Bishop Selection Input for the Diocese of Cleveland

Cleveland Catholics Offering Input on the Selection of the Next Bishop for the Diocese

On December 28, 2016, Bishop Richard Lennon announced that he would step down as bishop in the Diocese of Cleveland.  We pray his retirement will be a peaceful one.

Bishop Daniel E. Thomas of the Diocese of Toledo  will serve as Apostolic Administrator in the interim until a new bishop is selected -- ultimately by Pope Francis.

The Rich History of Lay Involvement in Bishop Selection in Cleveland

As the bishop selection process unfolds it is important to remember the rich history of the Diocese of Cleveland of lay involvement.  

In 1967, in the spirit of Vatican II, Bishop Clarence G. Elwell confidently called on all diocesan Catholics to offer their wisdom on the most suitable candidates for the task of serving as bishop.  

In 1978, Bishop James A. Hickey asked for recommendations for episcopal candidates from "priests, diocesan and religious, representatives of religious women, religious brothers, and members of the lay Catholic community." 

As our history shows, the episcopal selection process is strengthened when there is wide consultation with the faithful.  Canon Law encourages Catholics to make their views on matters concerning the good of the Church known to Church leaders, and enshrines their right also to make their views known to the wider Catholic community (can.212:2.3).  

Some Options (A or B) for Offering Your Input

A.  Consider writing a letter to the acting Apostolic Administrator, Bishop Daniel E. Thomas.  It is important to also send a copy of that letter to the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Christophe Pierre since he is a key figure in the episcopal appointments.  The addresses are below.

1.  Your letter should include:  (here is a sample for you to modify as needed)

2.  Address your letter to:

The Most Reverend Daniel E. Thomas
Apostolic Administrator of Cleveland
Diocese of Cleveland
1404 East 9th Street 
Cleveland, Ohio 44114

3.  Send a copy your letter, making sure you include all identifying information (name, address, diocese, parish) to the Apostolic Nuncio. As stated above, this is an important step. 

The Most Reverend Christophe Pierre
Apostolic Nunciature
3339 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 2008-3610

B. If you wish to send your input directly to the Apostolic Nuncio online, there is a link set up at Voice of the Faithful to accomplish that. Voice of the Faithful has communicated with the Apostolic Nuncio and has been assured that all input will be received and reviewed.  Note:  Your input will be sent to the Apostolic Nuncio only and will not be sent to the current Apostolic Administrator for the Diocese of Cleveland, Bishop Daniel E. Thomas.

To access the VOTF tool CLICK HERE or go to

Finally, please share this information with others in your parish community and, because FutureChurch's mission is deeply rooted in the Vatican II vision of lay engagement in the life of the Church, we would love to hear if you decided to send a letter regarding the bishop selection process.  Please let us know by sending us an email to  

Thank you for all you do to ensure the future health of the church we love.  May the Holy Spirit inspire Pope Francis, all those involved in the process, and each and every one of you as the selection of our next bishop unfolds.  (December 29, 2016)