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Congratulations to Bishop Richard G. Lennon on his appointment to head the Diocese of Cleveland.
Bishop Lennon became Boston’s apostolic administrator at a time when the archdiocese was at its lowest point in history, after Cardinal Bernard F. Law submitted his resignation to the Holy Father in December of 2002.
He took the helm of a ship taking on water and began a process to try to restore trust between Catholics in the pews and the leadership of the Church. He also worked hard to bring together the Boston presbyterate that was deeply divided, demoralized and hurting because of the events of the preceding months.
When then-Archbishop O’Malley arrived in Boston six months later, many were expecting the Holy Father to appoint Bishop Lennon to head his own diocese immediately, after the titanic effort he made to keep the archdiocese from the distinct possibility of bankruptcy and, more importantly, spiritual implosion.
But, in a gesture of service that did not surprise those who know him well, he remained in the archdiocese as vicar general at the request of the archbishop and provided his advice and his profound knowledge of the archdiocese at a critical time for the Church in Boston.
The Holy Father has decided it is time for Bishop Lennon to continue his service to the Church elsewhere. Cleveland gains, above all, a bishop who will love his flock and his priests. They gain a man of faith and conviction who is not afraid of difficult decisions — after listening to all parties involved.
And, last but not least (perhaps to their dismay) Cleveland is getting a die-hard Red Sox fan!