Christchurch waits for new bishop to approve Cathedral re-build


The Catholic diocese of Christchurch is waiting for the appointment of a new Bishop to get approval  for the restoration of the earthquake damaged Cathedral.

“We are ready to go in a sense, but we can’t do anything that compromises the bishop’s decision,” said the administrator of the Christchurch Diocese Fr Rick Loughnan.

He said the process of appointing a new bishop was being organised by the papal nuncio, Archbishop Martin Krebs.

“I have no idea where the process is. The process is done in secret,” Loughnan said.

“[Krebs] sets out to find who may be suitable. He draws up some names and then sends them out to people who might know those people.”

“He sends three names to Rome where they are discussed by a congregation. They make a recommendation to the Pope, who makes the final decision.”

The process could take “quite a long time”.

Loughnan said they are going to propose to the new bishop that they restore the cathedral, possibly with some new lightweight materials in some places.

He says they are confident that they can raise money needed.

Consultants had been appointed to help with the fundraising effort for the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament along with parish buildings and new churches.

The diocese has about $30m for the $100m cathedral restoration project.

Loughnan said the remaining $70 million could be raised in the diocese, overseas and in the local community.


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