critical of the upcoming liturgical changes, came back from the convocation totally pumped up and excited about the changes.