Welcome Bishop Farrell!
Today, we received the news that Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Bishop Kevin Joseph Farrell, an auxiliary Bishop of Washington D.C., to head the Diocese of Dallas.

The appointment of a new Bishop had been expected for some time and this morning a press conference was held at the Cathedral de Guadalupe to welcome the new Bishop and introduce him to the diocese.

Bishop Farrell (who is technically the Bishop - Elect of the Diocese of Dallas, Bishop Grahmann, whose resignation has been accepted by the Holy Father, is now the Apostolic Administrator) mentioned that he was essentially new to the Diocese, did not know too much about it and did not come with any kind of pastoral plan to lay out.

In his soft spoken voice, he commented that he was looking forward to the opportunity to work with the people of the Diocese on the "road to holiness."

I had the opportunity to meet him before the press conference and when I introduced myself and said I was representing the Catholic Pro-Life Committee, his eyes lit up and he gave a surprised "oh."

Some of the media questions focused on the issues that the media cares about (some might say obsessed with) like the ordination of women and the role of the laity in the church, but most of them were fair questions. I do think there was a general feeling of wanting to be welcoming and wanting to give him an opportunity to present himself.

Dave Palmer from KATH 910 AM asked the Bishop what his opinion was on the life issues. The Bishop looked at him and said (I'm paraphrasing here)that it was the most fundamental issue of our time and that the Church has to make a strong defense for the right to life, from conception to natural death.

There is a lot of speculation and rumor about why Bishop Farrell left the Legionaries of Christ in 1984. He was asked this question at the press conference today and he responded that he had "intellectual differences" with the Legionaries and I get the impression that he simply wanted to be a parish Priest.

Afterwards, I was interviewed by Jeff Brady from Channel 8 News and he asked me what I though about the Bishop's response. I told Jeff that I did expect Bishop Farrell to continue the great work in the pro-life movement that Bishop Grahmann started and that since the Roe decision began here in Dallas, that we need to make a big effort to end it here.

His official installation date is Tuesday, May 1st and will take place at the Cathedral. No time was given. Bishop Grahmann plans to go fishing more often now and plans to spend his retirement with the poor.

I will be posting more at this blog about Bishop Farrell and the hopefully great things to come in the future and will especially be monitoring the coverage by the mainstream media to make sure they are acting fairly.

Click here for the full bio and coat of arms of Bishop Kevin Joseph Farrell.

Vatican Information Press Release

Dallas Morning News - Top Priorities for Bishop Farrell

NBC Channel 5 article - Linked here. There is some preoccupation with the "scandal" in this article and it is mentioned several times. Wish there could be a little more balance. BTW, the people clapping at the Bishop's remarks were mostly Chancery staff and lay Catholics involved in ministry from around the diocese. Very few parishioners of the Cathedral actually present.

Update 10:50 pm: Diogenes from Catholic World News pipes in about the resignation of Bishop Grahmann. Since the Pro-Life Committee, which Bishop Grahmann started, began sidewalk counseling in 1997, more than 2,000 babies have been saved from abortion. I wonder if any other Bishop, or any other organization on the planet, has compiled such a record?

03-07-07 Video of the press conference from WFAA's Jeff Brady. Good overview of situation and a short clip of Patricia Sherk. Jeff mentioned that Dallas is the ground zero for Roe v. Wade, which I explained to him when I spoke to him.

03-08-07 Here, here and here are some articles written by the Dallas Morning News about our new Bishop. Most of them are focused on how Bishop Farrell will handle the aftermath of the "scandal" and what he will do with the Hispanics and the seeming lack of vocations.

There are other things that the Bishop will be concerned with, of course, and I imagine that his homily at the installation Mass will be significant and may possibly lay out either his thinking about his role as a Bishop or some kind of pastoral plan that he said he would not talk about at the press conference. Either way the point is, be there on Tuesday, May 1st for the installation mass. Early.



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