Thursday, January 26, 2006

Good-bye Gumbleton

The pope is expected to accept the resignation of Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, who at 76 is past mandatory retirement age for bishops, according to the Detroit Free Press. A peace activist above all, Gumbleton is probably the most controversial living U.S. bishops--and I'd argue, one of the best.

Though his resignation probably won't mean a great deal to his ministry--I imagine he'll keep doing what he's been doing--whether he'll remain pastor of St. Leo's Parish in Detroit is up in the air. Adam Maida, archbishop of Detroit, would likely be glad to be rid of Gumbleton, so I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Gumbleton's retirement is a big loss for Catholic liberals; even though he was "only" an auxiliary, it was nice to know there was at least one bishop like him. With Ken Untener of Saginaw, Michigan, now two years dead, the U.S. hierarchy has lost its two leading liberal lights. There are a very few left.


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