...I am not sure but I am assuming we get a consultative vote soon on what we think of the next slate of priest assignments that would take effect the first week of July.
I have not seen the slate, but I am assuming that if it is something close to what I think it will be, I will not vote in favor of it for several reasons:
1) The vote is simply consultative, and so even if all the members voted against it, it could still be implemented
2) My spiritual director told me, when I was struggling over this past year or so, that St. Benedict said that as a priest or monk, you follow the assignment given to you by your superior, and if the assignment is bad/wrong, then that is on the superior. Well, I will never have anything to do with assigning any priest to two parishes
3) I also can not support leaving any/all of our Archdiocesan high schools without a full time diocesan priest
4) I also can not support leaving any/all of our colleges and universities without a full time diocesan priest
People might say here: "give it time, the situation of 108 Masses within 7 miles of Monument Circle will get fixed, but it takes time."
Sorry, but no.
I had Mass every Friday with Archbishop Buechlein at his home right up to the time he moved back to St. Meinrad. He said several times, in conversation, that he should have closed/reorganized parishes but that he just couldn't do it.
Archbishop Tobin pulled me aside when he first arrived at the Archdiocese and said "Fr. John, I know you pray, and I trust your feedback here. Are a lot of the younger guys upset that I didn't close enough parishes in our cities?" I told him Yes. He said that he felt like there were ways to fix the issues without closing parishes. 5 years later, we can say that nothing along those lines happened.
Granted both of those men are great father figures to me, and I can only imagine all the pressures a bishop is under.
But my spiritual director has given lots of retreats for bishops around the country, and he said that a lot of bishops around the country know what needs to be done, but lack the courage to do it.
Well, tending to the Lord's vineyard means at times having to prune things so that they can remain healthy.
Someone else might say "hey, our diocese is getting ready to go through a planning process to work on some of this." Pardon my skepticism, but we just finished a 7 year process that costs tens of thousands of dollars and saw the number of Indianapolis Masses go from 121 to 118...so that means we probably spent in excess of 10,000 dollars per Mass canceled.
If we need another "planning process" to cancel another three Indy Masses, then that would put us on pace for 20 more "planning processes" if we do in fact need to cut 60 Masses in Indy.
So we are currently on pace for losing three Masses every 8 years of planning, thus putting us on a 160 year path to getting close to what we need to do to make the Masses we offer line up with the number of people who are coming in the Indianapolis area.
Or, instead of taking 160 years, a shepherd can come in and fix it now.
But anyway, in the meantime, I would never symbolically vote for something that would give the appearance that I am somehow for the status quo