Catholics tell pope’s ambassador what kind of bishop they want!

French Catholics bishop

A group of French Catholics have written to Pope Francis’ ambassador describing the qualities they expect their next bishop to possess.

Some 50 laypeople are seeking to influence the type of person who will be appointed to replace Roland Minnerath, the current Archbishop of Dijon.

Msgr Minnerath turned 75 on Saturday, the age when bishops are expected to submit their resignation to the pope.

“We expect our next bishop to be ‘a fellow traveler and a brother’, at a time when the synod launched by Pope Francis is opening in the Church,” say the Catholics of Dijon in a letter to Archbishop Celestino Migliore.

Archbishop Migliore, the Apostolic Nuncio to France, will play a key role in proposing candidates to succeed Archbishop Minnerath.

The group, from 16 different parishes and 25 Catholic movements, was formed when Pope Francis published his Letter to the people of God in August 2018. Their mission is “To understand what it means to follow Christ today and to try to put it into practice”.

They decided to take advantage of the impending appointment of a new bishop to express several ideas for a new way of governance in the archdiocese. They also want a closer examination of the recommendations made by the Independent Commission on Sexual Abuse in the Church (CIASE).

“With him (the next archbishop), we would like to build an organization that is at the service of these communities, putting in place, wherever necessary, transparency and safeguards that prevent abuse and control over people and minds,” specifies the letter to the nuncio.

The tone of the text is warm and addresses Archbishop Migliore as “dear brother”. In the letter, the signatories express a type of “offer of service” by proposing to the future bishop to entrust missions to professionals, particularly human resources and financial management.


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