Saturday, July 25, 2009

Bishop Moth

I heard this as a rumour a few days ago.
Monsignor Richard Moth, currently the Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Southwark, is to be the next Bishop of the Forces, the Vatican announced at 1100 BST on Saturday 25 July.

The provisional date for his ordination and installation is 29 September 2009.
It is good when I hear of students who were with me at the seminary being made bishop. He was straight down the line as a student, as Mgr Jim McConon, our Rector used to say, "Show me the student and I will show you the priest".
Congratulations to Mgr Moth.


epsilon said...

Wouldn't it be great if he's so down the line that he made a stand against all these senseless bloody wars that are continuing to kill and maim our young men and women, not a mind to say desecrating whole communities who have never done anything to us, and in the process creating enemies ready and willing to take extreme action against us?

ffn said...

Excellent News

Gladiatrix said...

I am sure Archbishop Moth is a good man, but as a Southwark resident (albeit non-Catholic) I could wish that he had looked after the RC church's buildings in the Archdiocese. There is a hall where I live that could be a really thriving community centre, but is instead mouldering away with windows literally hanging by threads. It has had no investment and people don't dare bring it to the church's attention in case it is sold to a developer.

gemoftheocean said...

Ep: Hitler hadn't done any harm to England either.... too bad Chamberlain's little piece of paper didn't mean squat in the end, did it? You can only ignore a tyrant so long.

On another note, am I mistaken, or are there relatively few priests made monsignori in the UK?

Flabellum said...

VGs generally get made monsignori, otherwise it varies greatly from diocese to diocese. Unlike the US, as I understand, each diocese has a chapter of Canons, and that is often the way local worthies are honoured.

gemoftheocean said...

Hi Flebellum, thanks for the info re: monsigniori. We have canons here to for each diocese. But being made a monsigneur is the typical way of recognizing a priest here.

justacatholic said...


Actually, it varies from bishop to bishop as they are the ones who recommend recipients of papal honours e.g. Monsignori of the various ranks, Papal knighthoods/damehoods and medals. VGs are almost universally made Mgr by virtue of their 'Ordinary' power.

However, some bishops (usually those of a particularly liberal leaning) just don't 'do' Papal honours, thus denying their priests and lay faithful of due recognition by His Holiness.

Fr Ray Blake said...

As it says on the top right hand corner
""Anonymous" comments are always rejected."

servingblogger said...

As someone who is serving in the Armed Forces and is a Catholic (oh, and church going !) I have a perspective on this new appointment. I haven’t a clue who Bishop-Elect Moth is, never met him, and so can’t say much about him. However, I have been reflecting on the way we get new bishops. Essentially, we are given them. No bishop one day, then one suddenly appears. He comes from on high, appointed by the Holy See. The process by which he emerges is covered in secrecy and fog, and I’m not really sure how the Holy See comes to the decision as to who is the best person for the role. Most certainly, no one asked me. I doubt whether most of us who make up this Diocese were asked. I think that’s the way it is. I do wonder how people in the pew feel when they are suddenly told that they have a new bishop, priest or whatever. We are expected to be grateful and welcome the new incumbent. The Church presumably knows best, and we take what we are given. I’m increasingly uneasy about that. It smacks of paternalism ... “There you are, now, here’s the bishop we’ve decided we’re giving you and you will unquestioningly accept him and be happy with our decision”.

I don’t say any of this in any way against the new bishop. He’s just been told he’s going to do the job. Although, I suspect that he will be quite pleased with himself, notwithstanding formulaic protestations about his unworthiness which will be forthcoming. I just feel uneasy about a process that for the most part ignores the people whose bishop he is to be. We don’t get asked. We just get asked to pray. I guess in the belief that God will guide the Church to appoint the right person. Ever thought that God might chose to speak more directly through the voice of the people who are the Church ? So why not ask us directly ? I remember from my history studies that one of the main ways in which the Papacy over the centuries has secured its authority over the Church has been by reserving to itself the appointment of bishops, making them dependent on and answerable to the Holy See. It wasn’t always that way. Bishops in the early Church were acclaimed by the people, chosen by the local church. Until the Papacy started to flex its muscles and take control. Many of the powers and privileges that the Papacy takes to itself were not always taken for granted. The Papacy worked hard to get them, and keep them. Much of it has to do with power and authority. Occasionally Rome gets a bit of shock. I recall that in the last few years the clergy and people of a diocese in Switzerland were not happy with the bishop given to them, and Rome had to change its mind. I don’t necessarily want Rome to change its mind, but I would have liked somebody to have asked me what I thought would be the kind of person I / we / the faithful wanted to be our bishop. But nobody did, and there was no mechanism available for me to express an opinion. That doesn’t seem right. And as one of the praying and paying faithful in the pew, I wonder why I've been left out of this decision and have been handed a fait accompli. Just doesn't seem right to me. Oh, I know someone will tell me that the Church isn't a democracy and the mind of the Church comes through in the decisions and actions of a centralised Papacy and Curia. I just don't buy it.

Oh well, having had my gripe about the process and the way the Church does things, we will welcome the new bishop. I guess it’s not his fault. He'll have a fine time as Bishop to HM Forces, and we will be nice to him, and look after him well. And we will keep putting our money on the plate, and going to Mass on Sunday and doing all the things we do to keep the Church going in this bit of life.

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