Friday, January 06, 2006


His Excellency Anthony Pilla, Bishop of Cleveland (my diocese, at home!) has sent a letter to the Vatican asking to be allowed to retire. He refused to get into specifics about why, but he has had a lot of serious health problems in the past. He is two years younger than the usual retirement age of 75, but it's not unheard of for bishops to make an early exit. He is celebrating his 25th anniversary as Bishop of Cleveland on Friday; maybe he just wanted to hold on for the qaurter-century mark.

Bishop Pilla is far from my favorite bishop. Like many, he handled sexual abuse cases horribly, and he was generally pretty weak when it came to the liturgy (i.e. he is one of the bishops who have decided that we should not kneel when we return to the pews after receiving Holy Communion - which, of course, I cooperate with, for the sake of obedience). He also was ineffectual in the face of rank disobedience and heresy - for instance, FutureChurch, a particularly miserable organization, meets in his diocese on Church property!

Still, I always got the impression that the Bishop, personally, tried hard to be a pious man. I think he is very shy and introverted and just lacked the will to really stand up to people. Which is no excuse, of course, when one is at the head of a diocese.

I have't ever liked him or hardly any of his policies, but I still love him as my father in God - know what I mean? I have lived in the Cleveland area for about a dozen years, but I only heard him celebrate Mass twice, and I only met him once, when I shook his hand coming out of a sparsley attended Christmas morning Mass at the Cathedral. I really wanted to kiss his ring, but I'm pretty sure he wouldn't have liked that (sigh)! Up close, he looked like a very fatherly man.

May God bless him and keep him healthy in his retirement!

Here's the Free Republic thread, which details some of the worst problems in the diocese, and here's an excerpt from the AP:
CLEVELAND - The city's Roman Catholic bishop, who will celebrate 25 years in that post on Friday, has asked the Vatican to consider appointing his replacement.

Bishop Anthony Pilla declined to reveal the reasons for his retirement request, saying a letter he had written to the Vatican was private.

The date of his retirement is at the discretion of the Vatican, said Pilla, who is awaiting a response from Pope Benedict XVI and his staff.

"I have let the Holy See know that it would be good for the diocese," Pilla told The Plain Dealer for a story Thursday.

1 comment:

  1. Good riddance!

    There's some things, Maggie, that you don't know about the Least Reverend Tony Pilla, things that are too terrible to post about. Seriously.

    Rejoice, for he is gone.