by Joe Bollig
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann has brought the archdiocesan College of Consultors up to full strength by appointing six new members.
The College of Consultors is a body that fulfills certain administrative and advisory duties as part of archdiocesan governance. All members must also belong to the archdiocesan Presbyteral Council.
Before the appointments, four of the six priests who remain as consultors were members of the College of Consultors when Archbishop Naumann succeeded Archbishop James P. Keleher on Jan. 15, 2005: Msgr. Gary Applegate, Msgr. Charles McGlinn, Msgr. Thomas Tank and Abbot Barnabas Senecal, OSB.
The other two had left the group after their five-year terms expired.
The archbishop not only filled those two positions, but also added four more, bringing the total number of consultors up from six to ten.
“A greater number allows for a greater diversity of representation in the College,” he said.
The members who have been added include: Father Frank Burger, Father Michael Koller, Msgr. Michael Mullen, Father Gary Pennings, Father Bill Porter, and Father Brian Schieber.
The existence of the College is mandated by canon law, explained Msgr. Applegate. While the Presbyteral Council is pastoral and consultative, the College of Consultors can be more deliberative.
“The bishop is required to consult with the College on certain significant matters — for instance, on the appointment of a chief financial officer for the archdiocese,” said Archbishop Naumann, and “for extraordinary acts of administration.”
The archbishop must also gain the College’s consent before he can make certain financial decisions.
“An example of that, done under Archbishop Keleher, was the decision to go forward with the construction of Santa Marta [retirement community],” he said. “Because of the size and scope of the project, it was something that the opinion of the College of Consultors was sought.”
Finally, in certain circumstances, the College is responsible for selecting an administrator for the archdiocese if the archbishop is unable to exercise his authority, or has died, and no successor or administrator has been appointed by Rome.