The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

Braxton: a little background

A few readers have been wondering just what kicked up the kerfuffle in Belleville, and what exactly Bishop Braxton had done to incur such animosity among his priests.

As usual, I turned to the definitive source on episcopal matters, and found a few newsworthy nuggets.

He has a very good overview of the situation right here. There’s also some interesting commentary from priests back in January, from the St. Louis Dispatch.


Any way you look at it, buying vestments with several thousand dollars that had been allocated for missions is unseemly. Then there’s the princely sum the new bishop spent renovating his residence. As Rocco noted:

Braxton’s 2005 appointment was greeted with presbyteral protest amid complaints that the clergy weren’t consulted — an outcry that grew after the bishop sought to renovate his residence. (While the diocese allotted $25K toward the spruce-up, Braxton’s friends kicked in the rest of the project’s reported $250,000 total.) Months later, frustrated over what one termed the bishop’s “imperial” style of governance, a third of the priests met publicly to sign a statement of discontent.

To paraphrase “Casey At The Bat”: There is no joy in Belleville.

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A Simple Sinner

posted March 19, 2008 at 12:39 pm

I am having a hard time believing that the “imperial lifestyle charges” have much merit – the bishop collected private funds for the renovation… No one really talks about what was rennovated and what shape it was in before.But honestly, Deacon, the focus on the unhappiness of the priests who openly revolt in this fashion is something I find perplexing. I can’t help but wonder if it had been the case that these priests were of a different (perhaps more traditional mindset) there would be as much “understanding” as opposed to anger at this radical move demonstrating a great deal of disrespect.You are a cleric of the Church, would you feel comfortable organizing against your boss, the bishop, and taking the campaign to the media?The issue of the vestments seems an issue of great expedience… The money was replaced and apologies were made. $8,000 for 5 sets of vestments that now become part of the heritage of the Church only seems outlandish and as radical as some seem to what you to think it is… Until you consider lately the Holy Father has been wearing vestments that are well over 100 years old… Some of the following have been the more popular posts over at PC – Bishop Braxton Fire Them!Are You Kidding Me? SUPPORT BISHOP BRAXTON+Braxton’s “Belleville 46″ Identified – Belleville’s 60%???

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