Saturday, May 08, 2004

Bishop-Elect Robert J. McManus - Diocese of Worcester, MA

Worcester Diocese wants to make certain every priest, parishioner, and Catholic politician in the county understands precisely what it means to be a Catholic. "Rejecting that teaching can have certain spiritual consequences," said Bishop Robert J. McManus, who views his new role as a way to help solidify authentic Catholic identity. McManus said he also wants local Catholic politicians to know when they stray from church teaching, especially on issues that have the highest "moral valence." "The most fundamental human right is the right to life, and it is most obviously attacked by abortion," McManus said. "You become complicit in doing evil, and that's a very serious matter." . . . McManus traveled to the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and wrote a 500-page thesis on the relationship between the church and Catholic politicians in America. His conclusion: For a public official to say he or she is "personally opposed" to an issue, such as abortion, but promote any policy that deviates from that belief, is "absolutely unacceptable." McManus, 52, is the auxiliary bishop of Providence, and will be installed on Friday to replace retiring Bishop Daniel P. Reilly, 75. He said during an interview in his native city that he hopes to inspire the faithful in the diocese by encouraging "psychologically and emotionally sound men" to enter the priesthood. "One of my main concerns in Worcester is I really am going to put a lot of my efforts into promoting vocations into the priesthood," McManus said. "The vibrancy of a parish, the vibrancy of a church, depends on a vibrant priesthood." [SOURCE: Bishop-Elect Knocks Politicians, by Matt O'Brien. Sentinel and Enterprise. May 8, 2004.