Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Bishop of Walla Walla?

In 1848 the Holy See in Rome created the Diocese of Walla Walla and sent Father Blanchet to supervise the priests ministering to the religious needs of the Catholics of the region.

In those days Walla Walla was the jumping off place for people heading East to Idaho and Montana.
Later, as the rail era began and Walla Walla was bypassed by the mainline carriers, Spokane became the major city East of the mountains.

When a diocese of Spokane was formed Walla Walla Was incorporated into that organization.

The Bishop of Walla Walla became a Titular Office.

Apparently in the twenty century old Vatican machinery it is easier to create a diocese than to appoint a bishop.

I was visiting Washington, D.C. in 1984 when I saw a headline proclaiming the temporary head of the new diocese as the Bishop of Walla Walla. The title had bee dusted off for the occasion and awarded to Father Antonio Marino.

This same device was also used in Atlanta when a new diocese was formed there without a duly appointed full time Bishop.

Apparently the current Bishop of Walla Walla is Father Rozanski. I am not sure whether he has a job or is sitting on the bench.


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