Talk:John Carroll (bishop)

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Relationship with authorities[edit]

The article ought to clarify what were Carroll's relations with the new Revolutionary government under Washington, and how he used those relations to get himself to the post of top American clergyman. And too, it must be specified the motives of Bishop Briand for his excommunication, which some have alleged were related to some prohibited or controversial masonic affiliation. ADM (talk) 06:16, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

I added a reference to the role of Benjamin Franklin in Carroll's selection as superior to the entry. That may help to address your first point. Ericstoltz (talk) 16:07, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

Only bishop elected by the clergy[edit]

The article text says "Carroll was the only Roman Catholic bishop in the United States who was elected rather than appointed by the Pope." I added the "rather than appointed by the Pope" because I felt it was important to explain what the norm was. I made an assumption as to what the sentence was trying to say. Please correct me if I got it wrong.

I also note that, later in the article, the text says "Among the resolutions coming out of these meetings was a request to the Holy See that future episcopal nominations be made by the U.S. hierarchy, not by European prelates." What happened to this request? Have episcopal nominations been made by the U.S. hierarchy since then? If so, then perhaps my addition of "rather than appointed by the Pope" is not appropriate.

Please clarify what we should be saying in these two sections.

--Richard (talk) 04:51, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

Your addition is good and helps to clarify the entry. The American clergy asked that their bishops be nominated by American bishops rather than foreign prelates because up to that point, as a mission territory, various European bishops had input into the affairs of the Church in theUnited States. This does not really have to do with the correct addition you made about the pope now appointing bishops; the question was who would nominate before the pope appoints. The current process is that American bishops compose a list of three candidates called a "terna," which is submitted to Rome (actually to the papal nuncio). The pope is supposed to select from those three for his appointment, but is not required to. And when he appoints someone not on the terna, it is often not taken well. This was a common complaint against John Paul II; he frequently appointed men who were not on the terna as bishops.
Ericstoltz (talk) 16:04, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for explaining that. I still have a few things that I don't understand. I assume that the "terna" is selected by the USCCB. Is the "terna" unique to the U.S. or is it used in other countries as well? I note that there is a disambiguation page for Terna but no article for the term specifically as used in the context of appointing Catholic bishops. The article on Appointment of Catholic bishops makes no mention of the term "terna"! If the terna is unique to the U.S., then it should be mentioned in Roman Catholicism in the United States. If it is not unique to the U.S., then it should be mentioned in Appointment of Catholic bishops. --Richard (talk) 16:57, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
The terna is compiled by a rather flexible process. Often the metropolitan of the province where the diocese is located may head up the process, soliciting input from the other bishops in the province. If the open seat is for a metropolitan, then other bishops in the area get involved; if it is a major metropolitan see, the scope of input widens. It's rather informal as I understand it, and is not an actual function of the USCCB per se. I don't know if this process is used in other countries. The terna is actually mentioned in the article on appointment of Catholic bishops, but not by name: "The nuncio then decides on a short list of candidates for further investigation and seeks precise information on each of them... He will then send to the Holy See all the information that has been gathered on the three candidates that seem to be the most appropriate for consideration, accompanying the information with the conclusions that he himself draws from the evidence." Ericstoltz (talk) 22:31, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

Position on slavery[edit]

An edit has been made by Contaldo80 noting that Carroll owned a slave and was supportive of slavery. While there is no citation, I can certainly imagine it could be true. But I wonder if this belongs in the section describing his ministry as bishop. Maybe there should be a separate section with more information on this topic. I can see undoing/redoing already taking place on this addition, and no doubt whoever removed it also thought it just didn't belong in that section. Ericstoltz (talk) 22:47, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

I've seen the same statement on a few other pages, including Christianity and slavery and Catholic Church and slavery; all of them without a reference. I agree it could be true, but it's not properly sourced for the 'pedia just yet. Gentgeen (talk) 23:03, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
Maybe this edit should be undone again. A search indicated two documents of Carroll in an anthology. In one he denies ever having owned a slave but that he was caring for one of his sister's slaves. In his last will he bequeaths a slave (perhaps his sister finally transferred title to him?) to a friend on the condition that the slave be set free. As for supporting slavery, the only document I could find is Carroll defending slaveholders who were gradually divesting themselves of slaves, arguing against doing it all at once. That hardly makes him an advocate. It does not appear as cut-and-dry as the edit makes it seem. Ericstoltz (talk) 23:44, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
Thanks - I've tried to provide some sources now and have nuanced the text. Not necessarily an 'advocate' he nevertheless tolerated the situation (as did many jesuits and clergy of the time). Agree it might go better in another section though so feel free to move. Contaldo80 (talk) 10:51, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
Agreed. I've moved your edit to a separate section called Attitudes Toward Slavery. Maybe this might start a more comprehensive look at how he approached this issue.Ericstoltz (talk) 19:08, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
Looks good. Contaldo80 (talk) 15:51, 25 September 2009 (UTC)