Two Auxiliary Bishops Appointed for Toronto

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(CCCB-Ottawa)… His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI today appointed two Auxiliary Bishops for the Archdiocese of Toronto - Rev. William Terrence McGrattan and Rev. Vincent Nguyen - to assist Most Rev. Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Toronto. Their appointments bring the number of Toronto Auxiliary Bishops to four, joining Most Rev. John A. Boissonneau and Most Rev. Peter J. Hundt.

mcgrattan.jpgBorn in London, Ontario, on 19 September, 1956, Father William Terrence McGrattan studied at St. Peter’s Seminary, London, Ontario, where he obtained a Masters of Divinity in conjunction with the University of Western Ontario. Following his ordination to the priesthood on 2 May, 1987, Father McGrattan pursued studies in theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University, receiving a licentiate in 1992. Following several pastoral appointments within the Diocese of London, he was appointed Rector of St. Peter’s Seminary, a position he has been holding since 1997.

nguyen.jpgBorn in Vietnam on 8 May, 1966, Father Vincent Nguyen moved to Canada in 1984. He holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in electrical engineering from the University of Toronto and a Masters of Divinity from St. Augustine’s Seminary in Toronto. He was ordained a priest on 9 May, 1998. He then did further studies in Rome, where he received a licentiate in canon law from the Angelicum. Since September 2009, he has been serving as Chancellor and Moderator of the Curia of the Archdiocese of Toronto.

The Archdiocese of Toronto has a Catholic population of 1,626,465 in 244 parishes and missions, served by 286 diocesan priests, 433 religious order priests, 119 permanent deacons, 651 religious Sisters and Brothers, and 59 lay pastoral workers.


How a Bishop is selected

At least every three years, the Bishops of an ecclesiastical province meet to draw up a list of priests who are suitable candidates for the episcopate. This discussion is limited to the merits of individual priests proposed by their bishops as possible candidates for the episcopate. After this meeting, the list is sent to the Canadian Apostolic Nuncio (based in Ottawa) who in turn forwards it to the Holy See (Vatican).

When an auxiliary bishop is needed, the diocesan bishop puts forth his own recommendations and prepares a list of at least three candidates from either inside or outside of the diocese. He sends this to the Apostolic Nuncio, who in turn forwards it to the Holy See, after reviewing the list and adding his own opinion. This list can incorporate candidates from his own diocese, candidates discussed by the bishops of the ecclesiastical province to which he belongs or he may suggest names of possible candidates for the first time.

The ‘terna’ is the shortlist of three names determined by the Holy See. After the terna has been decided, the papal representative, the Apostolic Nuncio, is instructed to commence an extensive investigative process on the Episcopal suitability of each of the candidates on the terna. On average, this process may take two to six months. Confidential advice is sought through letters and other documentation from those who have worked closely with the proposed candidate. When the Apostolic Nuncio has concluded his investigative process he forwards his final report containing his recommendation to the Holy See, usually to the Congregation of Bishops.

The primary responsibility of the Congregation of Bishops is to examine all the documentation presented to the Holy See by the Apostolic Nuncio and to advise the Holy Father, who alone decides the appointment of a bishop. The Congregation fulfills this function by meeting in a session where the documentation gathered by the Apostolic Nuncio is presented. Several Episcopal appointments from throughout the universal church may be discussed at this one meeting. The advice of the Cardinal Prefect and Bishop members of the Congregation is then communicated to the Holy Father. At a later time, the Holy Father makes his decision. In reaching his decision the Holy Father is not bound by the advice presented to him.

After the pope has made his decision the Prefect for the Congregation of Bishops informs the Papal Nuncio of his decision, who in turn, contacts the appointed candidate to ask if he will accept the appointment. Through a letter, the Papal Nuncio officially informs the Bishop and the candidate of the appointment, requesting strict confidentiality of the information until the Vatican makes the announcement.

Last Updated on Monday, November 23 2009  
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Canada’s oldest diocese, the Archdiocese of Quebec, was established in 1674. Most Reverend François de Laval was its first Bishop.