Thursday, January 24, 2008

We Have A NEW Bishop

Appointed Msgr. James Vann Johnston of the clergy of Knoxville, U.S.A., chancellor and moderator of the diocesan curia, as bishop of Springfield - Cape Girardeau (area 66,586, population 1,248,000, Catholics 64,900, priests 128, permanent deacons 13, religious 222), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in Knoxville in 1959 and ordained a priest in 1990. He succeeds Bishop John J. Leibrecht, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
From the 'Kansas City Catholic' blog:
a letter from a parishioner in Knoxville Tennessee.......

Fr. Johnston, a bright canon lawyer (and former electrical engineer) is absolutely orthodox and straight-down-the-line in support of Faith and Pope. This has shown up in an unusual way in his practice of correcting (in following responses) any heterodox claims made in letters to our diocesan biweekly.

This appointment is great news for everyone in Springfield-Cape Girardeau who loves properly and reverently celebrated liturgy, including those who seek the traditional Latin Mass. He has been a warm and encouraging chancery friend of the Knoxville Latin Mass community, and probably was largely responsible for our original indult.

It is a special loss for the parish where he was just appointed pastor about six months ago, and in that short time the daily Masses I attend have been completely "squared away" (Roman Canon on all feasts and solemnities, etc.), new more traditional hymnals have been ordered, altar servers now wear cassocks and surplices, hold communion patens and receive on the tongue, and discussion has been initiated about moving the tabernacle back to a central position behind the altar.

It is gratifying to see a priest like Fr. Johnston plucked out a remote location like ours and appointed to the episcopacy, but his departure will be a personal loss to everyone here who knows him well. Not least in that -- his so clearly being episcopal timber -- so many of us were hoping he would be staying here as our own new bishop....

read full letter here

more information here