Two N.Y. auxiliary bishops named; pope accepts auxiliary's resignation

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Washington — Pope Francis has appointed Msgr. Edmund J. Whalen, vicar for clergy for the Archdiocese of New York, and Msgr. Gerardo J. Colacicco, a parish pastor in Millbrook, New York, as auxiliary bishops for the New York Archdiocese.

He also accepted the resignation of Auxiliary Bishop John J. Jenik, who is 75, the age at which canon law requires bishops turn in their resignation to the pope.

The changes were announced in Washington Oct. 10 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

In October 2018, Jenik was removed from public ministry pending a Vatican review of a decades-old accusation of sexual abuse made against him, a claim he denies. He stepped down as pastor of Our Lady of Refuge Parish in the Bronx. He had been pastor there since 1985. He has been an auxiliary bishop since 2014.

Bishop-designate Whalen, 61, is a native of Staten Island, New York, and was principal of Msgr. Farrell High School there for eight years until he was named vicar of clergy this year. Bishop designate-Colacicco, 64, is a native of Poughkeepsie, New York, and has been pastor of St. Joseph-Immaculate Conception Parish in Millbrook since 2015.

New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan introduced the newly named prelates at a 7 a.m. Mass he celebrated with them in St. Patrick's Cathedral.

Also on the altar were New York Auxiliary Bishops John J. O'Hara and Peter J. Byrne, retired Auxiliary Bishop Dominick J. Lagonegro and Msgr. Robert T. Ritchie, cathedral rector.

The cardinal, in opening remarks at the Mass, said: "It's a day of special joy and thanksgiving here in the Archdiocese of New York. Just an hour ago, Pope Francis announced that two of our great priests were named auxiliary bishops in the archdiocese."

The congregation responded with applause for the new prelates.

The cardinal also introduced the men in a brief video posted afterward on his Twitter account.

"It's a great joy for us in the Archdiocese of New York as Pope Francis gave us two auxiliary bishops," he said describing their backgrounds. "I praise God for the gift that they are."

Dolan allowed both new bishops to briefly discuss their ministries and acknowledged the other auxiliary bishops in the archdiocese.

"You hear me say all the time, folks, I need all the help I can get, especially from God," Dolan said, concluding, "I'm in good shape."

Bishop-designate Colacicco was ordained a priest of the archdiocese Nov. 6, 1982. He holds a licentiate of canon law from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas in Rome.

In addition to his current assignment, Colacicco served as parochial vicar at three parishes and as pastor of two parishes in the archdiocese. He also was priest-secretary to Cardinal John J. O'Connor in 1989 and has been a judge on the Metropolitan Tribunal during two different periods of his priesthood.

Whalen was ordained as an archdiocesan priest June 23, 1984. He holds a licentiate and a doctorate of sacred theology from Academia Alphonsiana.

He served as parochial vicar in one parish and as pastor of two parishes in the archdiocese. In addition, he was vice rector of St. Joseph Seminary in 1995.


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