Rudderless Diocese Still Seeking Bishop Lori’s Replacement

Bishop Frank Caggiano
Bishop Frank Caggiano. Is he coming to Bridgeport?

Serving as bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport representing 500,000 Catholics in Fairfield County isn’t the plum it used to be. Priest pedophile scandals, a huge debt run up by ex Bishop William Lori to settle more than $30 million in abuse cases borrowed largely from the Knights of Columbus and the latest drug scandal involving rogue Monsignor Kevin Wallin has the Diocese reeling financially and publicly. The Knights want their money. Hold on to your wallets, Catholics.

Lori last year was named by Pope Benedict XVI the Archbishop of Baltimore. The search is on for Lori’s replacement and according to Diocesan insiders Cardinal Timothy Dolan in New York is calling the shots. One of the bishops high on the list to replace Lori is Auxiliary Bishop Frank Caggiano from the Diocese of Brooklyn, New York. A spokesman for the Diocese says a replacement could be announced within the next several weeks.

See Bishop Caggiano’s biography below pulled from

Auxiliary Bishop Frank J. Caggiano was born in the Gravesend section of Brooklyn March 29, 1959, the second of two children of Arnaldo and Gennarina Caggiano, both of whom came to this country in 1958 from the town of Caggiano in the province of Salerno, Italy. His father died in 2002.

The bishop studied at SS. Simon and Jude School in Gravesend; Regis High School in Manhattan; Cathedral College, Douglaston, and Immaculate Conception Seminary, Huntington, L.I. He was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Francis J. Mugavero May 16, 1987.

After ordination, he served in two Brooklyn parishes–St. Agatha’s in Bay Ridge and St. Athanasius in Bensonhurst–before beginning five years of graduate studies in sacred theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome in 1991. He earned a doctorate in 1996. When he returned to the Diocese he served at St. Jude’s parish in Canarsie and then as pastor of St. Dominic’s parish in Bensonhurst.

After an appointment as director of the Permanent Diaconate Office in 2002, he was named by Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio in 2004 to serve as Vicar for Evangelization and Pastoral Life, which includes the Diaconate Formation Office, the Ecumenical and Interfaith Commission, the Liturgy Office, the Pastoral Institute, the Office of Faith Formation, the Pastoral Planning Office, the SS. Peter and Paul Spirituality Center and the San Vincente de Paul Centro de Evangelizacion.

He was named a Papal Chaplain by Pope John Paul II in 2003.

Bishop Caggiano has written for two Catholic newspapers: seven scripture columns for The Tablet and nine articles on theological and spiritual issues for the Hartford Transcript. His doctoral dissertation, “The Eschatological Implications of the Notion of Recreation in the Works of St. Cyril of Alexandria,” and “The Exaltation of Christ: The Meaning of ‘At the Right Hand’ in the New Testament,” were published by Gregorian University.



  1. What’s been happening in Bridgeport the last two weeks? I need to come up to speed quickly, I guess.
    Lennie, it’s not about a Church without a “rudder,” but about one where enough men with collars have forgotten that more important wooden “cross” that is a joy to bear as they follow in the footsteps of Christ. Read Kevin Wallin’s letter of invitation to his ‘fandango’ and you will see little sense of his life vocation for which he made promises when ordained. It seems as if the community exists to serve Wallin!!!

    There have been too many scandals in the Diocese of Bridgeport in the short span of years of the 21st Century. Those involving clergy have frequently identified those men with the title of Monsignor. It is a title that is not connected to a place or property, not symbolic of study, education or professional preparation, but rather an honorary form of address, quite often for those who are skilled in raising revenues for the Church or other worldly accomplishments. Perhaps it should be discontinued.

    Where are the OPEN, ACCOUNTABLE and TRANSPARENT presentations and processes of a worldwide institution that would wish to appeal to the highest values? Absent without explanation? Many abuses we identify and attempt to heal in our time initiate in a culture where POWER is cultivated and POWER ABUSE is not outed. Well the Dodgers were a favorite of mine as a boy, and the Nets seem far healthier in Brooklyn since their re-planting this year. Whether a new episcopal leader from Brooklyn (or any other place in the world) can or will provide integrity and meaningful institutional repair to our diocese remains to be seen. Time will tell.

  2. I nominate Ernest Newton as Bishop for the Diocese of Bridgeport representing 500,000 Catholics and others in Fairfield County as we all know the great workings of Mr. Newton, the Teflon Moses of his people.
    I have five good reasons Ernie should be elevated to Bishop.
    1. He dresses like a Bishop.
    2. He walks like Bishop.
    3, He talks like a Bishop.
    4. He was endorsed for his old senate seat by the DTC.
    5. His honesty is above reproach.

  3. Well, I hope for the sake of all of the devout Catholics who have been hurt emotionally with all of the scandals, there will be some form of healing. The nuns are the backbone of the church and they spend their lives dealing with the issues Jesus Himself would have been concerned with. The members of the priesthood have dwindled since the gay rights movement happened and the most unnatural act of celibacy a priest must endure. So unnatural to be devoid of human contact and intimacy. That alone could be a reason for so many problems in the Church. I suppose perhaps some of the devout will start questioning more and more and the Church will have to deal with a more educated and liberal society. For the sake of my Catholic friends I hope the Church evolves before it begins to close doors and sells their churches to other growing congregations outside of the Church and leaves their followers without a place to worship. It is no wonder the Catholic Church is growing huge in third-world countries where ignorance is the norm and scandals are more outrageous than here in the states and Europe. I believe with perfect faith there are good and honest people who have been drawn to the Church to serve. I just hope if the only battle cry of the Church is anti-gay rhetoric then I suppose the cards will fall where they may and it will not matter who they get to run the Dioceses. I would think disease, poverty and ignorance should be the number one, two and three concerns of the Church following in the path of Jesus. Return all of the stolen art and property at the Vatican from the past 1800 years and feed the world. Get rid of all of the graven images in the churches and start practicing the religion the way the Jewish Jesus practiced. Let’s hope for the sake of billions the Church is ready to embrace the 21st century. I know it took centuries to acknowledge the earth was not flat and witches burnt at the stake was a mistake. They forgave themselves for 100’s of thousands of murders from the numerous Crusades and inquisitions. Now wake up and smell the coffee. People are educated and want comfort not dictates based on ignorance. If there are women Rabbis then surely women should be ordained in the Church. The church has the ability to move forward or stay in the dark ages. THE CHURCH HAS NO RIGHT TO QUOTE THE BOOK OF LEVITICUS when they do not follow any of the Jewish faith doctrines in any way shape or form the way Jesus did from infancy ’til his death.

      1. yahooy no need to call me a p******. I did not make a personal attack on you. It is the politics of the Church I find most offensive, not the people of faith.

  4. Get over it! My communication stated exactly the facts. There is not one statement I made that was not factual. Take it personal if you must. Maybe you can rewrite history. The Church has done it for nearly 2000 years. Sorry I disgust you. You just can’t please all the people all the time.

  5. You audacious hump. You invoke res ipsa loquitur implicit of universal consensus. Your entire persona is res ipsa loquitur and that is truly a universal consensus.

  6. *** Maybe if priests were able to marry and raise a family these types of sexual misconduct and abuse might be reduced in time? Lord knows how many behind the curtain cover ups there have been throughout the years! It’s gotten to be “no” surprise anymore when bad news is printed about the Catholic Church in general. *** DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO! ***

      1. yahooy just for the record as I am certain you are aware. That belief of yours about woman ordained and celibacy is an offense to the Catholic church and you would be considered a non Catholic. Look at the Catholic priest in Ireland who is trying to discuss these issues. He was silenced by the Church. They are not open to new ideas.

        1. A way of considering the Church that is both theologically correct and reasonably positive is to consider all who have been touched by the sacrament and holy water of Baptism, are “the People of God.” There are other images also.

          People in power often demand respect and fail to receive it because their values and character are not deserving of that which they demand. Other leaders command respect, provided freely by followers, because of their practiced values that are observable daily.

          Much of Church leadership is too mindful of preserving power rather than serving mankind, humbly and respectfully. And some of that leadership has forgotten their mission as leaders to teach and to do so splendidly. Teachers have to listen and sometimes leaders fail to listen. So leadership fails! Teaching falters! Crazy behavior is ultimately revealed. Suppression of news is finite. Scandal happens anyway. Moral authority is compromised by hypocrisy. People from the pews slowly fade from view. Financial support falters. (And failure to provide any reporting on a Diocesan fiscal status for going on five years, supports rumors of bankruptcy at the same time nearly $1 Billion of land and buildings should be on the balance sheet.)

          Certain women and men across the entire Church membership spectrum, knowledgeable and aware, are beginning to speak of their concerns. Who will listen? Time will tell.


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