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NZ Catholics consulted on new bishop

Catholics on the South Island of New Zealand are being offered a rare opportunity to participate in the consultation for a successor to Bishop Len Boyle.

The gesture is the initiative of Bishop Boyle (pictured), who has decided to include parishioners and priests in the process for what is believed to be the first time in New Zealand.

The letter announcing Bishop Boyle's resignation after 19 years as Bishop of Dunedin diocese was read at parishes in the diocese last month. It was followed two weeks later by another letter asking the diocesan pastoral council and the priests' council to make submissions under specified terms of reference as to his successor.

Bishop Boyle said submissions are to be made to the chairman of the diocesan council, Hamish Leckie of Invercargill, or to the chairperson of the priests' council, Fr Michael Dooley of Mosgiel.

"We are not looking for names but for something like an identikit of a bishop, with reference to the state of the diocese and the needs of the diocese," he said. "People may be concerned on issues like liturgy or justice and peace and this is a chance for these issues to be heard."

Bishop Boyle said his next letter to parishes would be to ask for prayers to enable his successor to be found. He is amused when some people say they would like another bishop just like him.

"We're not into cloning," he says. "It could be that we need a new man for a new day and the challenges it brings. God will bring him to us."

NZ Catholic

St Joseph's Cathedral, Dunedin NZ | The Most Reverend Leonard A. Boyle D.D.
The Catholic Church in New Zealand

8 Oct 2002