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Bishop enforces appropriate liturgical practice in diocese

.- One year after his began in the Diocese of Richmond, Bishop Francis DiLorenzo has already set up a commission to enforce appropriate liturgical practice, and has implemented other measures and solutions, which he says the people want and which meet the current needs of the diocese, reported the Times-Dispatch. Soon after his installation, the bishop reactivated the diocese's liturgical commission and named Fr. Russell Smith as diocesan theologian, a post that had been vacant since 1998.

The commission investigates and responds to parishioners who complain about liturgical abuses in a particular church. It also ensures that proper practices are being followed. Fr. Smith must also approve all speakers from outside the diocese before they speak at a diocesan parish.

Self-monitoring wasn’t working, the bishop explained in a May 29 article. These checks were needed because some churches were functioning outside the traditional norms of Catholicism.

Bishop DiLorenzo also did away with the diocesan sexual-minorities commission, saying that it had outlived its usefulness, and he increased the number of clustered parishes.

In efforts to make diocesan offices more effective, he also is bringing in consultants to review some departments and commissions and determine their strengths and weaknesses. He also is working on improving the parish-based religion programs.

When more room was needed for the chancery office, DiLorenzo decided to move out of the three-story house next to the cathedral and to a house in Midlothian in Chesterfield County. He preferred to move than to purchase another building for offices.

DiLorenzo, 63, succeeded Bishop Walter F. Sullivan, who retired last year after 29 years as bishop of the diocese. A Philadelphia native, DiLorenzo came to Richmond from Honolulu, where he was bishop for 10 years.

He spent the five weeks of his time in Richmond, meeting all of the priests and lay leaders and visit diocesan buildings and meet 450 lay leaders, he said.

He described Richmond as “a very, very stable diocese with a lot of human resources and material resources that promote our evangelism.”

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