United Voices for the Diocese of Steubenville
WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?
As a matter of public record, Bishop Jeffrey Monforton announced that the Vatican has been involved in directing a process to merge the Diocese of Steubenville for over a year.
The Pope and only the Pope can merge or notably alter a diocese (c.f. Canon 373 et al.).
Those whose rights could be harmed by a decision must be heard, if at all possible (Canon 50). This includes the Faithful and Non-Catholics (c.f. Canon 383). The Bishop had the opportunity to hear the People of God and their concerns about this proposal during the synodal process. He did not do this. He also has had opportunity to hear his priests, and he has not given them a voice. The Bishop gave no reasonable opportunity for those entrusted to his care to be heard.
Because we were not given a voice, we have a duty to make our voice heard. In fact, the Church teaches that we have this obligation and enshrines it in law (Canon 212). It is important and urgent that we let the Vatican know our opinion on the matter.
Canon Law also gives us a way to act with a united voice. Please join us.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Sign the Procurator Petition/Mandate
: A Mandate is a document in Canon Law that serves both as a personal petition to oppose the merger and as the appointment of a person to act on your behalf in this matter. Mary King of Steubenville is the Procurator. The mandate allows her to unite hundreds or thousands of people in a single action by following specific rules of Canon Law.
The Mandate also allows the Procurator to appoint a canon lawyer to help us argue our position effectively.
Philip Gray of Hopedale, a canonist with over 30 years of experience, including processes before the Vatican, has agreed to help.
Anyone that can be affected by the merger can sign a mandate. Non-Catholics may sign a mandate for Non Catholics.
Write a personal note (Optional): If you have personal reasons why you do not want to lose the Diocese of Steubenville, please write a letter explaining why you are opposed to the merger.
Join the email information list
If you wish to be part of an email information list, please include a note with your email address so we know to add you to the email list. We will use the email list to keep everyone up-to-date about this process, and send you copies of any responses.
WHAT TO EXPECT?
A core group is preparing a Petition that will address specific canonical points about the merger. The reasons given by the Bishop for the merger are not accurate or sufficient for such a serious action. If you compare the data, the Diocese of Steubenville is one of the strongest dioceses in the United States. For example, ithas one of the highest Mass attendance rates in the country!
The Procurator will use the rules of Canon Law to send the Mandates, the Petition, and the personal notes to the competent offices of the Holy See, and with copies going to the ecclesiastical authorities in the United States who will influence the decision. Responses and updates will be sent to Rome as information comes to light. Copies of the Petition and any responses will be communicated via the email information list.