Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bishops assemble to refresh, reflect at St. Petersburg retreat

ST. PETERSBURG — As the Roman Catholic Church grapples with an unfolding sexual abuse crisis worldwide, about 200 bishops from across the United States are in St. Petersburg this week for a long-planned, once-in-three-year assembly focused on prayer and reflection.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops assembly runs through Saturday at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort.

The bishops, who hold two general meetings a year, schedule a retreat every three years for "prayer and refreshing their souls," said Mar Muñoz-Visoso, assistant director of media relations for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, D.C.

Muñoz-Visoso said the bishops are getting a group discount at the luxury hotel, where Tuesday some were seen in street clothes.

Browsing through a display of clerical shirts, collars and other appointments, Bishop William Patrick Callahan, newly appointed to the Diocese of La Crosse, Wis., said he has friends in the Tampa Bay area and was enjoying the weather, humidity and all.

Some of his colleagues also stopped to take in the display that included an amethyst ring, pectoral crosses starting at $895 and the green and gold cords from which they hang. It all had been "schlepped down here from New York" by Marvin Goldman, 82, of Duffy & Quinn. He said his Jewish family became clothing suppliers for Catholic clerics when the custom-made suit business declined.

"My father said, 'We will make a black suit for the clergy," said Goldman, who was offering "special price reductions" for the conference.

Tuesday he also displayed the firm's mitres that can sell from $250 to $495, "depending on the fabric and trim," birettas that fold flat for travel, cassocks and other vestments. The magenta zucchettos or skullcaps the bishops wear are, however, imported from the legendary Gammarelli tailors in Rome, who have outfitted popes for more than 200 years.

The media was not allowed at the retreat, but Bishop Robert N. Lynch, head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg, which spans Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties, offered an insider's peek at the weeklong gathering in his May 31 blog.

"It is relaxed and informal," he said.

"It is something like five days of continuing education and this year the general theme is 'the bishop and his priests' … Relationships between bishops and priests is an important topic because it has changed for the worse since the sexual-abuse controversy of 2001 and following. In many places priests don't trust their bishops any longer and are terrified that they will receive a call and be asked to come and see the bishop for fear it might be a complaint or something of that nature," Lynch wrote.

He said that the assembly had invited Cardinal Peter Turkson from Ghana to deliver the homilies at morning and evening prayer and daily Mass and to lead the holy hours and the service of reconciliation and penance.

But there will be opportunities to relax. Evenings are open for informal conversation or even seeing recent movies, Lynch said.

The bishops were supposed to see The Blind Side on Tuesday and Invictus today. There's also the option to go sightseeing.

"If you happen to be in downtown St. Petersburg … and see a group of men in the evening walking through Straub or Vinoy Park, it will likely be some of us," the bishop told his flock.

Waveney Ann Moore can be reached at wmoore@sptimes.com or (727) 892-2283.

Bishops assemble to refresh, reflect at St. Petersburg retreat 06/15/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 15, 2010 10:43pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa heading into several tough budget years

    Local Government

    TAMPA — Less pain now, more pain later.

    The Tampa City Council will hold a final public hearing on the proposed 2018 city budget and property tax rate at 5 p.m. Thursday on the third floor of Old City Hall, 315 E Kennedy Blvd.
  2. The Daystarter: Rick vs. Rick 2.0 tonight; Bucs' McCoy says some fans cross line; Trump associate to testify; helicopter crashes onto Odessa roof

    News

    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

     

    Rescuers respond to a crash of a small helicopter on the roof of a home in the Odessa area on Monday. [Hillsborough County Fire Rescue]
  3. No toll lanes north of downtown Tampa in three of four interstate proposals

    Transportation

    TAMPA — Express lanes may not be coming to downtown Tampa after all. Or at least not to the stretch of Interstate 275 that goes north through Bearss Avenue.

    Seminole Heights resident Kimberly Overman discusses the new interstate options with V.M. Ybor resident Chris Vela (left), Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp and HNTB consultant Chloe Coney during a Tampa Bay Express meeting Monday night at the Barrymore Hotel. [CAITLIN JOHNSTON  |  Times]
  4. Trump associate Roger Stone to talk to House panel in Russia probe

    Nation

    WASHINGTON — The House intelligence panel will interview two of President Donald Trump's associates behind closed doors this week as congressional committees step up their investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

    Roger Stone talks to reporters outside a courtroom in New York this past March. The House intelligence panel will interview Stone behind closed doors Tuesday as congressional committees step up their investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Fformer Trump staffer Boris Epshteyn also will talk to the House panel. [Associated Press]
  5. Pinellas commission set to discuss next budget, licensing board

    Local Government

    CLEARWATER –– The Pinellas County Commission will be busy on Tuesday.