Wednesday, July 29, 2009
New Temporary Bishop - Allentown - John Barres
The RC Diocese of Allentown Pennsylvania is getting a new temporary bishop tomorrow. He is John Oliver Barres and will be installed in that Protestant Church looking Cathedral of St. Catherine of Sienna.
I say temporary because let’s face it folks, he is 48, has an MBA from NYU. This is his first Bishop’s assignment. He is not going to get buried in Allentown. He is obviously being groomed for bigger and better things in his and the RC Church’s future.
They got rid of 47 churches right before he arrived. He is freshly assigned from his duties as Chancellor in the Wilmington Delaware Diocese. If you look at timelines, they put Cullen’s retirement on hold for over a year while they sorted out the church property fire sale while the young chancellor could finish filing all those many, 150 or more, Clergy abuse cases under the recent two year window of extending the statute of limitations on those crimes in Delaware. That is what diocese chancelleries do – handle all the legal paperwork of the diocese?
Monsignor may have only xeroxed the legal paperwork that got handed over to church lawyers. Do you think he actually read any of it? Or participated in the sorting of abuse lawsuits into categories, easily resolved, disputed, to be negotiated, to be settled out of court, to be sent to trial etc.? I am a cynic. Forgive me folks.
So like I said, this only looks like a temp assignment for the new green MBA bishop. Archbishop of some bigger American city is likely next.
Of course, maybe Allentown is a potential hotspot or just a convenient landing spot for Barres. Recently, there were whispers of rumors that the Pennsylvania Legislature might adopt a similar to Delaware, but only for one year, extension of the statute of limitations on clergy abuse. But they were only whispers. But if that should happen, Bishop John would be mighty handy to handle any legal paperwork up there in Allentown and for the Province of Philadelphia (all of Pennsylvania).
Of course I don’t think there is much substance to the rumors that the Allentown Diocese is going to be absorbed into Scranton. But one nevers knows, do one?
Congratulations on your new temporary job assignment in Allentown, Bishop John Oliver Barres.